As everyone who knows me and if you have ever read any of my posts, you will know that technology is a subject I'm very adamant about. It's no surprise that I 100% agree with the article. The over use of technology is causing today's youth to be bored. Kids do not know how to play anymore. So, when your child finds friends who actually play, it's an amazing gift. Sunshine spent 7 hours today with friends. Not once did any of them get on their phones. How do I know? None of these girls have phones. They didn't watch YouTube videos. They didn't take a million pictures. In fact, no one picture of taken to document their activities. Yet, these girls had non-stop fun. They were all bummed that they only got 7 hours to play. In this day, when a group of four, 10-11 year old girls can just play with zero electronics, it's rare and very special. Sunshine is very lucky. The majority of her friends have great imaginations. They don't get bored. They can always figure out things to do. We have raised our kids to not be bored. They know if they say they are bored, we will give them something to do, and it won't be near as fun as something they can figure out to do on their own. Winter is always a little harder because of the weather. We tend to watch more TV and play more video games. However, we do it as a family. Sunshine and I have special shows that we watch together. Monster and Husband have video games they like to play together. The kids have time to play on their computers or play video games together, too, but it's very limited. In the summer, there are days that the television or computers don't even get turned on. If kids rely on electronics to entertain them, they will never understand how to entertain themselves.
The second point of the article is that kids aren't used to delayed gratification. Actually, that the article says is that, "kids get everything they want when they want it." In the education and psychology world, it's called delayed gratification. Parent give kids everything they want when they want it. Kids are hungry, they get a snack. Kids see something they want at the store, they get it. We are rarely those parents. At our house, you hear a lot of, "You can't have a snack right now because we're having dinner soon". Kids want something at the store, of course it depends on what it is or what time of year it is. October through December, our kids hear, "Christmas is coming, so write it down". Two months before birthdays, same thing. My kids rarely ask for things. They earn things through their hard work, not because they just want it.
The third point the article makes, I call making excuses for not wanting to parent. Let me say, I will 100% say, "[Sunshine] won't eat that." However, I also let people know that they don't need to change their menu and she'll be fine. She will eat what she doesn't like. Why? Because we're not going to change how we eat just because she likes very little. Of course we try to make things she'll like, but she is also expected to eat many things she does not like. Neither child enjoys waking up and getting ready for school, yet, we've never once been late because my kids wouldn't put their shoes on. Getting ready for school is not a choice. I hear, "My child just didn't want to wake up", as an excuse for being late. Who is the parent? Stop making excuses for you not wanting to parent. Now, there is a difference between letting your child learn and making excuses. Usually, if a parent doesn't allow their child to rule them, it takes all of once, tops twice, for a child to learn. You don't want to get ready for school, OK, you can go in your pajamas. You don't feel like making your lunch.? OK, be hungry. You don't want to eat what we have? OK, you can be hungry. It's when a parent is constantly making excuses for why or why not their child does something is when there's a problem. Children actually want boundaries and clear rules/consequences. Many studies have proven this, yet, parents don't want to be inconvenienced by enforcing those rules, so they make excuses instead.
The fourth point of the article is one I actually just wrote about a bit ago, endless fun. Stop entertaining your children. It is not your job. Make your children help you "boring" tasks because most of real life is a series of boring tasks. Just because your child doesn't want to help, doesn't mean they shouldn't help. My mom actually made a comment to me on how impressed she was with all my children did to help out when we were over their house. My kids did nothing. By nothing, I mean, my kids ran to get things I told them to get. My mom thought them fetching things for us was a huge deal. I expect it. I tell them to do something, and they do it. They do it because I am the parent. They don't get to pick and choose things they want to help out with. If someone needs help, they help. It is that simple. in life, they can't just not do something because they find it boring or don't like it. Cleaning the toilet isn't a fun task, yet imagine if no one ever cleaned the toilet. Gross, right? Sometimes tasks are unpleasant or boring, but children need to learn to work through it.
The last point the article makes is limited social interaction. Now, I know people are thinking their kids are in so many activities and so busy, they get plenty of social interaction. The truth is, that kind of interaction is different. When my daughter is at dance, she is not using the same skills she would be using if she were just "hanging out" with those same kids. When kids are at soccer practice, they are focusing on the task at hand as opposed to social skills. This then loops back to technology. Kids have trouble with face to face interaction because they are used to digital interaction. Kids who play have better social skills and manners than kids who play on their phones while with their peers.
I don't know how many more articles need to be written or how much more research has to prove that things need to change if we want to raise children who are well rounded. Under no circumstances am I saying I'm doing it right. I am right there struggling with others. However, I take research to heart and I make decisions based on what is best for my children, even if that means I may have to be slightly inconvenienced at times. My goal is to raise children who aren't assholes. From what people say, I'm doing a pretty good job so far, so I'm just going to keep trying and keep learning.