Why are American Kids So Spoiled?

An interesting article from The New Yorker discusses the reasons behind why our children might be acting out in their narsassistic ways...  Do any of these scenes sound familiar? 

"A father asked his eight-year-old son five times to please go take a bath or a shower. After the fifth plea went unheeded, the father picked the boy up and carried him into the bathroom. A few minutes later, the kid, still unwashed, wandered into another room to play a video game. 

In another representative encounter, an eight-year-old girl sat down at the dining table. Finding that no silverware had been laid out for her, she demanded, “How am I supposed to eat?” Although the girl clearly knew where the silverware was kept, her father got up to get it for her...

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Raising Courageous Daughters (Today's Christian Woman Article by Sissy Goff)

You remember the feeling, don't you? Playing a sport you couldn't really play in PE, trying out for the school musical or the cheerleading squad, or even just having to give a speech in class. The sweaty palms, the nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach, the feeling that all eyes were on you and critiquing everything you said and did.

Losing her voice

Girls are self-conscious. In our seminars with parents, we talk often about how girls lose their voice around middle school. Dove claims that 6 out of 10 girls stop doing what they love because of the way they look. As a counselor who has worked with girls of all ages for more than 20 years, I would say it's also because of who they are—or, more importantly, who they believe themselves to be.

Research suggests that when something goes wrong in a boy's world, he blames someone else. (Moms, unfortunately, that's most often you.) But when something goes wrong in a girl's world, who does she blame? You guessed it, because you did too (and maybe you still do). She blames herself. READ MORE

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Technology Tuesday: Family Media Contracts

We talk often in parenting classes about the importance of technology contracts.  Contracts accomplish several things.  

  1. They clearly outline the terms of having a gadget or media privileges.  It eliminates a child/teen saying “you never said I couldn’t ________________.”   The terms are clear and we’ve agreed to those terms on the front side.  
  2. Contracts are a way of life.  They prepare kids for all of life.  I signed a contract when I purchased my first car, with the mortgage company when I bought my house, with my employer when I took my first job, with AT&T when I purchased my cell phone, and on and on.  Reading, understanding, agreeing to the terms, and acting within those terms will be a part of our kids journeys all throughout their young adult and adult lives. READ MORE
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Q&A Thursday: When is my child’s “fear” really anxiety?

Anxiety is considered a childhood epidemic in America today.  We see the results of this in our counseling offices weekly.  In fact, daily, I see a child between the ages of 6 and 12 who is struggling with some type of anxiety:  fear of throwing up, separation anxiety, fear of failing or making any kind of a mistake.

So, when is fear really anxiety?  What’s the difference?  We would say when the fears become debilitating.  I talk with kids all of the time about how every one of us has fears.  But what happens most of the time is that we have a fearful thought and pass right by it.  For a child (or adult) who is struggling with anxiety, that thought becomes what we call “looping.”  It’s a little like the roller coaster that is only one loop and goes over and over and over.  And my experience is that these types of loops also follow typical developmental trends. 

Tamar Chansky, who has written our favorite book called Freeing Your Child from Anxiety, has said the following about normal childhood fears in different stages of your child’s life: READ MORE

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Young Children & Imagination

Think left and think right and think low and think high.  

Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!  

Dr. Seuss

Imagination is the fertile ground for faith.  It allows young children to embrace stories of a giant whale that swallowed a man named Jonah, how Lazarus came back from the dead, and how a giant Red Sea parted in two.  

Imagination allows young children to think creatively in real life.  Studies found that young children who were encouraged to be imaginative as young children, remained so as they got older and evolved into skilled problem solvers.  Later in life, early “imaginators” were more resourceful in the face of challenge, struggle and difficult circumstances.  These kids had a more developed sense of how to navigate challenges such as forgetting to bring homework to school, a forgotten book or lunch, or being placed in a group with challenging students.  READ MORE

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