When I was your age..
If I had a dollar for every time I heard a parent compare their childhood experiences to their child’s and expect them to lower
their expectations with the classic “ when I was your age…” statement, I wouldn’t be writing this blog right now, I would be traveling the world with all that money!
Allow me to ask you a question, if someone had handed you an IPad when you were 10 years old would you have rejected it? If you had access to video games when you were a child would you have still played in the streets? I highly doubt it. Not only you wouldn’t go outside but all the kids in your neighborhood would probably end up at your house to check out your IPad and video games.
Consciously or unconsciously we expect our children to feel guilty for playing with their electronics when we expected them to feel happy and excited when they received it from US as a Christmas gift! That to me is so confusing. Kids lack the logic to understand limits and us as caregivers and parents are responsible to guide them rather than make unrealistic remarks and comments and therefore make them feel guilty.
You telling your child that they should be outside playing when all their friends are inside is like your great grandmother asking you to stop using the microwave, calling you selfish and lazy, and telling you to start making a fire!
It’s not realistic for you to expect your kids not to use electronics when other kids are caught up with the latest games and technology. It makes them feel left out, they will feel resentment towards you, and it can be damaging to their self-esteem.
The games that were attractive to your mother were not attractive to you as a child and so the games that were entertaining to you as a child should not be entertaining to your kids.
You want your kids to get out there and take a break from electronics? Go with them! Make play dates with other parents, plan a picnic, google fun outside games, and engage with them rather than yelling at them and punishing them for using what YOU bought them.
Here are some parenting tips:
Limit their electronic usage to an hour a day; limit the TV use to two hours a day.
Tell them stories about when you were young but do not compare.
Level with your child and try to understand them, it’s a tough world out there.
Come up with new things to do with your kids rather than the usual dinner and movie family nights.
Start crafty projects with them to connect.
Be patient and forgiving as they grow.
Encourage and positively challenge them every day!
What works or doesn’t work for you?
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