When was the last time you heard an adult complain about how easy it is for kids today to get what they want? The National Poll on Children’s Health, released this year in April, suggested that many adults - both parents and non-parents - think children these days are experiencing more stress than when their own were young.
This is a startling reversal of the traditional dynamic, in which adults remember the hardships and dangers of old days, and conclude that kids today have it easy. According to pediatrician Dr. Matt Davis at C.S Mott Children's Hospital University Of Michigan who conducts this poll on behalf of The Seattle Times
- "For decades parents have been expressing angst about what society has done with their children," said Davis."But when you ask them how they are doing as an individual parent or family member -in terms like financial security, sense of control over life decisions-they report higher levels than previous generations did 30 years ago".
The results came from responses collected between April 12th through May 6th according to polls conducted by Gallup for Parents Magazine..
The problem with this is that it's not real life. Kids need to be able to take care of themselves and know how the world really works so they can have a well-rounded understanding. It makes me sad when I see young kids walking around in their parents' arms, like adults are just there for them forever and always!
I don't think people should shield children from anything; those bumps will make them stronger if we let go sooner rather than later."
Parents today are a little overprotective. They hover around their kids - and worse, they remove all the obstacles out of the way for them. Some kids these days are so spoiled, entitled because parents want everything to be perfect for them. This is normally down to the fact that they can get into prestigious colleges without ever having made a mistake in life or had any setbacks whatsoever!
Parents nowadays tend to go too far when it comes to being protective. Some might see this as good parenting; others may find themselves doing more harm than help.
Pressure of Trying To Be Perfect
Many of us remember feeling the pressure of having to be perfect when we were kids. We wanted nothing more than to grow up and win that trophy for our parents, but it seemed so far away from where we stood on stage in front of all those people who judged what they saw as mediocre performances by comparing them with an unattainable ideal set by others.
It felt like there was no way out because there are just too many expectations placed upon children these days. Teachers want you to do well academically, your friends expect you to have a good time every day, and everyone else wants their child or grandchild or niece/nephew to be happy, regardless.
It’s time to put an end to this "everything-you-do is wrong" school of criticism, which makes it impossible for parents. It's not your fault if you helped your kid with a difficult assignment; nor are you bad when you refer back to the importance of high school grades in today's world!
Can we really be getting it so wrong at both ends? Can we be this bad at parenting and life too?
One of the problems with this idea that children are so stressed is that parents feel stress too. "There are some real challenges for parents today in terms of encouraging them to be protective while at the same time not being overprotective," Dr Davis said. "That can be a very hard balance, and it's also a tough one for communities as well."
Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg, the specialist in adolescent medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia draws a connection between what he calls “self-esteem parenting” and high stress among children who feel their parents' expectations.
Dr. Ginsburg is speaking about an issue that many people may not have thought much on before: how will your child's self esteem be impacted if they are constantly being compared to other kids?
He argues this type of constant comparison can cause undue anxiety for those most affected by it - namely our youngest generation (children). Dr. Kenny has been studying this topic extensively and states that these "extreme" behaviors set up from early childhood can often lead to more extreme outcomes later as a person matures psychologically.
Dr. Dweck shared her thoughts about the dangers of praising a child's intelligence as she discussed two experiments conducted by herself, and others in this field to determine whether being told they were smart had any effects on their performance in later tasks.
"The problem is that if we praise children for just being themselves - like 'you're so sweet' or 'what a good boy!'- then there really isn't anything else I can do," Dr. Dweck explained."If you want something more from me...like telling my son he was kind when he helped someone who fell down even though it wasn't his responsibility; making him feel valued because of what’s inside rather than outside himself—then those sorts of praises are.
Dr. Ginsburg, in his book Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love With Expectations and Protection with Trust published through the American Academy of Pediatrics has put forward what he calls lighthouse parenting which is when a parent looks down at their children from time-to-time or if they're out on the water protect them by making sure that there's no rocks near so as not for anything bad happening to happen but then going back up above where it’s safe too!
This is the style of parenting that's often contrasted with authoritarian and permissive styles. There are a lot of studies to back it up! “The authoritative or balanced parent essentially says, I love you so much but I’m your daddy, I’m not your friend,” Dr. Ginsburg said, “I’m going to give you lots of opportunity to grow, a deep sense of connection so that you’re going to be firmly rooted. I’m going to give you lots of opportunities to make mistakes. But when something comes down to safety or morality, you’re going to do what I say because I know best.”
I am so excited when I get to have my lighthouse days. When I can balance everything out and do it right, you know?
Sometimes though, even if we are able to find our way through the toughest times with grace... there will be those tiger moments. Those helicopter episodes that come rolling in without warning - all of them wrong except for the ones where they're exactly what is needed!
As parents, we make decision after decision after decision and the balance changes with every kid. But then it also changes day by day or even hour to hour!
As parents, we are constantly making decisions that can affect our kids' lives in one way or another. For example, should a parent stand back and let their child take chances? Or interfere when they're struggling?
Do you sympathise with them when they have an emotional difficult time but reprove them if need be too? What about console your children at times of grief while being understanding as well on other occasions!?
The point is, there's no right answer because the situation always varies depending on what sort of moods (and sometimes scenarios) arise within each family member themselves.