Many children today have poor judgement skills, are totally dependent, and feel entitled. Many of them are quite immature for their respective ages. Much of the blame goes to parents who insist on infantilizing their children, keeping them in a helpless or near helpless state at a stage when they should be doing things for themselves.
Children, if guided properly, are capable of doing more things than we realize and give them credit for. What causes this increasing infantilization of our children, what can be done to stop this phenomena, and what steps should be implemented to guide them to be independent and responsible people?
Our children being bored with their luxuries, complained often. My husband and I devised a plan to show our children the way we grew up. We agreed that for one month of the summer unless it is raining or dark the television is not turned on. We limited all electronics down to one hour a day. We encouraged out-door play and welcomed the children from the neighbourhood. We went to many lengths to explore what it was like being a child before the turn of the century, including growing an enormous family garden, walks, late night bonfires with hot dogs, and camping. Each child had an assigned house chore. At the end of the month our children had no care for their old settled way of life. They spent the rest of the summer playing like a kid. It was a learning and memorable experience for the entire family.
Let children play outside! Take away their electronics! When I grew up, I used go outside and build ramps with friends to jump my bike with, climb trees, play hide and go seek in the neighborhood. Does anyone see that in their neighborhoods anymore!?
Parents nowadays enroll their kids in all kinds of sports and activities and drive them all over town, providing everything for them. Let them create their own world and activities. Let them deal with the bully down the block on their own.
It seems like kids are also becoming introverted with all technology. No social skills!
I don't know, maybe I'm going crazy!
People with deep-seated emotions stemming from childhood problems with overly-controlling mothers really just need to get over it, especially when they are in late middle age. Sad.
Allow our children to leave our sight before the age of 15. I have a neighbor who still follows her 14 year old son to his friends house (4 houses down) to play with his friend. We hold too tightly, to the point of preventing them from learning needed skills. Let them roam the neighborhood, let them play in the creek or the woods. Actually let them get dirty. Let them have chores (the kind that don't get them any reward). Make them part of the house instead of treating them like a pet that has no ability to use their brains.
Agree with all that's been suggested here.
I, too, do not feel the proliferation of electronics has helped our kids (or us from the pre-tech generations, either).
Nor has the overscheduling and pandering of helicopter parents.
What I have observed is parents exerting a lot of pressure on their kids to get accepted into competitive
kindergarten. It only gets worse from there!!
Kids thrive on being kids and having time and space to explore their world.
Do kids today even know how to play
Hide and seek
All little fishies under
Kick the can....
All joyous memories of my pre-Internet formative years.
Very young children are in the fastest years of brain growth and development. The preschoolers (3-5) need to play more and learn how to think and process input and new information. I've worked in early childhood for many years and have seen a disturbing trend with kids coming to school now. Not only do they not know how to play, they don't know how to think and make choices. They want everything done for them and seem lost when given 'free' time to explore and play in interest centers. Many don't have a clue as how to play with blocks and use their imagination. Pretend play is one of the higher forms of child development and they simply don't know how. We have to show them how to use pretend voices and make up various imaginative situations. I don't recall ever having to be shown how to use my imagination as a young child or teach my sons how to play imaginatively. It was a natural process of childhood development. Something is hindering this process.
Parents need to allow their young children to be children and turn off the electronics. As amazing as technology is, young minds need to be making natural connections and discovering cause and effect in a real world that they can explore with all senses. I agree with all that has been shared above as ways of helping children return to a more child appropriate lifestyle. Kids need and want sensible boundaries, chores and a sense of belonging. Helicopter parents are grossly misled if they think they are helping their children. It's a form of control and ends up hurting the child/young adult and society in general.
As parents, we're supposed to be helping our kids learn how to think and make choices independently.
I have written a few hubs about children and how to help them learn how to think (not what to think, which is another problem parents have).
Let them color with real crayons and paint with real paint and make messes and clean them by themselves.
Totally agree. Many parents today, particularly the more affluent ones, baby their children beyond repair. I am now watching a segment on Dr. Phil when a mother DOES EVERYTHING including HOMEWORK for her 5 children, some who are teenagers. She EVEN brushes their teeth.
Parents of large families are not helicopter parents who hover over them. Not to digress, this phenomena of overparenting and infantilizing their children occur more in small families of 1-2 children. Parents of large families tend to be hands off parents.
In large and very large families, children raise themselves and each other, parents are not involved in their daily interactions. However, this mother of FIVE who does EVERYTHING for her children is beyond insanity. Totally amazing.
There are many books on such phenomena. This parental overprotectiveness and infantilization is reaching catastrophically epidemic proportions. This insanity has got to stop.
It is sad that many parents treat their children as if they are retarded when they are capable of doing things for themselves. Lenore Skenazy and other more free range parents have the right idea regarding raising children who will become self-sufficient, street/social savvy, and independent thinkers. Ms. Skenazy has the RIGHT idea of raising children. Her 9 year old son travels alone on the subway.
The former type of children will in all likelihood be unemployed and homeless because he/she has not develop the prerequisite life skills due to overintrusive/helicopter parents who infantilize their children. They are the FAILURES in life. The latter type of children who grew up in free range environments are the ONES who will be highly successful, savvy, and thriving.
Parents who are infantilize and overprotect their children are abusive and setting their children up for abysmal failure. I have written numerous hubs on this phenomena of overprotective/helicopter parents, overdependent adult children, and parents who infantlilize their children. Overprotective parents tend to have children who WILL EVENTUALLY HATE THEM.
It seems like most of us agree with the question that asked for this discussion. I also might want to add, as I discussed this with friends while having a drink over the weekend, why do kids need cellphones? Kids did fine without cell phones for thousands of years, including our generation! Now, they need a cell phone! Really, think about it! Why do we get cell phones for our kids. I think that it is a mistakes, and I'm guilty of it. Kids don't need cell phones for nothing!! As parents, we should know where our kids are at all times, just like our parents did. Cell phones are not a leash like most people think. I personally think that kids don't need a cell phone. That's why, my girlfriend and I, have our kids give us their cell phones when they get home from school. We put them away. If they want to use them, they have to ask, just like we did with landlines when we were kids. Maybe I'm being too strict, but kids get so addicted to those things! Also, it's terrible when you see an 6-year-old kid with top of the line cell phone. WTF! Why!!!? What do you guys think on this!!!
Also, OP, if you don't understand how image memes work, never use them.
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