We all talk about it; how things have changed and the way our parents raised us is totally different from what is happening now. We’re seemingly more forward thinking in this times, giving our children the ability to grow up knowing and having their own voice, in addition to being aware of the era they are, through technology and the activities they participate in.
But, do we know where to draw the line? Are we sometimes doing a little too much? Can that hamper their development and type of adults they eventually grow up to be?
Five Areas to Look into
Technological advancement has fast become a “free babysitting service” for all of us. We’re so quick to hand them a mobile device to keep hold their attention while we run around doing our own things. But critically, it can hamper a lot of things if we keep fostering this habit. It can hinder our emotional ability to them and can cause them to develop asocial behaviors amongst other things.
We need to limit the use of technology and spend more interactive time instead. Also, what about more books instead?
2. Instant Gratification
We might be too quick to give our children what they want, these days. The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success. To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress and our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors and “frustrations ” which can become huge obstacles to their success in life.
We shouldn’t give in to demands INSTANTLY, unless it is urgent.
3. Kids’ rule
There’s a bigger tendency – now – to have our children dictate their desires and have us go with them; “He doesn’t like going to bed early” “He doesn’t like to eat breakfast” and the list goes on. If we leave their everyday choices to them, they’d most likely choose things that are not necessarily good for them. We have to always do what NEEDS to be done; breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they should have breakfast even if they would rather not.
We have to help them with daily successes and goals as well. In order to achieve goals, they have to do what NEEDS to be done, not what they want. If a child wants to be an ‘A’ student, he needs to study hard. If he wants to be a successful soccer player, he needs to practice every day. Our children know very well what they WANT but not what is NEEDED to achieve that goal. This results in unattainable goals that leaves the kids disappointed.
It’s our duty to teach them the difference between their WANTS and their NEEDS.
4. ONLY Fun
We may have unknowing created only a world of fun for our children. There is a list of endless activities lined up for them, no dull moments! How about fixing them up with chores? Can they not help in the kitchen or with laundry? Tidy up their own wardrobes?
Chores will train them to do functional activities when there is not fun activity planned out. We need to teach them to do “boring” chores like folding the laundry, setting the table, tidying up after meals, packing and unpacking their own bags etc.
Set limits and make schedules for meals, sleep, study, outdoor play, technology usage etc
5. Limited social interaction
Back in the days, when we were children ourselves, we used to play outside in the unstructured, natural environment, learning and practicing social skills. Now, not so much. Activities are more structured and technology takes a good part of their time. Successful people have great social skills and social skills aren’t entirely innate, they need to be learned and practiced just like other skills.
We need to set them up to learn these skills; the essence of manners, and cooperation, teamwork and interaction.
We are responsible for creating the next generation of healthy, happy and successful adults who can create a better place for everyone around them. Let’s make it happen together!