Help your children in a complex world

I am sharing this article in the hopes that it will reach those who need help with raising their kids. It is a tough job and we need all the help we can get.  I am sorry for the weird format but that is how it copied. The author requests that it be shared.

link to the original article https://deeprootsathome.com/kids-friendless-bored-impatient/

WHY ARE KIDS IMPATIENT, BORED, FRIENDLESS, AND ENTITLED?

3.3MSHARES
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A pouty little boy in a paper and metal crown looking you in the eye.

Kids today are in a devastating emotional state! Most come to school emotionally unavailable for learning. There are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to this.” ~V.P.

In her practice, my friend Victoria Prooday, OT is seeing something so widespread and alarming that I asked if I could share her thoughts. Due to the overwhelming interest and conversation on this topic, I am re-sharing her post. This article is also now translated into German and Russian. Spanish is coming soon!

I encourage every parent who cares about the future of his/her children to read it. I know that many would choose not to hear what she says in the article, but your children need you to hear this message.

Victoria writes:

I am an occupational therapist with years of experience working with children, parents, and teachers. I completely agree with this teacher’s message that our children are getting worse and worse in many aspects.

I hear the same consistent message from every teacher I meet. Clearly, throughout my time as an Occupational Therapist, I have seen and continue to see a decline in children’s social, emotional, and academic functioning, as well as a sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses.

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.

Jackie’s Note: be sure to get the printable list of 30 more ways to help your kids

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Here is why:

1. KIDS GET EVERYTHING THEY WANT WHEN THEY WANT IT

“I am Hungry!!” “In a sec I will stop at the drive thru” “I am Thirsty!” “Here is a vending machine.” “I am bored!” “Use my phone!”  The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success. We have the best intentions — to make our child happy — but unfortunately, we make them happy at the moment but miserable in the long term.  To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress. Our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors, which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.

The inability to delay gratification is often seen in classrooms, malls, restaurants, and toy stores. The moment the child hears “No”, they react with belligerence because parents have taught their child’s brain to get what it wants right away.

2. LIMITED SOCIAL INTERACTION

We are all busy, so we give our children digital gadgets and make them “busy” too. Kids used to play outside, where, in unstructured natural environments, they learned and practiced their social skills.

Unfortunately, technology replaced the outdoor time.  Also, technology made the parents less available to socially interact with their child. Obviously, our kids fall behind… the babysitting gadget is not equipped to help kids develop social skills. Most successful people have great social skills. This is the priority!

The brain is just like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable. If you want your child to be able to bike, you teach him biking skills. If you want your child to be able to wait, you need to teach that child patience.  If you want your child to be able to socialize, you need to teach him social skills. The same applies to all the other skills. There is no difference!

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3. ENDLESS FUN

We have created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty.

We live in two separate worlds. They have their “fun“ world, and we have our “work” world. Why aren’t children helping us in the kitchen or with laundry? Why don’t they tidy up their toys? This is basic monotonous work that trains the brain to be workable and function under “boredom,” which is the same “muscle” that is required to be eventually teachable at school.

When they come to school and it is time for handwriting their answer is “I can’t. It is too hard. Too boring.” Why? Because the workable “muscle” is not getting trained through endless fun. It gets trained through work.

4. KIDS & TECHNOLOGY

Using technology as a “Free babysitting service” is, in fact, not free at all. The payment is waiting for you just around the corner.  We pay with our kids’ nervous systems, with their attention, and with their ability for delayed gratification.

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Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with the graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families.

Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children of that nutrient.

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5. KIDS RULE THE WORLD

“My son doesn’t like vegetables.” “She doesn’t like going to bed early.” “He doesn’t like to eat breakfast.” “She doesn’t like toys, but she is very good at her iPad” “He doesn’t want to get dressed on his own.” “She is too lazy to eat on her own.” This is what I hear from parents all the time. Since when do children dictate to us how to parent them? If we leave it all up to them, all they are going to do is eat macaroni and cheese and bagels with cream cheese, watch TV, play on their tablets, and never go to bed.

What good are we doing them by giving them what they WANT when we know that it is not GOOD for them? Without proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep, our kids come to school irritable, anxious, and inattentive.  In addition, we send them the wrong message.  They learn they can do what they want and not do what they don’t want.

The concept of “need to do” is absent. Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do.  For example, 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 have a very hard time doing what is necessary to achieve that goal. This results in unattainable goals and leaves the kids disappointed.

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TRAIN THEIR BRAIN

You can make a difference in your child’s life by training your child’s brain so that your child will successfully function on social, emotional, and academic levels. Here is how:

1. Don’t be afraid to set the limits. Kids need limits to grow happy and healthy!!

  • Make a schedule for meal times, sleep times, technology time
  • Think of what is GOOD for them- not what they WANT/DON’T WANT. They are going to thank you for that later on in life. Parenting is a hard job. You need to be creative to make them do what is good for them because, most of the time, that is the exact opposite of what they want.
  • Kids need breakfast and nutritious food. They need to spend time outdoor and go to bed at a consistent time in order to come to school available for learning the next day!
  • Convert things that they don’t like doing/trying into fun, emotionally stimulating games
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2. LIMIT TECHNOLOGY, AND RE-CONNECT WITH YOUR KIDS EMOTIONALLY

  • Surprise them with flowers, share a smile, tickle them, put a love note in their backpack or under their pillow, surprise them by taking them out for lunch on a school day, dance together, crawl together, have pillow fights
  • Have family dinners, board game nights (see the list of my favorite board games), go biking, go to outdoor walks with a flashlight in the evening

3. TRAIN DELAYED GRATIFICATION

  • Make them wait!!! It is ok to have “I am bored“ time – this is the first step to creativity
  • Gradually increase the waiting time between “I want” and “I get”
  • Avoid technology use in cars and restaurants, and instead teach them waiting while talking and playing games
  • Limit constant snacking
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4. TEACH YOUR CHILD TO DO MONOTONOUS WORK FROM EARLY YEARS AS IT IS THE FOUNDATION FOR FUTURE “WORKABILITY”

    • Folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table, making lunch, unpacking their lunch box, making their bed
    • Be creative. Initially make it stimulating and fun so that their brain associates it with something positive.

5. TEACH SOCIAL SKILLS

  • Teach them turn taking, sharing, losing/winning, compromising, complimenting others , using “please and thank you”

From my experience as an occupational therapist, the kids changes the moment parents change their perspective on parenting.  Help your kids succeed in life by training and strengthening their brain sooner rather than later!

Jackie’s Note: be sure to get the printable list of 30 more ways to help your kidsVictoria holds a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical School at University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and Health Science from York University. She is founder and director of a multidisciplinary clinic in Toronto, Canada, for children with behavioral, social, emotional and academic challenges. Victoria, along with her team, has helped hundreds of families across Canada and around the world and is a frequent guest speaker to teachers, parents and professionals.

Shared with Victoria’s written permission.

Mostly moms is the reality

raising aloneTimes are tough. There are many children who are being brought up by single moms. Most of the work hard and do their best for their children. Still, being without a spouse is doubly hard. I think it takes two parents. The stress on one parent is horrendous. We all need help and in the case of raising children it is critical.

Regardless of who is doing the raising having more than one person to be looked up to and hopefully emulated is so necessary. It is helpful if boys have some male in their life and a female for girls. This is not always possible but hopefully some other family member is able to step up and help.

raising alone 2When we grew up in small towns there were many others to help. It really does “take a village” to raise a child. The more adults loving and molding growing up the better. Many of the children I am seeing now have only one parent and it is most frequently the mother. We need to grow the organizations “big brothers” and “big sisters” to fill in the gaps. children who are mentored do so much better. If not they seek affirmation from all the wrong people.

We must care for our youth

Powerful help

sleepy dogToday I hit the wall. I am so sleepy that I could just drop off writing this. I think the things I have been doing have finally relaxed some of the tension and I am wiped out. It is a wonderful feeling except I have things I have to do so I’ll just keep going until bedtime. Sure hope I don’t end up wide eyed awake then.

Ironically there are still storms floating around in the Atlantic but so far it seems they are little threat. I hope it stays that way. I guess with climate change happening we will have to cope with this or move.

Yesterday was another Community Conference. Again I saw the power of this program as it saved another youth from being caught up in the court system. It is a powerful feeling to think that I was able to help. I hope this child now understands the chance that has been given and it able to move forward with a positive attitude toward a productive life. I think, in this case, that will happen. It also help an adult to see that not all youth should be written off without knowing more than the surface information.

TeenDisappointment

I am blessed to be able to help with this program.

Somewhat normal?

love-warming-your-soulThis is the first day that things have felt somewhat normal. We put everything back on the porches and cleaned up some of the mess. There are small tree limbs and scattered pine and oak stuff everywhere.  It will take a while to get it clear but we are lucky that’s all there is.

 

It is nice to see the sun today. Sunshine always makes me feel better. Now I have some catching up to do with my Community Conference case for next week. Back to routine.

How-To-Help-Teens-After-Rehab-676x400This volunteer work really is important. Everyone involved is hoping that it will help to keep kids from the courts and keep their lives on a better track. It gives me a good feeling to try to help. The schools have become so strict regarding what kids can do that sometimes it is overkill. We have had children sent to court for drawing a picture of a gun. Hopefully the program will be able to see if this is a truly troubled child or just one who wasn’t thinking. After all, they are still children. Maybe some who need help can be sent to the right people.

It is nice to be thinking about this instead of constantly watching the Weather Channel and the storm. I hope the storms showing up now don’t affect anyone.

Volunteering with program to divert children from the Court System

Today I finished cleaning out the bathroom that is to be renovated. It will be nice to be able to shower in the middle of the shower instead of standing against the wall. The shower has leaked through the door in spite of our many efforts to stop it.

Tomorrow we have the workmen coming in and will live in the other bath until it is done. No leak and some other needed fixes will be wonderful.

custody-feature-e1509580471769

I have begun using my volunteer time to do Community Conferencing. The program hopes to keep children out of the Juvenile Court system by having all parties to a problem sit down and find a solution themselves. If we can divert even one child from exposure to consequences that may bring drastic life changes it will be worth the time.

I hope that through the process the children are also able to learn that actions come with consequences. It is something that should be learned early on to keep the consequences from being life altering.

Good grief ! I’m lost!

crazy gramGood grief! Our local civic center offers shows all during the year. I get their email with the line up for the next few months. The scary part is that of all the people listed I didn’t know a single one! I know I’m getting older but somewhere I have lost my connection to the current music etc. stars. I guess I have some serious catching up to do. I need to spend some quality time with my grandchildren (who are all adults except for one), It’s going to be bad when I have to ask my great grandchildren about the current music scene. I have always tried to keep up enough to know who is currently singing, playing etc but I have lost it now.

lush-purr-album-artwork-LST243226

 

My grands are going to be hearing from me asking to be brought up to speed. I don’t want to become the dotty old grandmother.

Things can go wrong

Today I went to do a mediation. It was the shortest one I have ever done. My suspicion is that this family has been at each other for years. I don’t think that will stop anytime soon.

Isometric family disagreements and quarrels, conflict. Concept for web design

Families are so tricky. We usually know who our family members are and whether we like them or not. Some members we accept even though they may not be our cup of tea. Some of the trouble comes about because of money….. a consistent evil. Someone dies and the distribution of money and family things causes bad feeling. Members accuse each other of taking something that doesn’t belong to them or mishandling money to be distributed. No matter how close and loving a group seems they can fall apart over things left.

disagreement

I have decided that I will begin deciding who in my family will receive things that I expect could cause issues. I have begun asking my children what are the things that matter to them. Sometimes the answers can surprise you. Some people are more concerned about memories rather than intrinsic value. Having that information is helpful when making decisions.

The sad part is when things aren’t defined sufficiently families can end up with bad feelings and divisions forever. I don’t think my children are that way but you never know for sure.

There are things that have to be done before hand so that things don’t go downhill fast. I hope it is years before is slip off this mortal coil but just in case I am starting to make sure all goes as well as possible.

An amazing manifesto from parent to child

This is from my daily readings by Richard Rohr. I find this truly amazing and wish I knew about it when my children were small. I plan on creating a copy for my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. My whole family needs a beautiful framed copy of this!

parent child

Researcher Brené Brown knows the importance of vulnerability and open-heartedness. In her book Daring Greatly, she offers a parenting manifesto that can serve as a touchstone when we feel afraid or resist vulnerability. You might read it aloud to a child, someone you love, or yourself:

“Above all else, I want you to know that you are loved and lovable. You will learn this from my words and actions—the lessons on love are in how I treat you and how I treat myself.

I want you to engage with the world from a place of worthiness. You will learn that you are worthy of love, belonging, and joy every time you see me practice self-compassion and embrace my own imperfections.

We will practice courage in our family by showing up, letting ourselves be seen, and honoring vulnerability. We will share our stories of struggle and strength. There will always be room in our home for both.

We will teach you compassion by practicing compassion with ourselves first; then with each other. We will set and respect boundaries; we will honor hard work, hope, and perseverance. Rest and play will be family values, as well as family practices.

You will learn accountability and respect by watching me make mistakes and make amends, and by watching how I ask for what I need and talk about how I feel.

I want you to know joy, so together we will practice gratitude. I want you to feel joy, so together we will learn how to be vulnerable.

When uncertainty and scarcity visit, you will be able to draw from the spirit that is a part of our everyday life.

Together we will cry and face fear and grief. I will want to take away your pain, but instead I will sit with you and teach you how to feel it.

We will laugh and sing and dance and create. We will always have permission to be ourselves with each other. No matter what, you will always belong here.

As you begin your Wholehearted journey, the greatest gift that I can give to you is to live and love with my whole heart and to dare greatly.

I will not teach or love or show you anything perfectly, but I will let you see me, and I will always hold sacred the gift of seeing you. Truly, deeply, seeing you.”

Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead (Avery: 2012), 244-245. Visit brenebrown.com for a copy of the manifesto and other resources.

Families are unique

It has been a fun and interesting week. The visit with my daughter and her family has been fun. Family together is never without its moments but this has been good.

welcome

I feel so blessed that my children “like” each other as well as love. the “liking” part is not always present in families. It is so easy to love someone as family but dislike the way they are. There are times when we can get on the outs for some reason but is has always blown over. I hope that part of that is due to my husband and I. At least I would love to think so.

Families are tricky things. It is so easy to forget that everyone is their own person and has thoughts, beliefs and ideas separate from others. The lifestyle of my three children is much different from each other but they still get along. They are vastly different in personalities and have each pursued totally different careers. I am glad they have followed their own paths.

nuts

If you have children don’t be afraid to let them follow their own path. Obviously, they need love and direction but they are individuals. As they grow they need solid underpinning knowing that there is someone who will be there no matter what. They also need someone who will teach them a moral compass. With this behind them they will grow into good people.

There is no perfect

Today has been spent with family. I has been a wonderful day but I am very tired. I didn’t get enough sleep last night and I am really tired.

It is such a joy seeing part of my family enjoying each other. I am so glad that they grew up appreciating family and keeping up with each other. They have already shared much over the years and will continue to do so in the years to come.

perfect parent

 

None of us is the perfect parent. I am sure there is no such person. Hopefully, each of us do our best to love and care for our children. This is what really matters. If we are lucky they will also care for us and for each other.