You know what’s the problem with kids these days?
People can cry all they want about the technology, kid’s exposure to this and to that. How kids disrespect their parents and teachers (I know about the second one first hand).
Well, I’m not saying those things help. But, you know what? Kids are the same today as they were 50 years ago. They’re the same as they were 500 years ago.
Kids are all born amazing. They’re smart. They’re creative. They’re naturally friendly and cooperative (REALLY! more on this later). They’re free thinkers. In fact, I can’t think of any other time in history when we’ve had so many free thinking adults in our society, and those free thinking adults all used to be kids who one day grew up. Oh, and kids also all have the ability to drive us insane.
I bet you think YOU are a free thinker and reasonable adult, right? Yet once upon a time, some adult was sitting there thinking about your generation and wondering what was wrong with the kids from your era. The same people calling the kids of today ‘entitled brats‘ are the same people who were being called ‘entitled brats‘ 30 years ago.
So, then it’s the parent’s fault, right? That’s what’s making kids so rotten.
Parents today are also the same. The same mother who stresses because she can’t brush her 3 year old’s teeth, is the same mother whose 3 year old kept getting too close to the fire 5,000 years ago. Of course, now, parents are so much more stressed and often don’t have the time or resources to help their kids the way they want to.
And this whole, you have to ‘be a parent, not a friend‘ (barf) thing needs to go.
A few hundred years ago, in a bid to make children more cooperative, the parenting trend in Europe was to punish children severely, to keep them in line. The idea was that children were trying to rule their households (sounds familiar to some of today’s woes). And if we can train our children when they’re little, they’ll learn to be respectful and behave. Then they’ll grow up to be law abiding citizens, right? Well, that didn’t work, because if it did, the prisons would have been empty for hundreds of years!
See, being tough didn’t work… And, actually, parents today are probably better than they ever have been in western society.
There’s no need to be more strict and less friendly with our children. There is such a thing as a loving limit.
In today’s world, we have all this research available that tells us that being tough on kids doesn’t really work. We can show more compassion and we can try to understand our children’s behaviours and why they do certain things. This will help the most.
A kid throwing a tantrum, is not because a toddler is trying to manipulate a parent. A tantrum is because a toddler is searching for understanding and connection. A tantrum is a cry for a help. Whether it’s a 2 year old throwing a tantrum or a 12 year old throwing a tantrum or an adult throwing the tantrum, there is a need that’s being unmet. A child repeating the same misbehaviour over and over is looking for understanding and trying to make sense of some very painful feelings.
Kids need to feel loved. They need to feel accepted and their emotions, desires and ideas need to be validated. Parents need to feel loved. Parent’s feelings need to be accepted and their emotional needs and desires also need to be fulfilled.
There’s nothing wrong with kids these days. There’s nothing wrong with parents these days! But, a little education about why our children act the way they do, can really make our world a better place.
If you are having trouble with a child’s behaviour… For parents with kids under the age of 8, I highly recommend reading the book ‘Tears and Tantrums’ and “Helping Young Children Flourish’ by Aletha Solter. If your child is older, I recommend reading another one of her books, “Raising Drug Free Kids”. I’m not being paid to say that either… you can’t complain without offering a solution. These books are a good start to a solution. And also, never be afraid to ask for help.