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Classful

When it comes to raising children in the modern-day, few parents think they have the process down perfectly.

With busy lives, too little time, and so much going on, keeping up with providing children with the perfect home life can seem unattainable. But according to occupational therapist Victoria Prooday, our modern lifestyle leads to children having a worsened emotional state. Leading, in the long term, to children struggling in the classroom and even suffering from mental and emotional health issues.

Are our students entitled? The modern child had far more than the average kid thirty years ago, but many parents consider this a difference in culture instead of behavior. But for children, these slow and steady changes have led to a series of sharp increases in issues, including:

  • A marked increase in children with ADHD in school
  • More children and teenagers suffering from depression and similar mental health conditions
  • Increased problems for teachers with behavior and ability to focus

If we consider modern children to be more entitled than ever, the next step is knowing why – and what parents can do about it. What exactly makes our students so entitled, bored, impatient, and lacking in social skills? It’s often the way they’re treated at home. Here are just a few things that your parents do that can lead to students with those less-than-desirable character traits:

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Instant Gratification, On Their Terms

For many parents, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to meet your child’s needs instantly. If they’re hungry, they are given food immediately. If they are bored, they are given something to entertain them. For future success, the ability to delay gratification is vital– aiming to make your child happy in the short term can easily make them miserable in the long run. Children capable of delaying getting what they want will have far better-functioning skills in stressful situations. This is part of why the word ‘No’ can lead to such a severe reaction if your child is continuously used to hearing ‘Yes’ to their every need.

Reduced Social Opportunities

With modern life so busy, it can often feel like a practical solution to make your children ‘busy’ too. Instead of encouraging children to communicate with you and the wider world, children are often placed in a bubble – with technology as their primary babysitter. While many skills can be gained from electronic devices, social development is not one of them. Social skills are a must to effectively communicate with the teacher, classmates, and other adults in the future.

Constant Entertainment

Entertaining children has become an occasional requirement for a full-time job for modern parents. While we now feel like our kids need to be doing something they enjoy 24/7, many of us weren’t raised with those values. In more traditional households, the concepts of chores and work were a must for children, which is essential to help children understand their responsibilities and requirements. Boredom isn’t strictly something that needs to be fixed; as adults, we are bored all the time, yet we are still required to do the essentials to get by. Teaching children that they must be having fun 24/7 does the opposite and provides lessons that aren’t good for your child when it comes to developing those vital skills for later in life.

Technology in the Home

Often nicknamed the ‘free babysitter,’ technology permeates every corner of many households. Children are becoming increasingly tethered to their electronic devices, from smartphones to TVs, game consoles to tablets. That high level of stimulation results in children that have trouble processing real-world information in the classroom. This inability and reduced emotional connection can spell trouble for children in the long term, leaving them unable to connect beyond their virtual worlds. Reducing or restricting technology may seem harsh, but children can benefit from being forced to spend time in the real world, experiencing real things.

They Dictate Their Lives

No one said parenting wasn’t a struggle. In fact, for many parents raising a child is difficult, let alone battling them every mealtime or bedtime to do what’s right for them. But for children to develop effective and succeed in life, taking away the control from your kids is vital. Children need to know that they won’t like everything in life and the things they won’t need to work for. Children shouldn’t dictate the parenting process, whether they like it. Good nutrition, proper rest, and limitations are all vital for adequate growth and development, even if it results in tantrums at the time.

How can we prevent students from becoming entitled in the first place? That’s all down to parenting. Place limitations upon your child’s behavior and technology access, train them to allow for time to be bored, and get them involved in chores. Playing games, communicating, and having family time are all vital to this process. Once everything becomes routine, the road won’t be as bumpy as you’d think.