At a recent presentation by psychologist and primary care physician, Dr. Leonard Sax, Sax reminded parents that nothing has changed. That is, Sax said their job in parenting is no different than it was 20 yrs ago, before the internet, cellphones, and status updates. While technology has impacted society, the role of families and parents is still to provide a loving, caring, and nurturing home that guides a child towards adulthood.
Dr. Sax carefully reinforced the authority of parents, which he suggested was something parents have been giving up or losing for the last 20 years. In my work with families I believe this trend is two-fold: there are a lot more fears that parents internalize, and families are simply busier. There are many parents that feel restrictions in setting limits or disciplining their child due to fears that their actions will be discussed and may trigger an adult to file a report with child protective services. It has also been my experience that parents choose not to be strict to avoid alienating their children, or causing harm to the parent child relationship. Perhaps many parents grew up in households where their parent was strict or overbearing with rules and expectations, and now as parents they are trying to over correct for this experience.
Living in the 21st century, in a global economy, and in a sophisticated tech culture, technology has made many things easier, but it has also allowed us to cram a lot more things into a given day at work, school, or home. All the benefits of technology has not led to more leisure and free time to relax in a blissful state of efficiency and productivity. The expectations and fears of students have also increased with greater emphasis on standardized test scores, the need to appeal to admissions committees with one’s wide range of extracurricular activities, not to mention the grooming of athletic champions who will merit impressive scholarships. Read the rest of this entry »
How familiar is this scene in your household: Child watching TV, playing video games, on the computer, talking on the phone, etc., and you’re wanting their attention to alert them to something like, “time for dinner,” “pick up your clothes,” etc.
Often times the child is fully engaged in their activity of choice and don’t/can’t hear a parent’s call. Logic says if a child can’t hear us, we should just speak louder or yell. Eventually a child breaks their focus to the yelling of a parent who may or may not be fuming at this point. The child may be very confused why mom or dad is “buggin’ out,” and may also react to this negative tone by yelling back or being disrespectful. Read the rest of this entry »
I read a brief summary of a study involving one’s parenting style and whether it’s related to the amount of video gaming their child may participate in. This study is difficult to understand in that it’s basically saying if a parents has a nagging parenting style, but does not “monitor” their child, the more time the child is likely to play video games.
In my work with children and teenagers, I have yet to meet someone who likes to be nagged. On the flip side, I have had many parents share that they do not like having to nag or constantly remind/redirect their child from something. I’ve also worked with many young people who like to play video games. I have found that most parents realize that video games are part of the culture of young people, and that they can not totally restrict or forbid gaming. On the contrary, I think most parents would rather have their children engaged in other activities other than video gaming, or at least have a variety of activities a child would engaged in. Read the rest of this entry »