There’s an undeniable shift in the way today’s kids are acting and reacting. High-tech devices are creating self-absorbed, entitled, and unmotivated kids. To make sure your child doesn’t fall victim of this new-age phenomenon, here are a few solid ground rules to put in place.
It’s easier to re-negotiate your child’s consequences than follow through with them, believe me, I know. When you’re five minutes into a full-bore tantrum, all you want to do is just say, “FINE! You’re not grounded!8221;
But when a child does something wrong, they must know that there is a consequence for their actions. Sometimes being a parent means doing the hard thing, and that includes staying firm on those fair consequences. (See the 3-Strike Method.)
It goes without saying that video games and smart devices are posing a threat to our children. Psychology Today reports that many kids’ apps are designed to stimulate dopamine release in the brain, creating a false “rewards” system where the child needs more and more to be happy. Screens are drugging our children8217;s’ brains, leading to less real-world time, less human interaction, and less physical activity.
If you want to stop pampering your kids, don’t make physical activity optional. Instead of motorized scooters and bikes, equip them with the real thing. The CDC Youth Physical Activity Guidelines state that children and teens age 6-17 years old should have 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.
A lot of times we parents are quick to swoop in at our child8217;s first call for help and save the day. We can’t help it8212;it’s an intrinsic reaction. That tricky math problem, the lost shoe, the battle over a toy8212;we want the problem fixed and it’s always easier to just do it ourselves.
But the next time you fly in to solve a problem, restrain yourself. Give your child the chance to work through difficulties herself. Brainstorming and problem-solving are critical thinking skills that will take your child far.
One night as I knelt on the floor picking up Legos, dolls, and strewn toys for my children, my brain sent me a text: “Something’s wrong with this picture.” I was sending my kids the message that they could make all the messes they wanted and mom would just clean them up. I thought back to times when my dad insisted that we work together as a family weeding our one-acre garden until the job was done. His everyday example of hard work and “do-it-together” mindset shaped who I was.
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