Are We Raising A Nation of Wimpy Kids?

Parents Efforts to Build Self-Esteem
are yielding Wimpy Kids

Much of the methodology parents employ to prepare their children for adult life paradoxically leaves them dependent and in need of training wheels well into their 20’s and 30’s.

We’re raising wimpy kids

A child was designed to have a parent, and while it is important to keep your child safe, we cannot take the bumps and bruises out of their life and expect that this will give them good coping skills and self-esteem.

In our efforts to build their self-esteem, we give every child a sports trophy, mark them pass or fail and teach them they can be anything and have everything – we’re raising a nation of wimpy kids.

In a July 25, 2012 presentation hosted by Mark Hobbins, FamilyIQ founder, Dr. Jared Balmer, a contributor to the FamilyIQ’s clinical advisory board; member of the Joint Commission Youth Advisory Council; and leader in the field of Therapeutic Schools and Programs, advises parents in his The Four Headed Monster webinar:

“if we eliminate competition in the hopes of building self-esteem – we have failed because self-esteem cannot be built-in the absence of achievement.”

What sane parent would actually confess to raising wimpy kids?

I do! I’ve been there, done that . . . I confess I did the deed. And all along I thought I was helping. I became a momma bear when our son was diagnosed learning disabled with attention issues despite an off the map IQ. I called it advocating, which is crucial for learning disabled kids, what I didn’t learn was how to set boundaries and teach with consequences. I became a helicopter-mom and nearly blew my Nag Hag gasket routinely exasperated living through the teen years with an irresponsible teen. If I’d only known then what I know now . . . thankfully we’re both coming around and I wasn’t even inclined to sleep on his dorm floor when he headed off to college!

Laser-focused on their child’s success helicopter-parents hover around and swoop in on a moment’s notice whenever their child is frustrated, upset, or even just disappointed. Their heavily scheduled children rarely have free time; and when they do boredom quickly sets-in as they have no ability to entertain themselves having always depended on their parents for amusement. The lengths parents go to in raising wimpy kids is regularly newsworthy: few years back, helicopter-parents made headlines appearing in their kid’s college dorms and now they’re even testing the limits of their adult children’s work place.

And recently a Pennsylvania helicopter-mom was charged with six felonies and could face up to 42 years in prison or a $90,000 fine for hacking into the district’s school computer to change her daughter’s failing grade from an F to an M for “medical” and her son’s 98 to 99. What kind of role modeling is she sharing with her children? And what kind of wimpy kids is she raising?

Well intentioned as it may appear,” chides Dr. Balmer, the net effect is making kids more fragile and that may be why adolescents are breaking down in record numbers.”

Raised never having to fend for themselves, it is no wonder that at the first sign of a struggle, problem or roadblock, these wimpy kids, devoid of life’s developmental tools, just don’t have the resources to find their own solutions. With no experience in crisis resolution, or taking responsibility for their own choices, wimpy kids simply go to what they know – parental rescue for every critical confrontation.

The flip-side of helicopter-parenting is free-range parenting

Free-range parents let their child navigate the world pretty much unsupervised in the belief that boundaries are to be avoided. And yet boundaries are a critical factor in a child’s development. How can a child form their own identity without a reference for, role models, coaching, and guidance?

Boundaries are important to allow children to feel safe and secure in the knowledge that someone is paying attention. Having structure in a child’s life allows them to safely experience some of life’s bumps and struggles, they’re not out of control and have learned what’s appropriate.

The extreme parenting styles of free-range parenting or helicopter-parenting are ultimately provoking extreme levels of anxiety in today’s adolescents with devastating results. In Dr. Balmer’s webinar, “The Four Headed Monster”, he cites a report in the AMA Journal of September 2008 that states, “following a steady decline of the past two decades, we see an 18% increase in suicide rates in youth under 20 years of age between 2003 and 2004.” and goes on to illustrate that the way we parent is having a profound effect on our off-spring. [to view Dr. Balmer’s “The Four Headed Monster” Opt-In on the form below]

Dr. Balmer asks, “Are we raising a nation of wimpy kids?” and goes on to suggest that inappropriate parenting styles and along with the overdependence on social media have potential negative implications for today’s youth:

  • Over inflated ego leads to narcissism
  • Difficulty in coping when under stress
  • Difficulty dealing with rejection and disappointment
  • RESULT: increased mood disorders (dysthmia, depression, anxiety)

Understanding your parenting style to avoid raising wimpy kids

We parents each have a predictable pattern of parenting – do you know your parenting style? Your kids do (wimpy kids or not) and they know how to manipulate it – they can detect when both parents aren’t on the same page. Your parenting style influences the emotional health and social competence of your children. There’s no such thing as perfect parenting, but the parent who ignores the opportunity to learn more perhaps needs to realize that they don’t know what they don’t know and it’s just not fair to your kids.

Unknowingly, when dealing with our children, we as parents walk into many traps. The problem is that we don’t realize that they’re traps, because our interaction with our children works on a moment-to-moment basis. Teaching through consequences  is a very natural way for children to learn; however, children don’t have good impulse control and often have difficulty in predicting the consequences of their actions – that’s why they need parents with reasonable boundaries and great parenting skills.

Parenting today is more challenging than ever before, but there is also more information available to give parents the skills and tools to empower them to make a deep connection, develop a lasting bond and raise responsible kids.

Opt-In (on the form below) to view Dr. Balmer’s WEBINAR PRESENTATION

 

Opt-In on the Red Form (in the Right Hand Column) and choose a topic of interest for 12 FREE ARTICLES.

 

Use Consequences to Help Children Learn

Honor A Child’s Ability to Choose – use consequences to help children learn


Use Consequences to help children learn

In order for a child to understand responsibility, they must also have the power to choose. Learning that every choice has a consequence is wisdom’s best teacher. Using consequences to help a child learn teaches them through experience that every decision they make ultimately has a repercussion – some better than others. Each decision made follows a natural and logical sequence of consequences and if the parent steps into that natural order of accountability the learning moment is gone.

When we parents learn to apply the predictability of natural consequences with our children, the predictable outcomes present amazing teaching opportunities. Each consequence then presents a wonderful debriefing moment for creative teaching, for example, you might ask your child, “How could we have helped you more?” Let understanding rule the day.

Punishment is Arbitrary

When we punish our children, the focus is on us, the adult, and we become the erratic authority of suffering. Suffering has a tendency to create deep wounds, and it’s a lousy teacher. However, when we remove ourselves from the equation and teach our children by getting out of the way – the result, effect or outcome is the natural teacher. It’s simple science, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Ground rules are set, expectations are laid-out and then we must honor our child’s ability to choose.

Consequences administered in a helpful way are natural and logical and they can’t be manipulated, by using them as the teacher, we can become the coach and get out of the way for our children to learn, but repercussions delivered in a harsh way are still a punishment – you just put a different label on it.

When we allow the situation to teach the child and as parents use ingenuity and creativity in an environment of safety to create a logical connection to the misbehavior we’re no longer the bad guy and the child must assume responsibility for their own actions.

Here’s a Profound Concept: Don’t be the Message – Use Consequences to help our children learn

When children begin to learn the aftermath of each free-will decision, the lesson is more empowering, and delivers a deeper understanding about taking responsibility for their own actions. “If I act out they’d kill me” to understanding, “If I act out, it would kill them.”   The objective of discipline should be to teach. We want our children to become wiser and better. One of the best ways to teach children about the importance of obedience is to use of consequences help our children learn. Choose your weapon wisely: coach or punisher –  they both have lasting effects on your relationship with your child.

Read more download the FamilyIQ PDFUsing Consequences to Help Children Learn . . .

 

How do you parent Hardboiled Teens?

Teens Bonfire of Emotions

sxc.hu photo by Marcelo Gerpe

Neuroscientists confirmed that teens do have brains, but they’re wired differently from adults. Dr. Beatriz Luna, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Pittsburgh pioneered neuroimaging studies focused on the adolescent period because this is the time when individuals show the greatest vulnerability to psychopathology and to mortality due to risk-taking behavior.

It appears than when parents ponder their teens behavior and wonder, “OMG, what were you thinking?”  . . . seems they weren’t. This so-called perfect storm of hormones, puberty and executive function of the brain’s CEO collide and the crash co-mingles hormonal, biological and physical changes that erupt in a Bonfire of Emotions.

Beware Parents – you’ll all be there

Mark Hobbins, founder and president of FamilyIQ, has made a 25 year career of helping families, that began as the co-founder of a treatment and intervention company during which time he saw a sad dilemma play out in the lives of tens of thousands of families who had to place their child in a treatment program.

Hobbins witnessed first hand their deep agony, remorse and sadness not to mention the huge financial toll often as high as $100,000 when families put their child in treatment. Hobbins came to believe that much of this suffering and emotional distress could have been adverted if the parent was properly armed with a set of effective skills and tools and created FamilyIQ to shift his focus away from treatment to prevention.

“Do not be fearful of your influence.” advises Hobbins, “Make a deep connection with your kids, before their teens and don’t be afraid to be different and set clear boundaries. Parents need to be on their “A Game” to protect and nurture their children through dignity, style and class and explain this perfect storm before it happens”.

There has never been a more challenging time to raise children, but we have more information today with more skills and applications to empower parents. There is no such thing as perfect parenting, and there is no short-cut to parenting, but effective parenting skills can create strong and enduring relationships that lay the foundation for this new and different time.

Why Smart Teens do Dumb Things

National Geogrpahic writer David Dobbs writes in an October 2011 article, Beautiful Brains, about his 17 year old son’s arrest for driving “a little too fast.”

Turns out this product of my genes and loving care, the boy-man I had swaddled, coddled, cooed at, and then pushed and pulled to the brink of manhood, had been flying down the highway at 113 miles an hour.

Dodd’s story goes on to explain how a National Institute of Health (NIH) project that studied over one hundred developing teen’s brains as they grew up during the 1990s through neuroimaging (brain scans)—showed that our brains undergo a massive reorganization between our 12th and 25th years.

While the brain doesn’t physically grow much larger, as it is already 90% of it’s full size by the time we are six, it does however, undergo a massive remodeling, network re-assembly and wiring upgrade during this adolescent period. As in all construction projects, things don’t completely mesh when the foundation is being laid, the system is a bit awkward while the huge proliferation of brain cells take time to fire-up and make all their connections and the brain’s executive function “isn’t firing on all fours” as they say.

Teens Brain’s CEO

The pre-frontal cortex, the brain’s CEO, or executive function is the last to develop. The prefrontal cortex helps us with our reasoning; to think about thinking. This helps to explain with smart teens do dumb things – the CEO is not on the job yet.

Brain development starts at the back of the brain and moves forward. This imaging work done since the 1990′s Dodd’s article explains, “shows that these physical changes move in a slow wave from the brain’s rear to its front, from areas close to the brain stem that look after older and more behavioral basic functions, such as vision, movement, and fundamental processing, to the evolutionarily newer and more complicated thinking areas up front. The corpus callosum, which connects the brain’s left and right hemispheres and carries traffic essential to many advanced brain functions, steadily thickens. Stronger links also develop between the hippocampus, a sort of memory directory, and frontal areas that set goals and weigh different agendas; as a result, we get better at integrating memory and experience into our decisions. At the same time, the frontal areas develop greater speed and richer connections, allowing us to generate and weigh far more variables and agendas than before.”

Executive Function under construction – what are some possible consequences for teens?

Mark Hobbins, cautions that without a deep parental connection and strong influence before your child hits their  teens – here’s some possible consequences that can unfold:

  1. Teens have an inordinate need for acceptance: texting internet; need lots of “likes” feed by a hyperstated need based on technology
  2. Teens are hypersensitive to feelings – it becomes a crisis when someone didn’t say hi
  3. Teens desire for intimacy – this is not about intimacy, but rather acceptance
  4. Teens desire for thrills – this is not sexual, but focuses on extreme behaviours like piercing, tattoos—this is all caused by the “blasting, re-wiring and re-modelling” going on inside
  5. Teens desire for getting attention changes their behaviour – in their language and they way they dress
  6. Teens have an inability to cope with stress – and can fall into dangerous behavior. According to Hobbins, 50,000 to 60,000 kids a year fall into the danger zone
  7.  Teens and their “foolish in the moment” can have negative long-term consequences, for example, how long will a “sexting text” remain digitally?

There’s no parenting manual

We train teachers, secretaries and athletes; we train doctors, lawyers, plumbers but parenting is the only skill not taught. We all have a predictable pattern of behavior – it’s in our DNA, and that’s where our parenting skills have previously resided; today’s kids require more from us.

Here, Google two great FamilyIQ articles:
Teenage Brain, A Work in Progress
Communicating with Teenagers, Teens and Adolescents

When Getting Kids First Car

Boy oh boy does time fly… I remember just like it was yesterday when they were babies. But they sure do grow up fast, don’t they!

I can also remember the day she rode her first bike… well, now…

One of my kids is getting to that age where they are almost old enough to drive, and she is wanted a new (used) car.

I have read that Volvo’s are one of the safest cars out on the road these days… so looking at that for her first car.

but I know Honda’s are good cars, Toyota’s are good cars, Nissan’s are good cars and Ford’s are good cars to have and own.

What kind of car do you get your kids for their first ride?

What about the windows… Tinted or not tinted?

What shade… how light or dark would you get the windows tinted? Do you keep it legal or go darker because that’s with the kids want most of the time.

Do you like the tinted eyebrow visor strip or not?

She says she don’t care what kind of car her first car is as long as it runs great and drives well to get from point A to point B no problem, and looks cool and keeps out heat with tinted windows, plus she wants a system in it for her loud music. She also wants rims and good tires.

I was thinking we would also get an alarm installed too.

What’s your Kids First Car? And did you get it tinted?

I really do hate seeing all that purple faded and bubbling tint out on the roads these days, so my friend that I was talking to about it said just don’t get cheap film on your windows, pay a little extra to get quality with a lifetime warranty and professional install.

It sure can be scary to think, feel and know your kid (baby) is out driving on the roads… are there in danger of all the crazy drivers out there?

Or are all the other drivers out there in danger from a new driver cursing around with her friends wherever they wish to go?

Well hopefully everyone will be safe, all we can do sometimes is pray and hope for the best.

Other times we can take as much percussion as we can… things like safest vehicle to drive… good tires and breaks… Window tinting can also add to the safety of the car, anywhere from cutting out the glare from the headlights of other cars and trucks on the road, but also god forbid there was an accident the window tint would hold together all the broken glass so not to shatter everywhere.

Would you buy a new car or a used car for your kid’s first car?

Do you buy it for them or make them work hard and save up for it?

I remember my first car… I had a job and asked my boss to barrow the money… then I bought a 89 Ford Escort slammed with rims, tinted windows and a system in it that slammed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(This was not my car but its a image of the same kind of car… image from cargurus. com site)

I had purchased an alarm system and made an appointment for the next day… the alarm system was in the box and the box was in the car locked up and parked right outside my house… I woke up the next day and my car was stolen. I spent the next few years paying off that car loan for a car I could not drive.

So that’s why I believe in a alarm system first thing for any car.

Any ways thanks for reading my blog post about my kids first car and all my thoughts and feelings

Feel free to comment and share this post

Many blessings

 

 

 

Migraines & the Food Elimination Diet

After my hysterectomy last May (2012) my migraines just won’t go away. Cheese and yogurt seem to be triggers but I also believe they are hormone related. I finally went to a hormone dr and she advised me to do a Food Elimination Diet along with blood to check my hormone levels.

I’m eliminating gluten & processed dairy. Raw milk has so many healing properties I will continue to use our raw milk. I will cut back on coffee, I don’t believe that is a trigger for me so I’m not eliminating it. I would go bonkers if I had to.
After reading the Whole Nutrition Cookbook I am excited about the possibilities of finding a cure for this misery!
Also, I’m debating on doing the Elisa food allergy test. The results are not a guarantee so I’m not sure I want to spend the money on the test.
Wish me luck!!!!

My Love For Cooking

It’s game day at our house this morning. Game day calls for something special for breakfast. Something special to me is homemade cinnamon rolls. Every time I make them I remember my mom making them for us when I was a kid.

One of the many things my mom taught me growing up was how to cook. I can remember cooking a casserole at 10 years old and having a sense of accomplishment. Even before that I remember cooking pancakes ( I still have a serious thing for pancakes).
Being a wife and a mother of 5 I can’t imagine not having the ability to provide delicious meals for my family.

I pray that my girls develop the same passion for cooking. I can’t imagine not having the ability to whip up something special for my family.

Thank you Mama for everything you have taught me, especially how to cook!!! I love you more than words.

All those dirty cups on the counters!

I’m really tired of all the dirty cups in my kitchen! We use to have a colored cup for each kid. But my 8yr old now uses the regular size cups. So our system needs some tweaking! Here is what I came up with:
Drew circles on a place-mat with fabric markers then wrote each family members’ name on a circle and “TAAA DAAAA”!!!
I could have planned better and made these really cute. But I just wanted to get it done and not have to buy anything.
Reduce Reuse Recycle!! Save money!!!

This Week In Enchanted Secret Garden

The Secret Garden | by Bobby McKay.

This weekend we take the kids to the enchanted secret garden near by. we are all really exited for this little day trip.

planing the food to pack, the time we need to leave the house and be back home.

got the map out and mapping out the route.

its a home schooling trip… learning about the sacred. the beauty mother earth as to offer us.

 

Preparing for baby

With the arrival of baby #5 in 16 weeks, we are making lots of changes in our home.
Here’s what’s going on:

  • Added a laundry room: such a blessing this has been!
  • Cosmetic changes in the kitchen, adding bead board & painting
  • The boy’s are now in one room to make room for baby Olivia.
  • Improving the boy’s closet (I wish we would have taken before pics)
  • Improving the girl’s closet (will definitely take before and after pics)
  • Painting the living room
  • LOTS of reorganizing!!!

As the kids are getting older and they are consuming more food, I am having to make changes with food prep and shopping trips. I feel like we have finally crossed the bridge into “a large family”. I see that as a challenge. It’s fun!!

I am really wanting to replace my 4.5 qt KitchenAid mixer with the 7qt…..it comes with a pretty big price tag…so I will have to wait.

With all that being said, I hope to blog more than what I have been…but what I blog about will be about all kinds of things not just bento.
Merry Christmas from my kitchen to yours!!