Thursday, May 26, 2011

Parenting for the New Decade

The cost of living in a material world is taking a toll on our children. As parents we are working harder and harder not only for the basic things in life like clothes, food and shelter but most of us are working hard for the latest gadgets. This past Christmas I noticed that almost all the children over 6 seem to know exactly what they want: iPods, Cell phones, Nintendo, PlayStation, Xbox, etc. We cannot blame our children for asking, this is their world and its the one we created for them.
Parents, we know we are guilty. I observe many babies obsessed with cell phones and I use to wonder how that happened. How can your 8 month old be obsessed with your laptop? A baby's whole world is based on repetition, they learn by doing/seeing the same thing over and over again. In other words your baby is as obsessed with your phone as you are. They see you attached to your phone and the ascribe much importance to the same device that you do.
How many of us ever unplug ourselves when we are sitting around the dinner table. If you had a nanny or a sitter you would not want her spending her day checking her email, watching TV or talking on the phone and yet most parents do this. The more plugged in you are via your devices the less you are available to the children. Being in a room doesn't mean your there if your texting or talking or watching that device. Parents can't be parents if their focus is elsewhere while parenting, you can't give it your all if all of you is not in the room. Your children learn from your behavior, the little sponges seep in not only what you say or do with your children but also what you don't say and do. Even if you don't encourage them verbally to seek out the latest gadget, your obsession with it can serve the same purpose.

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