I’m not saying that my children are always perfect or that I’m a perfect mom, but I’ve noticed that as I’m around other kids whether it be in the grocery store or the mall, I feel myself getting upset at many modern-day children’s attitudes.
As a mother, I try not to have any judgments about other mothers because we are all in this together. We all want to raise our children right and we all understand the challenges of raising kids especially in the digital age we live in. But why is it we allow children today to been entitled? Is it because they have cell phones and dress like mini-adults? Or is it the same thing generation after generation and I’m just grappling with being older and more aware of what’s out there?
Regardless, I still find myself often asking, how do we raise children to be thankful, gracious and kind? I believe that it starts with giving our kids the attention they deserve as well as demanding we get their attention in return. I know that it is a world full of digital tools and we’re all glued to our phones as well as documenting our lives on social media, I am no exception to this.
But our children are copying our behavior. They also need the right amount of attention to know what’s right and wrong in this world.
It all comes down to leading by example.
Each day, I’m learning more and more that I just need to be present in the moment with my children. A lot of the time when kids act out it is because they aren’t receiving the attention they need at home, so the seek it from others, even if the attention is negative, at least someone is noticing them and responding.
While it’s easier for me to hand my kids cell phones or iPads at the dinner table when we go out to eat, I’m doing them a huge disservice. Just because it makes it easier for me, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. I’ve decided that instead of rewarding my kids with cell phones and digital access, they should feel rewarded enough that we’re out to dinner as a family. I used to find that to be the best treat in the world – going to my family’s favorite restaurant and ordering my favorite meal, not being zoned out and glued to a video game while eating.
You should try it too.
I also feel a big part of raising a child to be strong and kind is to get them involved with volunteering at a young age. Not only does this build a bond between you and your kids, but you can feel good about giving back to the community and sharing that with your kids.
I’m starting to only reward my kids with cell phone or computer use when they’ve done their chores, received a good grade or spent time playing outside and sharing their toys with the neighbor kids. Most importantly, I just need to be present in their life and that seems to be enough of a difference.