There is and has been a definite decline in children’s social, emotional, and academic functioning. It has been apparent for years. Kids these days are constantly complaining that they are bored, and even worse they feel and believe that they are entitled in every sense of the word. When they get out into the real world, they are in for a sweet treat.
Occupational Therapist Victoria Prooday states, “As we know, the brain is malleable. Through environment, we can make the brain “stronger” or make it “weaker”. I truly believe that, despite all our greatest intentions, we unfortunately remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction.”
A few things we have done without even thinking about it;
Kids get everything they want, when they want it. We have the best intentions as parents to please our children and keep them happy. Unfortunately, we make them happy at the moment but miserable in the long term. When you are able to delay gratification to your child, you are helping them to be able to function under stress. By giving them immediate gratification every time they open their mouth, we are setting them up to be less equipped to deal with even minor stressors. These minor situations of stress eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.
Our children also have very limited social interaction these days. Kids used to play outside for hours. Remember mom saying, “Make sure your back inside when the streetlights come on.” Unfortunately, technology has replaced valuable outdoor time. It has also made us parents less available to interact with our children. We need to keep in mind – most successful people have great social skills. This is something that we cannot substitute.
One of the biggest issues is Endless Amounts of Fun. There are no dull moments for them to sit and think, or decompress. The second it becomes quiet, we feel it’s our job to get them entertained again right away! We feel that we are not doing our job as parents if they don’t always have something fun to do. This is a HUGE mistake on our behalves. For example, when they go to school and it is time for handwriting or math, their answer is “I can’t. It is too hard or it’s too boring.” The part of their brain that is the workable “muscle” is not getting trained through endless fun. It gets trained through work. It’s very important in those times when they say they are bored, give them a chore to do. Have them do laundry, wash dishes or mow the lawn. This is not being a mean parent. It’s being a good parent.
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