One Mom’s Itchy Butt #11

Continued from yesterday

Coping skills are not for certain people.  It is not a mental illness only thing.  We all need coping skills, because the world is not a helicopter parent.  The world will not protect you, nor will people.  I find it interesting that diagnoses are higher than ever, coping skills seem in short supply, and there is a pervasive mindset of protecting kids from everything.  It’s impossible and unrealistic.  It sets the child up to not know how the real world is; it sets the parents up to be imbalanced and unhealthy.

I have always believed that my job as a parent is to provide my child the tools they need to thrive.  Ultimately, they are going to choose how to live their lives, and I will not be there for them every step of the way.  I view parenting as teaching kids about balance.  A lot of moms I know restrict a lot from their kids – no sugar, no TV, etc. and I think that is equally unhealthy.  I teach my kids about sometimes, moderation, good choices.  If you make the choices for the child, or eliminate everything, what will happen when they are out of your sight?

When the child becomes school age, you are not there  8+ hours/day.  A large problem I see with helicopter parenting is the child will have unrealistic expectations of themselves and the world.  By focusing so much attention on the child, they will have trouble adapting to the 1 to many structure of school, and if you are constantly focusing on stimulating the child, how do they handle boredom? If you become heavily dependent on screens for learning and entertainment, how do they handle the classroom?

I look at school and I see a lot of problems too.  The amount of ADHD diagnoses are incredible.  it seems we, as a society, are more interested in medicating every deviation from “norm” versus accommodating the child.  I think most children struggle with sitting for hours at a time, plus they come home and need to do homework.  There’s a massive focus on ensuring kids are “prepared” for the next grade, lots of parents focus on getting kids ahead of the curve by teaching them reading, etc. ahead of their age level.  It seems society, in large part, has forgotten to let children be children.  I don’t think their minds are handling it well.

I think a large part of this “epidemic” stems from overstimulating the shit out of kids constantly.  Everywhere I look, I see a kid staring at blinking lights on a screen.  I have heard how much safer it is to let Johnny play on the iPad, because “it’s a crazy world out there”.  There’s also “the games are educational, so it’s good for him!” Oh come on.  You know what’s good for a kid? Fresh air, sunshine, and playing.  I believe in treating my children like tiny adults, in that, appropriate for their age, I expect independence/autonomy/responsibility, I explain/answer their questions, and I encourage them to find the things that make them happy.  They hear “I am your mother not a cruise director, go figure out something to do” pretty regularly from me.

I find the more my kids are able to play and explore, the better they are able to manage themselves emotionally.  They all do better if they find their own skills, versus me setting up some sort of structured blah for them.  They’re like me, I don’t want to be told what to do either.  If you give your children everything, what do they learn to do for themselves? Creativity is the most important outlet kids have – especially for emotions and personal development.  You cannot tell a kid to be a writer or a painter, they must find it for themselves.

In essence, a helicopter parent robs their child of their childhood by placing their worries upon their child.  Children are highly empathetic, so they will pick up on the parents’ neuroses without having developed good coping skills to manage.  The child is learning early on that happiness is external, not internal.  All children learn by experiential play and independence, and plopping them in front of a screen due to stranger danger or in the hopes of making a genius is not going to help.

This mindset lacks critical thinking, which is a skill desperately needed for all stages of development.  The focus is more on results with no evaluation of opportunity cost.  By eliminating xyz, you prevent a risk, but you have lost a lot of positive experiences.  In the time Johnny spends learning to read at the age of two, he might not be learning fine motor controls or the joys of rolling around in grass.  As Dr. Seuss famously said, “It’s fun to have fun, but you gotta know how.”  How do kids know how to have fun if they’re constantly being told to get ready for x, stay away from y, and sit down/shut up?   It seems only natural that kids struggle nowadays, because they are children being expected to contend with adult neuroses.  All the helicopter parenting in the world is also not going to prevent a child from having a mental health issues.  If anything, it may exacerbate the issue.

To be continued…

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11 thoughts on “One Mom’s Itchy Butt #11

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  1. I am a strong believer in moderation. I think being too strict or too lenient can have negative effects in the long run. Parenting takes balance. Of course, every once in a while my kids have too much of a good thing. Like candy on Halloween. Oh, the sleepless nights. I also let my son play Minecraft. I really don’t have to worry about them going outside, as they play outside a lot, anyway. Great post as always!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love finding moms who are on my same
      Wavelength. It’s really hard to! Like I try not to judge or anything, but it’s hard to deal with extreme anything for me. And yeah ODing on candy at Halloween is mandatory hehehehe ❤️❤️ how’ve ya been?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It definitely is hard to find that! I see it all the time and to be honest it makes me want to preach about moderation but I keep my mouth shut. I’ve been good. Stressing as usual but I’m trying to look into therapy. I realize that it may be the best option for me! How have you been, sis? ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From my experience, therapy can be helpful for digging up the root cause. It’s so easy to just kind of be like “oh I’m stressed” but a lot of times, in reality, you’re being triggered. Look up some mood charts online or apps for your phone and start tracking yourself – it will be an invaluable asset in helping someone help you or help yourself. Also – decide what type of therapist you want. There’s a difference between psychologist, MSW, LCSW, etc. hope that helps – let me know if you need any other pointers. Been doing this stuff awhile now lol. There’s also online therapy if you want to try that.

        I’m doing okay – been hectic and crazy lately, but I’m staying committed to yoga and meditation and journaling so it’s helping me stay centered in the storm of life hahaha
        ❤️❤️❤️ good luck with finding a therapist. Don’t stop until you find one that you trust and helps you, it makes a huuuuge difference!!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for your uplifting words! I really don’t know which would be the best option for me, so I think I’m going to talk to the specialist up there and explore my options. Im happy to hear you’re still meditating and yoga-ing! I want to try yoga and see if it helps too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Couldn’t have said this better! You’re so spot on, and are raising your kids as I raised mine. They played outside, climbed trees, listened to music and danced if they felt like it, dressed up in old clothes I got from charity shops, played ‘make believe’ all the time etc…and…I am the very happy Mama of 3 grown up, very well adjusted, happy, normal kids, who are a pleasure to be around, who love me and their Dad with all their hearts, as we love them unconditionally. As you do the same, so your kids will grow up to be who you are. I’ve seen people turn the bloody TV on before breakfast, and then stick a bowl of cereal into their kids’ hands and let them goggle, without speaking, till it’s time to go to school! Those Kids are, today, completely unbalanced, and socially inept. I might say.

    I mean, if kids wanna watch TV, that’s cool, (depending on what it is) but not from before breakfast. That’s just pathetic! and so NOT normal! Let them play in the mud rather…much healthier and they turn out much happier.

    LOL, whenever my kids’ birthday came. She or he didn’t have to go to school. Rather, we’d just have a ball on that day. Being batshit crazy, I often used to ASK my girls to ‘stay home from school’ with me, so we could have fun! haha, to my horror, everytime, they’d look at me wide eyed and say ‘MOM!’ ooops, I backed off, and they learnt to laugh at me. 🙂 We do have awesome memories of when they were still young x x x You will too! x x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😀 😀 😀 it’s funny, I was just thinking to myself “I am not a normal Mom, and I love it” hahahaha. I do “mental health days” with the kids a lot, too. I’ve gotten yelled at about it 😡 So I have had to stop. I guess, I was SOOOOO hung up on school, always so stressed about grades, and here I am and I highly doubt my perfect grades made a huge impact in my life…not for the stress of it, at least. With how my boys struggle, the last thing I want is them thinking that their self worth is tied up to grades. I figure, I can’t make them happy, I can’t make them sucessful, but hopefully I can give them the tools they need to make the right choices, and I’m never going to be the mom that hangs her entire life, identity, and worth on her children. That was a miserable life before hahahaha ❤ ❤

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