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Middle-class parents damaging their children by not being able to say 'no'

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Middle-class parents are damaging their children by not being able to say “no”, a top child psychologist has claimed.

For many teachers, bad behaviour in the classroom does not stem from the pupils themselves but the parents, according to Dr Amanda Gummer, a research psychologist specialising in child development.

By- Rachael Pells

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/education/education-news/middle-class-parents-children-not-say-no-spoilt-dr-amanda-gummer-child-psychology-a7886441.html

“Wild, unruly children are increasingly likely to be the progeny of so-called ‘helicopter’ parents,” said Dr Gummer writing for the Daily Mail, “those who give intensive, one-on-one attention to their child and pander to their every whim, fuelling a ‘little emperor’ syndrome.”

From her experiences of working with primary school teachers, she said, the attitude and behaviour of middle class parents in particular was far more shocking than that of their children.

“They are ruthlessly ambitious for their child’s future — failing to realise how badly their mollycoddling is preparing them for the compromises of real life,” she said.

“While we’ve long known this hovering parenting style can create children unable to make decisions or exhibit independence, what’s less often discussed is how aggressive and difficult the children of helicopter parents — often middle-class, professional and, to their minds, devoted to their darlings — can be at school.

“These children struggle in the classroom because they cannot cope with not being number one,” she added. “So they play up to try to get the attention they have been raised to believe ought to be all theirs”.

Teachers were being “frustrated to tears” as a result of these attitudes, she said.

Recent Department for Education figures revealed as many as 35 children a day were being permanently excluded from school for bad behaviour in England alone.

Just under a fifth of those expelled were at primary school, including some children as young as four – a figure that has more than doubled over the past four years.

Dr Gummer suggested the perceived increase in expulsions can be linked to the combination of poor behaviour and lack of personal skills as a result of bad parenting.

“Imagine: little ones so helpless they need assistance to go to the loo and put on their shoes, yet who are utterly unafraid to biff their teacher on the nose,” she wrote.

“Too many of these children have never heard the word ‘no’ levelled at them at home.”

Previous studies have suggested parents who exert too much control over their children could be causing them psychological damage later on in life.

A 2015 study by University College London tracking more than 5,000 people since birth, found people whose parents had intruded on their privacy in some way, or encouraged dependence were much more likely to be unhappy in their teens, 30s, 40s and later on in life.

“Children need rules, boundaries and opportunities to feel the cold, go hungry and fall down and hurt themselves, so they can learn from their mistakes,” concluded Dr Gummer. 

“If they are deprived of those basic life experiences at home, it makes educating them a far greater challenge for their teachers than it ever need be."

 

References

Effects of hovering parenting style
posted Aug 11 by Gowri Vimalan

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Photo Source: Brain Inspired

When we are first born our parents are all that we have in this world. We would not be who we are today without them.

Our parents are the people we look to for support and guidance. They are supposed to keep us feeling safe at all times and make sure as children that we follow their rules. However, as humans, we are all capable of making mistakes.

http://braininspired.net/never-use-phrasess-talking-children-psychologists-warnn/

As a child, we do not often think of our parents as ‘just humans’ we see them as more than that. These people we call Mom and Dad are our creators, guardians, protectors. They are Gods and Goddesses in our eyes as children, there is nothing Mommy and Daddy cannot do.

Everything that a parent does and how they do it becomes an important part of their child’s psyche. The way we speak to our children becomes their inner voice. It tells them what is right and what is wrong…

If you are often angry and cold towards your children they will carry on this into adulthood. They will do the same thing you are doing to them to themselves later on. We all make mistakes, if you are making one now why not take the time to correct it?

We want our children to have an inner voice that does not insult them. If you are friendly and motivating to your child they will take that on as their inner voice, this will prove to be much more effective than having an inner voice that makes them feel worthless.

The Phrases below are ones you should NEVER say to your children, no matter how mad you are or what they have done:

                                                    

“STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW!”

Even if there is no reason for your child to be crying in that moment do not make them feel stupid for doing so and for not being able to stop. They cannot control their emotions. They deserve to be allowed to feel what they are feeling if you say this to your child you are programming them to think that it is not okay to have emotions. They will eventually suppress everything. You should try saying something else in situations like this.

Something like “It’s okay to cry but you still need to understand what you did was wrong.”

This will get you much further.

“I AM DISAPPOINTED IN YOU!”

Parents tell their children this when they are in trouble and already feeling down about themselves and whatever they have done. When your child does something wrong help them to find the right path don’t let them think they are a disappointment.

Try saying something like “What you did was wrong, let’s talk this over okay?”

“YOU ARE NOT [SOMETHING] ENOUGH!”

By telling your child there is something lacking in them be it something on the inside or on the outside it hurts. While you are not specifically saying they are not enough you are implying it. This is something that will grow into your child feeling not good enough in life overall if you do not address it soon.

 Try saying “You are [something] enough, we can work harder at it.”

“BIG BOYS/GIRLS DON’T GET SCARED”

Yes, they do.

This is not protecting your child in any way. They are scared, you cannot stop their fear by telling them to not be afraid. Everyone gets scared sometimes, even you. Face your fears instead of running away from them, that is what you should be teaching your children.

Say something like “It is okay to be scared, everyone gets scared sometimes but I know something that will help.”

Read More

+1 vote

       

Photo Source:  The Gottman Institute

By: Angela Pruess

https://www.gottman.com/blog/10-insights-of-remarkable-parents-from-a-family-therapist/

At any given time, you’ll find four or more parenting books on my Amazon wish list, a few by my nightstand, and an email inbox chock full of insightful parenting theories and approaches.

Granted, child development is my career, but I speak with plenty of parents in my practice who find themselves in similar circumstances. With information around every corner and our culture projecting constant messages (many times contradictory) regarding how we should raise our kids, feeling like a confident and intentional parent can seem out of reach many days.

In my 12 years as a family therapist, I’ve seen many well-intentioned parents mistakenly employing strategies that aren’t meeting the emotional or developmental needs of their children or families. I’ve also observed an increasing number of parents who are successfully mapping out new and healthier ways of raising children.

These insights, collected over time and gleaned from experience, parallel what we know from current brain and behavioral research about what kind of parenting is most likely to contribute to the healthy development of children.

1. Know that kids will act like kids.

Often parents forget that children learn by screwing up. Making mistakes. Behaving immaturely. The “magic” happens when a supportive caregiver steps in to steer them in the right direction. Parents get frustrated and impatient, becoming annoyed with whininess and “back talk” when really this is how kids are wired.

The part of the brain responsible for reason, logic, and impulse control is not fully developed until a person reaches their early 20’s.

Immature behavior is normal for immature human beings with immature brains.

This is a scientific reality that helps us to be patient and supportive in order to guide our children when they struggle.

2. Set limits with respect, not criticism.

Due to the fact that our kids need to learn literally everything about the world from us, they will require many limits throughout their day. Without proper limits in their environment, kids will feel anxious and out of control.

Limits can be delivered in the form of criticism and shaming, or they can be communicated in a firm but respectful way. Think about how you appreciate being spoken to at work and go from there.

3. Be aware of developmental stages.

Have you ever questioned where your easy-going toddler disappeared to as they were suddenly screaming bloody murder while getting dropped off at daycare? Hello separation anxiety!

There are literally hundreds of very normal, very healthy transitions kids go through to become adults. Being aware of these puts their puzzling behaviors into context, and increases the odds of reacting to them accurately and supportively.

4. Know your child’s temperament and personality.

It seems pretty obvious, but if we are in tune with the characteristics that make our child unique, we will have a better understanding of when they may need additional support, and when and where they will thrive.

Once you know the basics of what makes your child tick, many important areas become much easier to navigate, such as pinpointing the best environment for homework, or understanding why your daughter needs to come home from overnight summer camp.

5. Give your child plenty of unstructured play time.

Unless you studied play therapy in school, most adults will never fully understand and appreciate the power of play.

Play is how kids learn all the things and develop all the stuff. This means leaving time each day for straight-up unstructured, kid-controlled, exploration of the world kind of play.

6. Know when to talk and when to listen.

Kids learn to be pretty good problem solvers if we let them. Because we love the life out of them and want them to succeed, it’s hard not to jump in and solve problems for them by virtue of lecture or criticism.

If parents more often held their tongues and waited it out, they’d be shocked at how often their children can successfully reach their own conclusions. Being heard is powerfully therapeutic, and it allows us to think things through and reach a solution.

Kids want and need to be heard, and feel understood. Just like the rest of us.

7. Have an identity outside of your child.

Many of us often claim that our children are our world, and this is certainly true in our hearts. In terms of daily life however, parents need to have more. We need to nurture the friendships, passions and hobbies that make us who we are as individuals.

Doing this can feel like a battle, as our protective anxieties try to convince us our children can’t be without us, and also that we can’t be without them. But we can be, and need to be, in order to stay sane, and avoid saddling our kids with the task of meeting all of our emotional needs.

8. Understand that actions speak louder than words.

The way you interact with your child and live your life will be your child’s greatest teacher. Kids are incredibly observant and way more intuitive than we give them credit for. They are always watching.

This can be slightly inconvenient for parents, but if we’re able to keep it in mind, knowing our children are watching our actions will not only teach them how to behave, but it will make us better people.

9. Recognize that connection, fun, and creativity are the best ways to promote positive behaviors and a cooperative attitude.

Fear and control aren’t effective long-term teachers for our kids. While those dynamics may appear effective in the short-term, they won’t equip our kids with a strong moral compass, or effective problem-solving skills.
If our child feels valued as a person based on our interactions with them, they will naturallylearn to value others and have the confidence to make good choices.

10. Set the overall goal to shape a child’s heart and not just their behavior.

We often get the impression from the world around us that the goal of parenting is to produce a compliant, well-behaved child. While these are certainly desirable qualities for most parents, they are not core qualities that contribute to a happy and healthy human.

Helping our children understand the importance of their thoughts and emotions gives them coping and relationship skills. Skills that will protect and guide them throughout their lives.

Changing our parenting habits and styles is never easy, but if it’s truly in the best interest of our children, it’ll always be worth it.

+1 vote

               

Photo Source: scarymommy

By- Clint Edwards

http://www.scarymommy.com/stop-pushing-kids-be-best/

There’s an article from Boston magazine making the internet rounds right now titled “In Praise of Mediocre Kids.” In it, Julie Suratt describes how her son Finn was interested in playing the French horn, so they got him the instrument and signed him up for the school music program, only to find out that he wasn’t that good.

The school music director suggested they pay for a private tutor. Like any good parents, the Suratts looked into it. The music program already cost $150, and to rent the French horn was another $42 a month. Add the cost of private lessons on top of that, and once everything was tallied, Suratt was left wondering why they originally got into this whole “playing an instrument” thing. It wasn’t for Finn to play in the London symphony (do they have French horns in the London symphony?). It was so he could try out an instrument and see if he enjoyed the experience.

But her initial reaction to do everything she could to make sure her son was the best at the French horn, even if it cost a great deal of money, is relatable to me, and I assume it is to anyone with children.

A few years ago my daughter, who was 5 at the time, wanted to try ballet. We got her the leotard and the lessons and the cute shoes. I drove her to every practice and every recital, and as I did, I imagined her as a professional dancer. This graceful ballerina, prancing along the stage, wowing fans. The strange thing is, though, I don’t even like ballet. I’ve seen The Nutcracker a couple times, and I was never enthralled. And yet, the moment my daughter showed interest in something, I wanted her to be the best at it.

My notions of her devoting her life to ballet got quashed pretty quickly however. After about six months, it was everything I could do to get her to put on the tights. She hated it, so I ended up forcing her to do something that she didn’t like, with the hope that she would make me proud someday by becoming a prima ballerina — again, an art form I don’t even appreciate.

Like Suratt, I eventually took a step back and had to examine why I got her into this whole dancing gig in the first place, and the reasoning was to see if she’d enjoy it. Not for her to become some accomplished ballerina. Like really, what are the odds? 

Often as parents, we get lost in competition. We expect our children to be the best at everything, all while forgetting that turning them into upstanding adults with passions and good values is actually a pretty lofty goal all by itself.

But for some reason, parents in 2017 are fearful of mediocrity. Now, keep in mind, this is often a middle- to upper-class problem. You have to have enough money to pay for those extracurricular activities, along with the extra gear and lessons, plus the time to schlep your kid from place to place. I grew up with a single mother. We didn’t have money for that kind of thing, and she certainly didn’t have the time or resources to be shuttling me all over town each day.

We make enough money for my son to play soccer and for my daughter to attend gymnastics lessons (her new adventure). We don’t make enough money to devote our lives to the cause, but we wouldn’t want to anyway. Our kids are enjoying themselves and learning new skills, and we are happy with that.

I happen to work in a Division 1 athletics program. My job is to help make sure college athletes do their homework (I’m pretty popular, trust me). I will be the first to admit, I’ve seen student athletes who are so driven to excel at everything they do that I have to take a step back to truly appreciate how amazing they are. But on the flip side, I’ve also seen the downside of pushing a child to be the best their whole life: When they do fail, and they will because everyone does, it crushes them. This can be tragic.

In the past two years, two student athletes I worked with have died by suicide — one after he lost eligibility, the other when she was cut from the team. Those two students were bright and capable, and yet they had built up their sport to be so important, so valuable, that when it was taken away from them, they felt like they had nothing left to live for. But the fact is, they both had a hell of a lot of life left to live. They were smart and motivated. They could have had promising careers and families. They were good people, and their whole lives still lay ahead of them.

But they couldn’t see that.

Now, this isn’t going to be the case for all children who have been pushed to excel their entire lives, but we shouldn’t ignore the impact this has on our children’s mental and emotional well-being either.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a mediocre child. There is nothing wrong with being a B or even a C student. It’s not that you shouldn’t encourage children to do their best and challenge themselves. But pushing them to be the absolute best and demanding they excel at everything from soccer to the French horn to their class ranking might not be the best way for them to truly enjoy their childhood. That’s a lot of freaking pressure. And from my observations, it can, in fact, have tragic consequences.

Ultimately, that’s what Suratt concludes in her article: “It’s not easy to ignore societal pressure to push, push, push […]. Our parents didn’t sign us up for all the extras […]. They were more concerned with whether we ate our vegetables than how many goals we scored […]. We don’t owe our success to private coaching and tutoring; we owe it to our intrinsic desire to be our best self. That’s what we need to focus on with our children: building their self-esteem; creating a safe environment where it’s okay to fail and okay to try again; and encouraging them to be nice, honest, and loyal. And, perhaps most important of all, embracing mediocrity.”

We need to teach our children that failure is a part of life and that we still love them even if they are not the best at this or that, because on the whole, they are the best children we have. Everyone has their talents and their struggles, and that’s part of life. While my daughter will never become a famous ballerina, that’s okay. As long as she becomes a kind, self-sufficient, caring person, I will be incredibly proud of her.

And I have to assume all of you loving parents reading this article feel the same. So let’s make sure our kids know that. Let’s take the pressure off them a little. Let’s not worry about pushing our children to be the best, and instead, like Surratt, embrace mediocrity.

 

+1 vote

       

Photo Source: mycity4kids

By Niharika Ghosh

https://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/article/6-little-behavior-problems-you-shouldnt-ignore

One of the biggest challenges parents face is managing difficult or defiant behaviour on the part of children. Whether they’re refusing to put on their shoes, or throwing full-blown tantrums, you can find yourself at a loss for an effective way to respond. Overall, parents have a lot on their plates, and sometimes that can lead to them making some important oversights. Obviously, moms and dads aren’t expected to study or analyse every little thing their children do, but there a quite a number of little conduct problems that should never go unnoticed, as they can be troublesome in the long run.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at 6 of these minor problems that parents can’t afford to ignore, and how to address them properly:

1. Not Seeking Permission

It doesn’t take long for children to start preparing snacks on their own, rather than asking for help getting them. However, giving them control of when they can eat or perform certain activities does not help teach them to follow the rules. It is best to have an established set of rules for the household, instead of letting your child behave as he pleases. This gives him a constant set of rules to follow and adjust to, as opposed to teaching him to make the rules for himself.

2. Stretching the Truth

If your child over-exaggerates or lies about something that does not matter, it may not seem like a big deal. But, lying easily becomes a habit that kids often turn to in order to get out of chores or trouble. If your child lies about something, make sure you let him know that it is important to tell the truth.

To fix this behaviour, try to set the record with your kids whenever applicable. Sit them down, and tell them that you know the truth, and that they should just admit the truth. Be sure to teach lessons like short stories or fables in order to let them know that if they develop a tendency to lie, people won’t believe them. Kids will likely slow down on exaggerating if they realize that it is not as harmless as it seems.

3. Showing some attitude

When children show their parents a little bit of attitude or arrogance, they’re basically displaying a small lack of authority towards you and possibly other authority figures. You may think your child is mimicking you, rolling their eyes, or answering back at you is simply a phase, but if you don’t address it as soon as possible, this attitude could soon develop into a long-term trait. Some parents ignore it because they think it’s a passing phase, but if you don’t confront it, you may find yourself with a disrespectful teenager who has a hard time making and keeping friends and getting along with teachers and other adults.

A great way to counteract this behaviour is to deny your children a reaction from such behaviour. If they, for example, try to copy you when you tell them to do something, you can walk away. Or, you can tell them something along the lines of, “I can’t hear you when you talk that way. Why don’t you say something more constructive if you want a response?”

4. Interrupting you when you’re talking

Even if your child is just ignoring you because they’re excited to tell others something, parents should ignore it when their children interrupt them. By allowing your child to develop the habit of interrupting you, you’re nurturing a habit that teaches them it’s okay to be inconsiderate of others. Later on it may be possible that your child thinks that he is entitled to other people’s attention and won’t be able to tolerate frustration.

If you find your child interrupting you at any point and time, be sure to let them know that they must wait their turn to speak. Tell them that you were not done speaking and that it’s rude to not let you finish. Be sure to let them know that interrupting you won’t get them anywhere and that you will not accept such behaviour.

5. Playing Rough

Children are bound to play slightly aggressively or get a little out of hand at times. However, there is still a limit with how rough parents should let them play. Furthermore, if their children are playing too roughly, they should step in and not ignore such behaviour. It can lead to bad habits, and to more aggressive behaviour. If intervention is not done, then it may become a full fledged habit by the age of 8 or 9 years. Also, it sends a message that hurting people is acceptable.

Whenever you see your children displaying aggressive, rough behaviour, you should aim to stop them immediately. Tell them the importance of treating others the way you’d want to be treated. Also, make sure they know that playing roughly is not acceptable and it can lead to them hurting others.

6. Ignoring what you say

If you find yourself repeating yourself as a result of your child pretending that he can’t hear you, don’t let them get away with ignoring you. In the long run, what you’re supporting is the idea that it’s okay to disregard your commands or wishes. Ignoring you may be a game of power but if you allow the behaviour to continue, he is likely to become more defiant and dominating.

If your child is ignoring you as you give them a command from a slight distance, try walking to them and directly confront them. Also, demand more eye contact when you’re talking to them in order to ensure that what you say is being heard and understood. If they still refuse to listen, offer a consequence for their misbehaviour.

+2 votes

                                                 

Photo Source: Getty

Tens of thousands of children are at risk of getting left behind in life because of poor nursery teaching , experts warn.

Psychologists say it is “extremely concerning” a generation of kids may “suffer long term consequences” as adults because of a failure to properly stimulate their brains in pre-school.

BY ANDREW GREGORY

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/poor-nursery-teaching-could-set-7652855

And education experts are backing a campaign by charity Save The Children to highlight nursery as a “critical opportunity” for the brain to develop key skills – and avoid physical, cognitive and emotional problems in future.

Today they call on the Government to install a qualified teacher in every nursery to help children develop speech and English language skills.

Last year 130,000 or one in six children in England were falling behind with these communication abilities, even before they reached school.

Toddlers’ brains form connections at double the rate of adults, says a report out today called Lighting Up Young Brains, by Save the Children and University College London .

Child health professor Torsten Baldeweg says: “If these connections are not formed they, to variable degrees, will suffer longer term consequences to their physical, cognitive but also emotional development.

“These early years are absolutely critical. Much more must be done to boost early learning.”

The charity says that through a combination of word games and word exercises, talking and singing at nurseries, “playtime can be made brain time”.

In an open letter published today, 13 leading doctors, psychologists and education specialists say that, unless the brain is stimulated as a toddler, the set-back in child development could be felt for decades.

They add: “This lightbulb moment must not be ignored.”

 

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