There’s an undeniable shift in the way today’s kids are acting and reacting. High-tech devices are creating self-absorbed, entitled, and unmotivated kids. To make sure your child doesn’t fall victim of this new-age phenomenon, here are a few solid ground rules to put in place.
5 Ways To Stop Pampering Your Kids
1. Stop giving them money.
ATMs don’t just spit out money. The real world doesn’t work that way, so why should we give kids the idea that it does?
Kids should most definitely be given the chance to handle their own money, but they should be required to earn it. We do more harm then good by giving our children money every time they ask for it.
2. Follow through with your consequences.
It’s easier to re-negotiate your child’s consequences than follow through with them, believe me, I know. When you’re five minutes into a full-bore tantrum, all you want to do is just say, “FINE! You’re not grounded!”
But when a child does something wrong, they must know that there is a consequence for their actions. Sometimes being a parent means doing the hard thing, and that includes staying firm on those fair consequences. (See the 3-Strike Method.)
3. Require physical activity.
It goes without saying that video games and smart devices are posing a threat to our children. Psychology Today reports that many kids’ apps are designed to stimulate dopamine release in the brain, creating a false “rewards” system where the child needs more and more to be happy. Screens are drugging our children’s’ brains, leading to less real-world time, less human interaction, and less physical activity.
If you want to stop pampering your kids, don’t make physical activity optional. Instead of motorized scooters and bikes, equip them with the real thing. The CDC Youth Physical Activity Guidelines state that children and teens age 6-17 years old should have 60 minutes or more of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.
4. Let them solve their own problems.
A lot of times we parents are quick to swoop in at our child’s first call for help and save the day. We can’t help it—it’s an intrinsic reaction. That tricky math problem, the lost shoe, the battle over a toy—we want the problem fixed and it’s always easier to just do it ourselves.
But the next time you fly in to solve a problem, restrain yourself. Give your child the chance to work through difficulties herself. Brainstorming and problem-solving are critical thinking skills that will take your child far.
5. Lead by example.
One night as I knelt on the floor picking up Legos, dolls, and strewn toys for my children, my brain sent me a text: “Something’s wrong with this picture.” I was sending my kids the message that they could make all the messes they wanted and mom would just clean them up. I thought back to times when my dad insisted that we work together as a family weeding our one-acre garden until the job was done. His everyday example of hard work and “do-it-together” mindset shaped who I was.
The easy way to parent is not always the best way. Be the one to expect more from your children. Lead by example and they will follow.