Last week we came across an article about a family physician, psychologist and author, Leonard Sax, who basically says that for the past years parents adopted a method to raise kids that is hurting everyone.
Sax, author of “Boys Adrift” and “Girls on the Edge” has launched a new book, called “The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt our Kids when We Treat them Like Grown-Ups.”
“Most American parents are completely confused and going utterly in the wrong direction,” Sax warns.
In his book, Sax give some examples of how we, parents, are doing it wrong: a 6-year-old child, who has a sore throat and goes to the doctor’s office. When the doctor wants to check his throat, the mother asks for the child’s permission, saying, “Do you mind if the doctor looks in your throat for just a second, honey? Afterward we can get some ice cream.”
Sax explains that should NOT be a question: mom should not ask for the kid’s permission.
“It’s not a question,” Sax explains. “It’s a sentence.” Parents are incapable of speaking to their children in a sentence that ends in a period,” he writes. “Every sentence ends in a question mark.”
Giving kids choices
Some experts encourage parents to give kids options, choices, so the kids learn to make decisions and to deal with certain situations better. Also that should help the kids boost their confidence and self esteem.
But Sax warns that this type of ‘parenting style’ is hurting the kids and the parents because what are we doing is letting the kids do whatever they want. It’s giving up our authority as parents and letting them make the decisions that we, as adults, should be doing for them.
Being ‘the bad guy’
Sax recommends that parents focus on helping children develop skills such as self-control, humility and conscientiousness. He also says that parents are spending more time than ever before with their children, but not ‘quality time’, but a time that implies takes the kids from one class to another, to another. “It doesn’t help to spend more time with ones children if they are spending it in the wrong ways,” Sax says about this way to raise kids.
In his book, Sax mentions research that links obesity, anxiety and attention deficit disorder with the lack of parental authority.
What to do, instead
Sax offers some tips to help ‘fix’ these situations. Here are a few:
. Have family meals at home and make that a top priority: this helps kids communicate better, feel connected to the family, and eat healthier.
. Take electronics out of the bedroom: no iPad, or tablet, or phone in the bed. A book instead!
. Put electronics in public places and limit how they are used: Dr Sax also remembers the importance of knowing what our kids are watching or doing online at all times. Help them have ‘real friends’ and ‘real communication’ with people face to face.
. Teach humility: the expert insists that it is very important for children to know that they are not the center of the universe and that they need to pay attention to other kids and other people’s needs .
.Parent what they do: that means we parents, need to make decisions even when is taught, and the kids a upset and disappointed. They need an adult to protect and take care of them, and the adult is the parent, not themselves.