I am BURSTING AT THE SEAMS ready to share all these Back to School resources for Parents that I’ve been working on! My wheels have been spinning and I have been writing and creating, writing and creating! (more…)
Time management is something I value but also have to work very hard at in my personal life. I’m great at the important things-the priorities-family life-attending appointments-work. I struggle when it comes to adding new things that I know will benefit me but are new to me.
Any procrastinators out there? (more…)
One of the biggest challenges I find in my career is the pressure to diagnose children. With the added pressure of billing to insurance companies and customers wanting an answer to “Why does my child act like this?”, professionals are often pushed into slapping a label on you. Is it ADHD, Anxiety, Depression, PTSD, Oppositional Defiance……..? The list can go on.
This has always been a struggle for me. Not that I’m not prepared to handle diagnosing or know symptoms to treat. It’s that label. It sticks around. It’s often used to excuse behavior rather than change it. It can leave an impression on a child that “something is wrong with me”. And the biggest issue I have, a lot of times nothing is wrong with your child. They are developmentally where they should be. Yes, I said it. They are normal. They are reacting to the stressful events that are occurring all around them.
Let’s look at society today just to make an example here. Have you ever noticed how high anxiety and depression rates are in adults? How many people are on antidepressants to treat both issues? Do you feel life is stressful and over-scheduled? Feel like there is constantly something pulling you in a different direction, running from place to place, never ahead of schedule? Our children are right along with us. And not only can they feel the same way we are feeling, they can’t think through it the way we do. They can’t tell themselves, “this is only a season”, “things will be better after this week is over”, “vacation is just a week away”, or “I will just take a whole week off next month and reboot”. Nope. They are expected to be miniature adults who go with the flow!
When I was growing up, I remember being home most of the time. I played outside every day. I had a very active imagination. It was safe enough for me to roam around our neighborhood unsupervised, ride my bike all around the circle or the subdivision we lived in. Everyone knew who I was and we knew all our neighbors. I walked down the road to a small country store and bought honey buns for breakfast along with a papersack full of 5 and 10 cent candy and gum. We would walk down to the creek and swim. I road my bike to friend’s houses. We didn’t have a lot when I was growing up, but I had no idea until I was older and more mature. I never felt I was lacking as far as material things.
What about today? Kids are being showered with toys and candy every time they go somewhere just for being good in the store or to keep them quiet. They rarely play outside. They are watching shows that are developmentally more advanced than their little minds are. Their face is glued to an electronic device of some sort daily. They expect things to be given to them versus earning it through work (chores, helping a neighbor, etc). And need I say it, many parents have no set rules in the home or little structure for their children to know what is expected of them.
That in turn leaves us with children who have little tolerance for idle time. They are easily bored and can’t sit still and be quiet because they are used to constant entertainment of some sort. Their imagination is lacking. They have no patience and struggle to wait for reward because they are so used to immediate gratification. They are disrespectful not only to their “elders” (as we were always taught to respect our elders) and struggle with authority figures. They are constantly being reprimanded at school. (I won’t even get started on how the school system’s changes may be negatively affecting this too. That’s a post in itself.)
Then parents take them to a professional and explain that something is wrong with this child. He is always in trouble. He can’t sit still. She talks back all the time. I can’t get him to listen! The parent throws out ideas of ADHD… A doctor has maybe even suggested Oppositional Defiance. And then……a diagnosis is slapped on their head for the rest of their life. Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes these diagnoses are accurate and helpful (sometimes…), but many times the child is overstimulated, overly attended to, and lacking some parental guidance. So, how do you treat that?
I would like to continue this with a series of parenting tips to help you make some changes where you see the need. Join me in the next few posts and share with me areas you struggle with the most as a parent.
I’m a little late posting this as I have had my nose in multiple parenting books. Raising Kids You Actually Like by Sheila Wray Gregoire is a good read. It’s basic parenting that we all need to be reminded of. The way we used to be parented has been forgotten and many parents today feel they lack these basic tools to discipline and train their children. “We have more education and we’ve forgotten. Provide structure. Provide stability by loving your spouse. Care for your children’s bodies by feeding them and putting them to bed.” (Loc 69)
I would like to share a few excerpts from her book…I love her humor and candidness. If you’ve never read anything of Sheila’s, I encourage you to check out her blog at To Love Honor and Vacuum where she gives advice on marriage, parenting, and sex from a Christian view.
I will let her book do the talking here:
“Power struggles with smaller children are easier to defeat than power struggles with teenagers. Yet too many parents give up in the early years…” (Loc 101)
“I once read about a dad who dialed 911 when he discovered that his teenage daughter had posted naked pictures of herself on Facebook. He was desperate, and to him this was an emergency. The dispatcher, though, wasn’t amused. She wasn’t in the position to do anything about it, because she wasn’t the girl’s parent. He was.” (Loc 98)
“…children can’t obey if no rules are laid down.” (Loc 98)
“If we don’t stress discipline when the children are young, then children don’t internalize self-discipline, or values, or even simple politeness.” (Loc 111)
If you need encouragement to remind you that you have the skills and tools to parent your children, then this ebook is a great way to motivate you and remind you that you can do this.
As a parent, we have the job of training, molding, and shaping the lives of our children to become strong, healthy, successful adults. That’s what we are doing here. Making responsible adults. However, if we aren’t disciplining them and nurturing them the way we are intended to, they become irresponsible adults who lack motivation and struggle to develop healthy relationships. The power is in the parenting.