I'm no longer a pledge of parenting, but rather an indoctrinated member. The perk of this stage is that my kids want to spend time with me. We have real conversations that reveal their beautiful personalities. With everyone sleeping through the night, I'm sleeping better, too. I can think coherently and be more intentional in how I raise them. These days, I put more thought into long-term. I think about the kind of adults I hope my children will be and work backward to ask, "What can I do today to foster that? A while back I came across some interesting articles and books that dig into what psychologists today are seeing: a rising number of somethings who are depressed and don't know why.
These young adults claim they had magical childhoods. Their parents are their best friends. They never experienced tragedy or anything more than normal disappointments. Yet for some reason, they're unhappy.
Samuel Bray 9. From an evolutionary standpoint, religion provided an incentive for people to treat each other well and act morally—lest they be judged by a higher power and punished accordingly. This magnification of danger and hurt is prevalent on campus today. It no longer matters what a person intended to say, or how a reasonable listener would interpret a statement—what matters is whether any individual feels offended by it. Kari Kubiszyn Kampakis, Contributor Author, speaker, and blogger at karikampakis. If we really want our kids to have a leg up, we need to protect them from these pressures. At times, it seems like our culture is conjuring dangers out of thin air, just to have something new to worry about.
One reason given is that parents today are too quick to swoop in. We don't want our children to fall, so instead of letting them experience adversity, we clear the path. We remove obstacles to make their life easy. But adversity is a part of life, and only by facing it can our children build life-coping skills they'll need down the road. So while it seems like we're doing them a favor, we're really stunting their growth.
We're putting short-term payoffs over long-term well-being. One article mentions incoming college freshmen known to deans as "teacups" for their fragility in the face of minor problems. The question posed was this: "Could it be that by protecting our kids from unhappiness as children, we're depriving them of happiness as adults? Why am I sharing this information? Because I think it's relevant in this age of helicopter parenting. While I find it great that today's parents are more invested in their children's lives than previous generations, our involvement can go overboard. What we may justify as "good parenting" can hurt our children later.
Unless we're mindful of that, it's easy to handicap them by making their lives too easy. As my favorite parenting philosophy goes: "Prepare your child for the road, not the road for your child. With this said, I've outlined 10 common mistakes that parents today -- me included -- often make. My intention isn't to point fingers, but to raise awareness. What may be ingrained in our culture is not always in the best interest of our kids.
Raising Kids Who Can Protect Themselves [Debbie Gardner, Mike Gardner] on ykoketomel.ml *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. A dynamic program for. Editorial Reviews. From the Back Cover. A DYNAMIC PROGRAM FOR EMPOWERING Raising Kids Who Can Protect Themselves - Kindle edition by Debbie Gardner, Mike Gardner. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC.
Mistake Worshipping our children. Many of us live in child-centered communities. We're raising our kids in child-centered homes. Our children love this, of course, because our lives revolve around them. And for the most part we don't mind either, because their happiness is our happiness. It thrills us to do for them, buy for them, and shower them with love and attention. But I think it's important to keep in mind that our children were made to be loved, not worshipped.
So when we treat them like the center of the universe, we create a false idol, turning a good into an ultimate. Rather than kid-centered homes, we should strive for God-centered homes. Our children will still be loved, only in a better way, one that promotes selflessness over selfishness. Mistake 9: Believing our children are perfect. One thing I often hear from professionals who work with children counselors, teachers, etc. When concerns are raised, even concerns voiced out of love, the knee-jerk reaction is often to attack the messenger.
The truth can hurt, but when we listen with an open heart and mind we stand to benefit.
We can intervene early before a situation gets out of hand. It's easier to deal with a troubled child than repair a broken adult. As a Children's of Alabama psychiatrist recently told me when I interviewed her on teenage depression, early intervention is key because it can change the trajectory for the child's life.
She said that's why she enjoys child and adolescent psychiatry -- because kids are resilient, and it's a lot easier to intervene effectively when they're young instead of years later, when the problem has gone on so long it's become incorporated into part of their identity.
Mistake 8: Living vicariously through our children. We parents take great pride in our children. When they succeed, it makes us happier than if we'd done it ourselves. But if we're overly involved and invested in their lives, it gets hard to see where they end and we begin. When our children become extensions of us, we may see them as our second chance. Suddenly it's not about them, it's about us. This is where their happiness starts getting confused with our happiness. Mistake 7: Wanting to be our child's BFF.
When I asked a priest to name the biggest mistake he sees in parenting, he thought for a moment and then said, "Parents not being parents. Not stepping up to the plate to do hard things. Like everyone, I want my children to love me. I want them to sing my praises and appreciate me. But if I'm doing my job right, they'll get mad and not like me sometimes.
They'll roll their eyes, moan and groan, and wish they'd been born into another family. Seeking to be our child's BFF can only lead to permissiveness and choices made out of desperation because we fear losing their approval. That's not love on our end; that's need. Mistake 6: Engaging in competitive parenting. Every parent has a competitive streak. All it takes to stir this monster in us is another parent giving his or her child a leg up at our child's expense.
I hear these stories a lot at the junior high and high school levels, stories of broken friendships and betrayals due to one family blindsiding another family. In my opinion, the root is fear. We fear our children will get left behind. We fear that if we don't jump into the craziness, and pull out every stop to help them excel early, they'll be stuck in mediocrity the rest of their life.
I believe children need to work hard and understand that dreams don't come on a silver platter; they have to sweat and fight for them. Kids who aren't getting the attention they want from their parents often act out or misbehave because they're sure to be noticed that way. Many parents find it rewarding to schedule together time with their kids.
Create a "special night" each week to be together and let your kids help decide how to spend the time. Look for other ways to connect — put a note or something special in your kid's lunchbox. Adolescents seem to need less undivided attention from their parents than younger kids.
Because there are fewer windows of opportunity for parents and teens to get together, parents should do their best to be available when their teen does express a desire to talk or participate in family activities. Attending concerts, games, and other events with your teen communicates caring and lets you get to know more about your child and his or her friends in important ways.
Don't feel guilty if you're a working parent. It is the many little things you do — making popcorn, playing cards, window shopping — that kids will remember. Young kids learn a lot about how to act by watching their parents. The younger they are, the more cues they take from you. Before you lash out or blow your top in front of your child, think about this: Is that how you want your child to behave when angry? Be aware that you're constantly being watched by your kids.
Studies have shown that children who hit usually have a role model for aggression at home. Model the traits you wish to see in your kids: respect, friendliness, honesty, kindness, tolerance. Exhibit unselfish behavior.
Do things for other people without expecting a reward. Express thanks and offer compliments.
Above all, treat your kids the way you expect other people to treat you. You can't expect kids to do everything simply because you, as a parent, "say so. If we don't take time to explain, kids will begin to wonder about our values and motives and whether they have any basis. Parents who reason with their kids allow them to understand and learn in a nonjudgmental way. Make your expectations clear. If there is a problem, describe it, express your feelings, and invite your child to work on a solution with you. Be sure to include consequences.
Make suggestions and offer choices. Be open to your child's suggestions as well. Kids who participate in decisions are more motivated to carry them out. If you often feel "let down" by your child's behavior, perhaps you have unrealistic expectations. Parents who think in "shoulds" for example, "My kid should be potty-trained by now" might find it helpful to read up on the matter or to talk to other parents or child development specialists. Kids' environments have an effect on their behavior, so you might be able to change that behavior by changing the environment.
If you find yourself constantly saying "no" to your 2-year-old, look for ways to alter your surroundings so that fewer things are off-limits. This will cause less frustration for both of you. As your child changes, you'll gradually have to change your parenting style. Chances are, what works with your child now won't work as well in a year or two. Teens tend to look less to their parents and more to their peers for role models.
But continue to provide guidance, encouragement, and appropriate discipline while allowing your teen to earn more independence. And seize every available moment to make a connection! As a parent, you're responsible for correcting and guiding your kids. But how you express your corrective guidance makes all the difference in how a child receives it. When you have to confront your child, avoid blaming, criticizing, or fault-finding, which undermine self-esteem and can lead to resentment. Instead, strive to nurture and encourage, even when disciplining your kids.