Parenting in the western world appears to be harder than elsewhere with average outcomes far from ideal.
June 2 2016 – Kevin Yaworski – Global Citizen
After reading the following article “Why our children are so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no or few real friends?”
I think much of the info in it is not new and has been available for years. What is different is the impacts are becoming more apparent as more and more teachers, parents and others see the depth of the issues. Also more and more parents and young adults are struggling with failure to launch and related issues. These issues are generally worse in western countries so it can be avoided but we need to work together.
Part of the issues stem from large gredy tech giants creating digital platforms and apps that are purposefully addictive and manipulative. These can create or increase anxiety, bullying and other negative consequences. These need to be more regulated, open and transparent.
I have an adult son who grew up almost entirely with his mother with fewer rules and is struggling to make his way. I don’t blame her as it is not easy being a single parent and she has always wanted what is best for him. I am responsible for not being there enough or not trying harder to overcome obstacles from others and myself and for giving up many times.
He wont talk to me since he was sent back to his mothers after living with us for a short time a few years ago after he chose to break a very important rule made clear to him before he came. He was given a few chances but struggled with some serious issues that made him feel it was his only choice.
I didn’t find out till much later that he felt I had kicked him out to the street as he felt strongly that he could no longer live with his mother. I have tried to see him and have wrote him several times since including to say I was sorry I didn’t try to find a different solution like counselling and other options and he wants to try but needs to give up what happened in the past.
It is hard to hear that he has said “I wish I had grown up with my dad as I would have had a better chance in life”. I know it is not to late but I can only continue to let him know I am ready when he is to work things out.
I hear about other young adults or adults who have struggled greatly and admit they wish they had more rules growing up and a parent who cared more..
As a parent with two other kids who are several years younger I have tried to avoid many of the pitfalls and tried many of the suggestions in this article and others.
I am far from perfect but always try and do what is best for my kids long term. It was easier when they were younger but has progressively gotten harder.
The last few years have been the toughest (13 -16 yrs old) as they naturally become more independent and as technology, anti social and anti family behavior have become more impact full on them and even myself. They also are influenced more and more by things out side of our control as parents. To the point it appears to have became a losing battle with the negative effects very obvious.
It has been a struggle to be a positive role model with some of these things including limiting technology and being more social face to face or on the telephone but easy for others like being kind, considerate, grateful, active and having a healthy lifestyle etc… but it seems to make little difference. I hope it has and will continue to rub off and will show up more later.
I am grateful to have a spouse with my two teens who cares just as much about them as I and we try and work as a team to support each other to find the right balance when parenting. This is not easy and we have felt like giving up at times but luckily not at the same time.
You try and be firm with what they need vs. want but when it appears 90% of other parents and sometimes even your spouse are giving in more and more to their wants vs. needs your kids see this and you become the bad guy almost all the time.
You start to see it eat away at your relationship with your kids and even your spouse over time. You try and compromise and give in a bit to their wants and you usually just see more negative effects.
You don’t want to give up for their benefit not your own so you try new ways of being firm with their needs vs. wants. You also try to talk with them more to educate them on the reasons for certain rules, long term pros and cons to certain behaviours etc… Once again when it appears 90% of other parents and sometimes your spouse are not doing this enough you start to sound like a broken record.
You have to choose your battles wisely but there is several small things that the kids and many parents think are not a big deal but over time have the biggest impact.
When you stand alone most of the time how do you be a back bone for them when they need it most without being a brick wall and destroying your relationship by the time it is needed most?
You can only stand strong for them alone so many times and for so long before you want to give up or eventually do give up. How does a parent avoid this? There has to be a balance but based of what we are seeing in the western world it is not the right balance.
The only selfish part I feel is that I hope they become kind and generous adults that do well in life and can take care of us when we get old. The chances of that are slim if we fail to do our job as parents.
Why our children are so bored at school, cannot wait, get easily frustrated and have no or few real friends?
What does it mean to be human: http://wp.me/p1fJaD-je
– The Collapse of Parenting: How We Hurt Our Kids When We Treat Them Like Grown-Ups”