Prepping the High Schooler – Strong Parenting is Needed. (fourth in a series of four)
Throughout our series we have discussed the various ways to prepare our high schoolers for the many opportunities ahead in their young lives. Now it is time to focus on the impact that we can make as parents in the direction and trajectory of our children. As parents, we have an awesome responsibility. At times it can feel daunting. The greatest gift we can give our children is for them to know they are loved even when discipline and firm direction is required.
We often see that parents are afraid to reject certain demands or are afraid of saying “NO” to their children. As a parent you probably agree that the word “NO”, can be the hardest two letter word to say to a child who is wanting their way. Parenting must be consistent and firm, but with some flexibility. Being loving and teaching children mindfulness can help assure that children grow up self-aware and accountable to themselves and those around them.
American youth spend an average of 2-3 hours per day playing video games. We know scientifically that they are receiving an abundance of immediate gratification and are becoming over stimulated as levels of Dopamine (a compound in the body that acts as a neurotransmitter) rise rapidly through their still developing brains. Over exposure to video games can create an addiction that is just as powerful as drugs or alcohol. We know that this addiction can alter their perceptions of reality and negatively impact their coping mechanisms away from interpersonal relationships and healthy socialization. This is why The National Association of Mental Health has declared video gaming an addiction / disease.
Parents need to set boundaries with their children and only allow access to video games during certain times of the week. You may become unpopular with your child for a short period of time, but in the long run, you are teaching your children moderation and the ability to regulate behavior through prioritizing what is most important.
For many young people, their self-worth is determined by the number of likes they get when they post on social media or the virtual exchanges they have with friends when sending and receiving text messages. The over exposure and usage of mobile technologies, while we talk, eat, at school and even at church has created a chasm in developing meaningful relationships with others. As a parent it is important to monitor your high schoolers usage of these technology and social media platforms and have frequent conversations with them about what constitutes healthy relationships with friends and family.
Merit Based Achievement
We must realize that today’s children feel more entitled than previous generations. The functionality of today’s technology teaches that certain behaviors, whether good or bad, can merit rewards. This is why many children now expect others to give them accolades or praise when it may not be merited or earned. When young people apply this to life and career fulfillment, they will experience a rude awakening. Promotion and advancement in society and throughout our economy is still primarily based upon achievement and merit. It is imperative that parents teach these principles at home in order to properly prepare your child for the working world they will soon enter.
4 of 4 in a Series – Previous Series 3!
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Juan Pablo Casimiro is Founder and CEO of BIZNOVATOR. With more than 30 years of empowering youth and adults globally, Casimiro never misses a moment to teach, coach and challenge his clients to live their dreams. Casimiro was born in Dominican Republic and grew up in New York City.