Lately, I keep seeing posts about “entitled children” making the rounds. In fact, you don’t need to look hard before you notice things written about how “lazy,” “narcissistic” and “downright terrible” children are nowadays.
Parents of young children can feel overwhelmed by reading these articles. What exactly is the correct thing to do? Where are you going wrong? Should you give up and start savings account for your kids’ future therapy sessions?
Well, I know these articles only give mixed messages and scare you. But there’s no need to be worried.
Change begins with one parent and one kid at a time. You have a fantastic window of opportunity to create the foundation that your kid desperately needs and craves. Help your kid become generous, responsible, warm, kind, helpful, and hard-working in his/her early years.
It’s simpler than you think, but you still need discipline. Here are 13 ways that contribute to raising well-adjusted children with a healthy daily routine:
No brainer, right? However, it’s hard to set boundaries for kids and stick with them. This is especially true when kids push back, scream endlessly or threaten things like, “I hate you.” Remember that when kids act this way, they are meeting their own needs in the only way they know how. Depending on the boundary, it can take a long time before a child lovingly accepts the limits set by parents.
When kids start to push back or scream less, this is your kid moving towards acceptance of the boundaries. If your boundary is like a wall, then your kid will bounce and eventually work to meet his/her need in an alternative way.
The world is a truly chaotic place. Boundaries help your kid, not only feel grounded but also thrive. Check yourself and consider what your real boundaries are. Remember, then, that they are brick walls, not doors.
There is so much of childhood that is new and challenging for children, such as learning self-control and empathy or learning how to be a friend and interact with others. These are all very BIG things for kids. Using something as simple as these routine printable cards can help children feel grounded and relaxed. Knowing what to expect at mornings, mealtimes, and bedtimes can, in fact, bring a sense of relief to even the most carefree kid.
Have a strong-willed kid? That’s even better. Routines allow children to feel a sense of control, which is very important to a strong-willed child.
3. Early bedtimes.
Sleep is the building block of healthy brain development. It helps us process the day’s events and learn from it. Children’s brains are constantly developing and building new neural connections. They absolutely should get sleep to nurture those connections.
Between children’s activities, school and always squeezing in tech time, children are going to bed later and having a hard time settling before sleep. One of the main things you can do for your child’s behavior, health and well-being overall is to help them get the sleep they need.
What do children need to be happy and successful? The answer surprises most: It’s empathy. It is the trait which allows everyone to “walk in another person’s shoes.” According to new research, empathy plays a significant role in predicting children’s happiness and success.
Although children are hardwired to care, they are not born empathetic, just like they aren’t born knowing how to order a latte at Starbucks (wink). It’s a learned behavior.
Studies have shown that hugging can instantly increase the level of oxytocin. When oxytocin is boosted, several growth hormones, like insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-1) as well as nerve growth factor (NGF), are also increased. The nurturing touch of a cuddle can enhance a kid’s growth, according to Pamela Li, creator of Parenting for Brain.
6. Playful parents
We usually don’t reserve much room in our daily lives for fun and games anymore. Our schedule is filled with anxiety, obligations and hard work, so without even realizing it, we’re more disconnected from our children than ever.
Taking the time to put down our mobile phones and realize that our children need us to play is essential. They won’t always be young!
7. Outdoor time
According to Meryl Davids Landau, author of Enlightened Parenting, “movement through active free play, especially outside, improves everything from creativity to academic success to emotional stability. Kids who don’t get to do this can have so many issues, from problems with emotional regulation—for example, they cry at the drop of a hat—to trouble holding a pencil, to touching other kids using too much force.”
According to Deb Cohen, Center for Parenting Education, “even though it is more difficult at the time to persist in having children do chores, kids benefit from the experience. Research indicates that those children who do have a set of chores have higher self-esteem, are more responsible, and are better able to deal with frustration and delay gratification, all of which contribute to greater success in school. Furthermore, research by Marty Rossman shows that involving children in household tasks at an early age can have a positive impact later in life. In fact, says Rossman, ‘the best predictor of young adults’ success in their mid-20’s was that they participated in household tasks when they were three or four.’”
9. More screen-time limits
Dr. Liraz Margalit, Behind Online Behavior, advises the following: “in order for the brain’s neural networks to develop normally during the critical period, a child needs specific stimuli from the outside environment. These are rules that have evolved over centuries of human evolution, but—not surprisingly—these essential stimuli are not found on today’s tablet screens. When a young child spends too much time in front of a screen and not enough getting required stimuli from the real world, her development becomes stunted.”
10. Experiences, not things.
“Children require fewer things and far more meaningful experiences. When they grow up, it’s not the stuff in their life they will remember, it’s that time you tried to catch tadpoles at the lake, or that sand castle you both built that the wave knocked over at the beach […] The best life experiences cost little to nothing, like a picnic in the park, blowing bubbles in the backyard, making chalk drawings on the sidewalk, or tossing a football around, but they all have one thing in common: you do them together. What kids really want in life is quality time spent with their parents.”, says Sally White, parenting writer
11. Slow moving days.
“I encourage parents to take some time to just watch their children, whether they are playing, doing homework, or eating a snack. Take a moment to drink them in. Remember and remind yourself how remarkable your children are. That pause alone, even if momentary, can drive a shift in the pace,” advises John Duffy, clinical psychologist.
12. Books read to them.
According to Amy Joyce, parenting writer, “one of the most important things parents can do, beyond keeping kids healthy and safe, is to read with them. That means starting when they are newborns and not even able to talk, and continuing well beyond the years that they can read by themselves. Study after study shows that early reading with children helps them learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and read early themselves, and reading with kids who already know how to read helps them feel close to caretakers, understand the world around them and be empathetic citizens of the world”.
“Science has shown that when children learn to play music, their brains begin to hear and process sounds that they couldn’t otherwise hear. This helps them develop ‘neurophysiological distinction’ between certain sounds that can aid in literacy, which can translate into improved academic results for kids.” according to Time.
Reference: Love What Matters