Posts tagged: parenting
Sometimes, the so-called “good old days” really were better. For example, if the data is correct, then the state of parenting in America has been in slow but steady decline since the 1960s. Child mental health and school achievement were much better back then, when the go-to parenting experts were grandparents.
In my public presentations, I sometimes begin sentences with “I’m a member of the last generation” and go on to describe some benefit we boomers enjoyed that today’s kids, by and large, do not enjoy. Some of these sentences include:
• “I’m a member of the last generation of American children who did not receive much adult attention.”
As long as we were doing nothing wrong, our parents largely left us alone. They let us have the freedom to entertain ourselves, learn from our mistakes and fight our own battles.
• “I’m a member of the last generation of American children who were not allowed to have high self-esteem.”
Back then, to express a high opinion of oneself was known as “acting too big for your britches.” Today, high self-esteem is supposedly the key to everything good in life.
Problem is, it hasn’t worked out that way. Researchers have found that high self-esteem is associated with lots of bad stuff, like fear of failure and bullying. Full story.
Do you think the state of American parenting is in a slow, steady decline?
Dear Mr. Dad: I’ve read stories about people having ID numbers etched into their children’s teeth and not letting their kids play outside, and those Amber Alerts make it seem as though hundreds of children are being abducted and murdered every day. Like most parents, I want to protect my kids. I don’t mean to sound heartless, but I think we’ve gone overboard. Am I wrong?
A: Nope, I think you’re absolutely right. The reality is that, factoring out the threat of nuclear war, the world is not any more dangerous for children today than it was a few generations ago. But thanks in large part to the media, which repeats stories over and over and over, too many parents are in a panic. And our children are paying the price.
When I was as young as 8, growing up in Oakland, Calif., I took city buses all over town to visit friends, grandparents, even go bowling. And all the other kids I knew were doing the same thing. But I’m pretty sure that if I put my 10-year-old on a bus by herself today, I’d get arrested.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t take reasonable precautions to keep our kids safe. Of course we should. But we can’t protect them from every possible danger. More here.
Do you think the world is a more dangerous place than it was when you were a kid?
Dads who still haven't given up video games now have some justification to keep on playing — if they have a daughter.
Researchers from Brigham Young University's School of Family Life conducted a study on video games and children between 11 and 16 years old. They found that girls who played video games with a parent enjoyed a number of advantages. Those girls behaved better, felt more connected to their families and had stronger mental health. Professor Sarah Coyne is the lead author of the study, which appears Feb. 1 in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“The surprising part about this for me is that girls don't play video games as much as boys,” Coyne said. “But they did spend about the same amount of time co-playing with a parent as boys did.” Science Daily Full story.
I have no girls. But I am the undisputed Mario champ in our family. Do/did you play video game with your kids?