From many years of working closely with parents and educators, one observation has really struck me more and more with time.
We need to develop much, much stronger kids!
I don’t mean physically stronger per se…What I am referring to is that mental toughness, and resilience, which enables our children to power through adversity and independently problem solve without emotional devastation…To not quit at the first sign of resistance, or to look for and do the things that are difficult.
Mainly due to technology, and unknowingly over protecting our children (helicopter parenting) they may be getting everything too quick and too easy. We often come to their rescue and do everything for them, including solving their problems, and doing the work they should do. We were were certainly guilty of this until, of course, we discovered this behaviour was contrary to the best interest of our child's development. Who can blame us though, as parents we all want the best for our children, but remember this
“You want your child to live a good life, not an easy life!” and that includes learning to cope with failure, hardship, and struggle.
The world is changing, and the rate of change is increasing rapidly. Our children are much different than we were at their age. They are under more stress and anxiety, but most times, it is the wrong kind of stress.
A few recent changes I have noticed that illustrate this point.
First…..Did you know that many teens and even young adults in their 20’s do not want to get their driver’s license or drive! Remember when we could not wait to get that freedom? A lot of teens today do not want to drive for two reasons: It is hard and stressful, and they already have their parents driving them around anywhere they want.
Second…..Have you noticed our streets and schools are choked each morning and afternoon with the cars of parents “chauffeuring” their children to and from school each day. Whatever happened to walking to and from school each day?? Hahaha remember when your dad used to say..."When I was your age I had to walk 5 miles to school every day....up hill both ways!!! In certain cases an exaggeration, but we got the point. They thought we had it soft. I believe even more so these days than ever!
“Where are all the paperboys?” Remember when the newspaper was delivered by young boys, and girls wanting to work and earn money?
Finally…..Why are our neighbourhood streets empty after school? Kids today are not playing outside anymore. Many stay inside their homes or backyards, or have their parents arrange “play dates” with other moms to bring children together outside of school.
Here is probably one of the most eye-opening trends. Remember when teens used to hang out in the malls? Now I am not, nor ever have been a big fan of this idle time, but they rarely, if ever, participate in these forms of social activity anymore. Instead, teens socialize in their bedrooms on their smartphones or laptops.
I believe the solution lies in the “process” and the re-introduction of the “process.” What is the process??? The process is the journey, because it’s in the process we learn those valuable life lessons or “character” that develop mental toughness and resilience.
Life is about the journey......Not the destination. The journey is the process!!
Yours for tougher more resilient kids!!
Have an amazing week
Keiko Karate – “Actually we do make Ninjas and Superheroes here………………we turn kids into Ninjas and we turn their parents into their superheroes!”