I often look at the world around us and think how different is was when I was growing up. While I was a teenager when pagers became popular (sadly I admit this), I did miss out on most of the hype of growing up with social media. Sure it was available to me in college, but it’s not like today. Even if I don’t want to expose my children to social media, everyone around them their age already knows what Facebook and selfies are.
While there’s nothing wrong with this, I’ve also noticed that many children seem more like miniature adults rather than just kids. With that adulating behavior also seems to come an entitled child. We’re all moms and dads, just doing the best we can. But, then again, are we really doing the best we can?
I often ask myself, how do we raise children to be thankful, gracious and kind? I believe that it starts with giving our kids the attention they deserve as well as demanding we get their attention in return. I know that it is a world full of digital tools and we’re all glued to our phones as well as documenting our lives on social media, I am no exception to this.
But it’s all about leading by example.
I’ve started making sure that no cell phones or iPads, tablets or computers are out during dinnertime or family time. This, I feel, just teaches my kids to be present in the moment and not relying so heavily on digital or social distractions.
A lot of the time when children act out it is because they aren’t receiving the attention they need at home, so they seek it from others, even if the attention is negative, at least someone is noticing them and responding.
Putting the phone down or shutting the computer off can make a world of difference to your child and can help them follow your example.
I feel another big part of raising a child to be strong and kind is to get them involved with volunteering at a young age. Not only does this build a bond between you and your child, but also your family is doing good deeds and doing them together to help the world.
In a time of so much uncertainty, why not give back to the world and do it with your family so that you begin to instill strong values within your child and renew those within yourself as well.