As parents are we afraid to parent?
There seems to be a continuing trend over the past few years, the trend being, parents are afraid to parent. Many parents come up to me after a parent session and thank me for confirming that they are doing a good job with their children. I still work in schools where students are calling home and telling, not asking, telling their parents to sign them out so they can be excused from the presentation because they don’t want to be there. And the parents make the call. In many cases staff will confirm that this is a student who really needed to be in the session.
Parenting is not a democracy. Sometimes doing the right thing in not the easiest thing to do. The latest wrinkle in parenting is the barrage of outside issues due to the digital world. The digital world needs to be controlled and since the students can’t do it for themselves then it is up to the parents to do it for them. What I have learned is that many of the attitudes and behavioural issues parents are experiencing from their teens could be minimized if not eliminated by controlling their digital devices. I refer to it as an addiction so it easy for others to relate to but it is actually screen dependency.
Many students admit to me that they get home and go straight to their bedroom and close the door. However in the same breath they are wishing they were closer to their parents. I strongly suggest, as many medical professionals have, that bedrooms be used for sleeping only and to find a quiet place in the house for completing school assignments and studying. Some students complain that the noise is too much in the house for them to do school work. This is something that a family conversation could resolve or a plan put in place to minimize the amount of time they spend in their bedrooms.
Have you heard of the saying “The school of hard knocks”? It refers to life. As parents we are not doing our children any favours allowing undesired behaviours and habits going unchecked, swept under the carpet. Consequences are a part of life, should we not start teaching that to our children in the safety of the family environment? We all want our children to be successful regardless of where they go or what they do. The consequences don’t necessarily need to be harsh, just appropriate and consistent. When my daughter went through a phase of slamming her bedroom door, it got removed for a few days, a little conversation took place and then replaced…until the next time. It was a short phase.
Please remember I am only an e-mail away to discuss choices and consequences.
Grade 4 – 6 Student Day: I have rolled out a new day based on feedback from several school staff across western Canada. Their requests and comments were that younger students need to hear some of the information presented to the older students. This will be described in greater detail on the website over the summer but so far the feedback has been exceptional. Many schools are already booking this day for their students. If you have any questions please contact me to book in the fall or check it out on the website.
A Book for Parents? After many parent sessions I have been asked, “Do you have a book?” Hopefully by the time the New Year rolls around, I will not answer that question with a “no” anymore. My goal this summer is to finish writing a book based on the Parent session. Some of the proceeds of the sales will go toward scholarships for deserving students that I encounter through Life Synergy for Youth across Canada.
Did you know?
WARNING SIGNS!!!! Experts are advising us of some health issues they see occurring or will occur in the future based on screen dependency.
An increase of osteoporosis? Since youth are not outside playing, running, biking, etc. the bones are not developing and maturing the way that they should. This is going to result in an increase of osteoporosis as they get older.
Heard of Tech neck? This is a condition due to poor posture when hunched over using digital devices and video games.
There are and will be issues with overuse of the thumbs due to the video games and texting on a phone or tablet.
What are you doing for yourself and your loved ones? If you are not taking care of yourself or those around you then how can you be there for your family? One of the best gifts I thought of getting my wife was a flight from Calgary to Abbottsford so she could spend an extended weekend with her sister. When my wife returned from Abbottsford she indicated that she was glad I recognized that she needed this trip. She didn’t realize the pressure she was living with until it was taken away from her albeit for a brief but well deserved extended weekend. What are you doing for your spouse? There is no way that I could what I do if it was not for my wife. She is basically a single parent during the school months as I am always on the road. Now a flight might not be in the books for everyone, but what about a spa treatment or a “Pillow Gift”. From personal experience if you put a chocolate bar under the pillow let your spouse know, melted chocolate is not a mess you want to clean up. Remember, an act of thoughtfulness or kindness may be just what someone needs to carry on.
Testimonial of the month:
Following a P.D. Day.
I hope wherever you are as you read this your journeys are safe and peaceful. In the authenticity of what happened on Friday, especially the last part of the afternoon, I was too preoccupied with a particular individual to have said a proper thank you and goodbye.
For starters, I’ve been at this school for 10 years now and by far, your presentation was the single most powerful thing that has ever happened to our staff. Ever. Let that sink in for a minute. You gave us a breath of air that we have vitally needed longer than I care to admit. We have never bonded as a “group” … or at least not in a long, long time. Thank you for that. It was so CRITICALLY necessary.
Secondly, your candor and spirit is not only infectious – it’s life changing (as your business card promises). Seriously. Thank you so much for facilitating a “safe space” that will lead the way to long-overdue healing and connection. You truly have found your calling and I hope our paths will cross again – sooner than later!
If ever you find yourself looking for a place to hang your hat or have a chat – don’t be a stranger! Thanks again for everything you did.