Busy Parents or Distracted Parents?
When it comes to children’s development, parents should worry less about kids’ screen time —and more about their own. Erika Christakis, THE ATLANTIC, July/August 2018
This is just one of the articles I researched to discover the effects of “distracted parenting.”
“Distracted parenting” is the overuse of hand-held technology, particularly cell phones and tablets in the presence of children. The rise of media use among parents causes them to be distracted and disengaged with their children from birth to teens. Parents using high tech are less likely to share family meals and less likely to be satisfied with leisure family time.
Babies whose parents are on their cell phones may not develop properly due to less emotional bonding. Inconsistency in positive interactions with parents may affect youth’s self-perception, leading to insecurity and self-doubt, and low self-value. Parents of teens find that if they are not available to talk, their teens may become depressed and withdrawn.
It is time for parents to face their addiction and put down their phones, but can you do it?
Parents who use their phones to read texts, or send them, or use social media while driving with their children in the car risk having a serious accident. They also provide bad role modeling. Parents who use their cell phone while their children are playing on the playground risk seeing their children fall; doctors are seeing more children in the emergency rooms due to the lack of parental attention. Parents who use their cell phone at mealtimes are not paying attention to what their children are eating or wasting, or if the children are getting proper nutrition.
Parents who are using their cell phones are telling their children that their emails or texts are more important than their children. As a result, children often misbehave to get their parents’ attention by sulking, whining, becoming frustrated, and overactive. Children need their parents’ attention to learn to control and use their emotions; distracted parents can’t provide much needed guidance and become irritated, causing their children to feel unworthy or abandoned. As they become older, children become depressed and angry.
Distracted parenting can have long term consequences. Children’s behavior that is bratty now can lead to risky, dangerous behavior later. Parents who use their cell phones to escape the stress of their children’s bad behavior only make it worse.
Parents need to find a balance between media use and family time. They need to aim to be responsive to their children’s needs. They make sure to establish tech-free times and zones, such as mealtime and bedtime to be followed by ALL in the family, including parents. Children may need to learn to entertain themselves, solve their own problems, and discover new interests, but children still need undivided attention from their parents.
YOU ARE A TREASURE TO YOUR CHILDREN.
Your time to love and nurture them goes much too quickly. Use your time wisely.
A New Year is here for parents to become smarter in order to raise smarter kids. At the risk of repeating what I have written in previous years, I am again suggesting the following ideas for you to use to make your kids smarter.
1. Ensure they get plenty of sleep.
2. Exercise with them--walk, run, bend, stretch.
3. Avoid processed food.
4. SHOW AND TELL your children you love them.
5. Talk to your children. Ask and answer questions or help them find answers.
6. Encourage their handwriting skills. Cursive is still needed in the computer age.
7. Play video and computer games with them so you are familiar with content.
8. Play WITH your kids. Pretend, imagine, wonder. Sing songs together.
9. Read to your children of all ages every day, even five minutes.
10. Explore with your children--places, things, cultures, food.
REMEMBER FAMILIES ARE NATURE'S MASTERPIECES; PARENTS ARE THE PAINTERS.
BRINGING UP A FAMILY SHOULD BE AN ADVENTURE--WITH LOVE.
BLOG October 05, 2023
A1 has come a long way, but human surveillance is still essential. Christopher Yang
Creative and innovative thinkers are in demand in our world and for future jobs. Young people who can think on their feet and create interesting answers to common sense questions and problems in our world are needed. If they allow computers to do the “thinking” and become dependent on those computers to do this essentially human act, where will we be as a race?
In medicine, it has revolutionized the compilation of symptoms and facts concerning a person’s illness. Surgery robots operate logically, not empathetically. A1 does not account for a person’s economic conditions or their personal preferences. Patient privacy and security are issues (88% of those involved in security realize the risks already.). Some jobs that our students are now training for may become redundant even before they finish their education.
What about A1 in education? It may be useful to provide personalized learning for students, but where will that “pat on the back” for a problem solved or a weakness overcome be? It may automate teacher jobs making it easier for them to accumulate reports for administrators, but will it put a smile on their face for a job well done? It may simulate virtually science facts, but where does the hands-on learning occur? The cost is pricey which means the disadvantaged students will become more disadvantaged.
Will the dependence on technology mean that students will lack the experience of developing essential skills of problem solving and critical thinking so needed in their obtaining of life skills or necessary social interactions?
The use of A1 in education needs a “careful and responsible” approach, according to writer Junaid Tahir.
In August 2023, Carlie on the Instrucko website says --
It is essential to cautiously take into account the blessings and drawbacks of A1 earlier than implementing it in our schools.
So no matter what highly-educated parents believe who think they know best for their children, perhaps they should consider if they want their children to be creative, loving grownups someday or smarter-than-smart robots.
Watching TV the other day, I was impressed by a woman and her son as they related his battle with cancer. Her goal was just to get him to live.
How much more we should be helping our children to not only live but begin to realize their dreams. We watch as they play with objects, watch certain TV shows, or read certain books. We notice their developing interest in science, math, music, or sports. We do not direct them but encourage them.
We help them to never hold a grudge, to envy another’s clothes, friends, or home. We help them to know the world does not owe them anything; if they want something badly enough, they will work for it. They will be determined and persistent. They definitely cannot feel sorry for themselves. They get up and go at it again.
If it turns out to not be the right thing for them, they throw it away and go another direction when they have tried their best or found it impossible after many tries. If they have furnished time, effort and emotional energy into a lost cause, depression and mental illness can set in. It might just be time to give up and redirect their life goals to a more satisfying endeavor.
“I used to wish my dreams would come true…maybe I should have specified that I meant the good ones.”
I need to apologize. I have been wrong. I have not seen much value in video games and I usually discourage their use. However, after much research, I find there is a use for them in children’s development.
Games help children advance necessary thinking skills that are needed in today’s world. Such high-level skills as collaboration, creative thinking, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, and using information media (which I find so necessary in my research for writing this blog, my website and newspaper column.) Although I am not usually a game player, I do like word searches. card games, and paper games that challenge my thinking.
Children improve their personality and gain confidence as they develop their skill in solving the problems posted by video games and learn the strategies needed to play.
Such games as Anagram, Word Hunt, Finding Hidden Words, Tik Tak Boom, Word Ladder, and other learning games that challenge all of us no matter what our age are good for us within balance and reason.
Parents must have discussions with their children about the time spent using and playing video games. You must be aware of the content of the games your children are playing, maybe by playing them with your children. Keep video-game playing in balance with the other attributes your children need to acquire such as responsibility, helpfulness, awareness of others and their feelings, exercise and nutrition. Your children need to enhance their physical, emotional, social and linguistic skills as well as the skills they learn through video gaming.
http:// www.empoweringparents.com/article/teach-your-child-responsibility-7-tips-to-get-started/?utm_source=Empowering+ is a useful source for you to know how to teach your child responsibility. This article has been written by James Lehman who has dedicated his life to behaviorally troubled youth. With his wife Janet, he developed a system to help parents called Total Transformation. This article is only one part of their approach, but a valuable one to help parents with this important teaching.
Attempting to summarize this article, I will only touch on the "7 tips" to familiarize you with them. For the Lehmans' entire assistance, please see the website above.
You must enforce your children's accountablility for their actions consistently by holding to the consequences for not doing what they are supposed to be doing. Mr. and Mrs. Lehman suggest you start early so your children realize they are an individual who has responsibilities. However, it is never too late for children to learn the relationship between responsibilities, accountability and rewards. Use language that shows your children you recognize their being responsible and set an example that they can recognize. You may need to coach and explain what responsibility is and do so with patience. You can discuss consequences and rewards with your children as they become old enough to understand, and you may need to do so individually with each of your children. The consequences and rewards might be different for each child and all your children need to understand that also.
Learning how to be responsible is one of the most important skills kids can learn and being responsible needs to be taught by parents.
Hope is in Your Horoscope
Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Hope is a learned response and a bigger determinant of success than intelligence, skill or previous success. It is your work as parent, grandparent, or caregiver to help your children stay hopeful. If your children have a higher “hope score,” they will be more successful at achieving academic and athletic goals. They will be able to recognize and make the best use of opportunities. With your children and yourself, if you make the choice to hope, you put yourselves in control of how you react to circumstances, knowing that you can draw on hope to see things in a new or different way. Hope strengthens us and expands our capacity to believe in our dreams and what is possible for us.
How do you develop hope? First of all, you need to be optimistic, to believe that things will get better. You need to set goals for yourselves and help your children to do so. What are you good at? What are your strengths? Look at yourself and see what you have to share with your children now. Not all learning is done in school or on the internet and you know things you can teach your children. It may be how to cook or sew, or how to kick or throw a football. It may be how to sing or play an instrument. It may be how to read a book out loud or tell a joke. There definitely needs to be something to work toward. Having goals to work towards in one of the best ways to have hope.
Hopes are the strands that run through our lives—our struggles, our successes and setbacks, our strengths and shortcomings. Realistic and reasonable hope can move us forward toward achieving goals and lift us up as we accomplish each step in attaining them You and your children need to “high five” or pat yourselves on the back each time you move a step closer to your goals. If each one of you is setting and accomplishing a goal, you encourage and help each other. (www.wikihow.com). Hope breeds hope.
You can even schedule hope according to Noami Drew. You can create a daily 5-minute silence ritual and curtail your intake of the news. Develop a mantra such as "I am the key to hope." "I am the key to peace in my family."
Using this time to make a difference in your lives gives you the opportunity to live your greatest promises and to develop your highest and best selves. Hope is energy, fuel for living. Hope is a necessity, an emotional engine and basis for engaging in life.
Hopeful thinkers achieve more and are physically and psychologically healthier than less hopeful people. Charles Richard Snyder
Treat your family to a healthy, hopeful life in spite of COVID 19.
Laughter—Antidote to Coronavirus
All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other. August Wilson
Laughter occurs when people are comfortable with one another, when they feel open and free. And the more laughter there is, the more bonding happens within a family. Maybe we do not have enough laughter in our lives these days. There is so much stress, unhappiness and fear in the world and in our families. No wonder we run with tech.
Parents who are dedicated to the best interests, social development and academic success of their children can accomplish great things by using a variety of humorous approaches to family activities, meals and studies.
Laughter is a link to creativity and divergent thinking. It may lead to new ideas and understandings. Laughter is important to physical well-being and stress relief for all ages. Laughter runs through many regions of the brain as a source of energy to help grow stronger relationships and opportunities for success. It is a highly effective way to stimulate conversation for both the speaker and the listener.
When you have a meal together, laughter provides time for bonding and building trust. However, be careful that you don’t laugh at the wrong time or in a derogatory manner. Don’t let your children make fun of each other which causes embarrassment or ridicule. This is counterproductive to social and academic growth.
As you help your children with their schoolwork, laughter enables learning and relieves boredom and monotony. It helps children stay “tuned in” to what they are learning. As you come up with rhymes and songs to help children remember important math facts or new words, your "silliness” my help them retain important information. Use rhymes, chants, riddles, jokes, anecdotes and games to help children make valuable connections, enhance learning, boost creativity and critical thinking skills. Use humor and laughter to teach good moral behavior and responsibility. Use this ability to instill trust and confidence and provide children with a means of coping with sadness and disappointment.
Reading books that rhyme is fun for all and increases children’s desire to read. Such books as Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, Brown Bear, Brown Bear and many of the Dr. Seuss books are fun for younger children while Parts, For Laughing Out Loud and The New Kid on the Block by Jack Prelutsky might bring out the giggles with older readers. Check your library website for more suggestions.
From your parents, you learn love and laughter and how to put one foot in front of the other. But when books are opened, you discover you have wings. Helen Hayes
Laughter may even improve job performance as you work from home, especially if your work causes frustration and involves solving complex problems. The major function of laughter is to bring people together, to connect people emotionally.
Count the times you have a good laugh together. together. Give your children love and laughter.
Within the articles posted recently, I have tried to share websites with you that I have found helpful. I have often referred to them throughout the writing of my weekly articles for the Southern Arizona newspaper—the Sahuarita Sun.
I would also like to share an article I happened across about “6 Parenting Mistakes” on Empowering Parents. This is to show you that you are not alone and there is no such being as a “perfect parent.” The six mistakes that most of us make are not forgiving ourselves for losing our temper, for being inconsistent with discipline, for blaming ourselves for our children’s behavior, for doing too much for our children, for giving ineffective consequences, and for feeling as it you never have enough time or money to give your children. For more, see empoweringparents.com/article/perfect-parents-don't-exist-forgive-yourself-for-these-6-parenting-mistakes written by Sara Bean.
Sara also suggests giving them strong values, teaching them the value of hard work, saving money, careful spending, gratitude for what they have, and giving to others less fortunate are the most valuable gifts you can give your children.
I agree … hope you do also.
A Time for Patience
Patience is defined in the dictionary as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble or suffering without getting angry or upset. Throughout the times we are presently forced to tolerate, I cannot believe that there is any greater quality needed than patience.
We must spend a lot of time right now with our children who are not in school. We need to get to know them and tolerate their moods and actions. We need to be patient with them and with ourselves in a rare situation through this virus attack.
Patience can be taught to our children as we attempt to help them at home. They need to be patient with themselves when we limit their screen time which may be all they know to do with their out-of-school time. They need to be patient with their siblings when they get little break from them. They need to be patient with you as their “substitute teacher--more patient than they have been with the substitute teachers in school.
If we teach patience as a strength when dealing with people, as courage, as something that makes our children healthier and happier, we will accomplish more learning than they receive in school. If we teach them patience as steadfastness in face of the teasing and tormenting from siblings, we will also help ourselves to have patience. If all of us can remain calm in waiting for this to pass, we will have become better people, patient people.
Patience is not the ability to wait, but how you act while you are waiting.
(See specific articles to learn how to grow patience in your children of all ages.)