Friday, November 6, 2009

Hands Free Parenting

In its online article, "Nagging Goes High Tech", ABC news reported that 63% of parents say that texting has improved communication with their kids. On the other hand, it can easily be seen by teens as a new way for parents to breathe down their necks. "One time my mom got my report card and texted me, telling me I was grounded for two weeks," recalled Jessica Purcell in the ABC report.

During a recent parents' meeting at my childrens' high school, the principal implored parents not to text kids during the day as it is not only disruptive, but bad parenting. For instance, he said, it is not a good idea to text right after the math test. Let your child process his thoughts, feelings, anxieties and concerns or even his elation over the test before you try to edit those sentiments by intruding with :"How did it go?" The principal went on to describe a parent who phoned the math teacher after such a test/text situation before the school day was even over! How will we teach our kids resilience and self-reliance if we don't allow them to tussle with and deal with emotion-laden moments on their own?

It is useful to remind ourselves that teens change their feelings and viewpoints very quickly and it is often healthier (and brings less drama) to wait a few hours and see how they have sorted things out for themselves without parental input.

1 comment:

  1. Are we raising children to be independent problem solvers?