It’s a New Generation
Every generation, our parents complain about how and why the kids of their generation were so much better than the current one. The usual response to such comments are a few eye-rolls, however, with the fast-growing, technological world, it looks like parents may have a point here.
Parents, teachers, and therapists notice an increase in irritability, boredom, and loneliness amongst kids these days. People speculate that the world and environment today wire children’s brains to be this way. Here’s Why:
Children Get What They Want When They Want It
Today we live in a world where everything is instant. When children begin to feel hungry, there are drive-throughs, fast food, and vending machines to take immediate care of the situation. When there’s a long wait at the doctor’s office, and a child shouts “I’m bored,” a parent will hand over their phones to spare the resting of the waiting patients from a screaming kid.
With all these luxuries, children lose the ability to delay gratification. Delaying gratification is a crucial skill that helps people in all stages of life. It is key to practice delaying gratification (waiting to get what you want) at a young age to benefit the child in later years. Although we can get things much easier nowadays, the world works on a waiting game.
For example, people can’t be successful, lose weight, find love, and develop relationships within a seconds worth of time. The valuable things in life call for some patients, and it looks like kids these days don’t have any.
Teachers notice an increase in boredom and divided attention amongst their students. When it’s “story-time” or even time to learn a new math concept, children are looking everywhere but their books once they sense an ounce of difficulty.
Teaching children, they can’t get what they want when they want it is so important it may even be worth the embarrassing temper tantrum at the mall, in a restaurant, and in a toy store when you tell them “no” to their demands.
Kids Are Not Socializing As Much As They Used To
A working parent is a busy parent, and there’s no shame in that! However, when we want to get in a couple more emails, our first instinct is to hand over an iPad, or pop in a movie to keep the kids busy. A lack of social interaction is a huge consequence of a little too much screen time.
Not too long ago, children used to use their free time to play outside with other children. These social environments allowed kids to learn how to act in social situations. Studies show that the younger a kids are exposed to social environments, the easier it will be for them to socialize throughout life.
Social skills are key to life’s success, so if you want your child to learn these skills, you need to teach it to them. If you go to the park and your kid gets into an argument with another kid over whose turn it was to go on the slide, step in and teach him or her about turn taking. It may seem so irrelevant to future success, but it has everything to do with it.
There are no slides in the office, but there are loads of people you need to know how to work around. If you can’t learn the small social lesson of taking turns on a slide, you might have issues solving arguments with a colleague in the office.
The Fun Never Ends
Parents want to give their children as many positive experiences as possible. However, a world with too many positive experiences is largely unrealistic. As adults, we can say, without the need of any scientific proof, that the world is not all fun and games.
At a young age, we shape our image and constructs of what the world at large is. When a child lives in a world without consequences and responsibilities, the real world becomes a shock. Children are unhappy and impatient the moment they’re told to do something.
It may be a good idea to ask children to help out in the kitchen or help tidy up rooms. This kind of work trains the brain to function even during boring tasks such as homework.
Today makes it harder than ever to train a child’s brain. This world of instant gratification is unrealistic, and our kids will only realize that once they encounter their first reality check. It’s better to quit these habits sooner than later.