Parents: it’s ok for our kids to be told no. It’s actually good for them!! And it’s important for us as parents to witness how mature they can be when they face that “no.” If you make your entire life revolve around your kids, they’ll grow up thinking everyone should cater to them and likely to become self-absorbed, entitled adults.
Over the past 15 years, we’ve seen shocking statistics about a sharp increase in childhood mental illness. In fact:
• 1 in 5 children have mental health problems
• A 43% increase in ADHD
• A 37% increase in adolescent depression
• A 200% increase in the suicide rate in children between 10 and 14 years
So what are we doing wrong?
Today’s children are lacking structure and things that are truly important for a healthy childhood.
• Emotionally available parents
• Boundaries and limitations
•Healthy food and good sleep
• Playing outside
Instead, these last few years we have filled them with permissive parents who let children “rule the world” and be the ones who set the rules.Viewing kids as an equal, or the boss, actually robs them of mental strength.
So what should we do
If we want our children to be happy and successful in life, we should do these things:
- Set limits and remember that you are the boss. Give your kids an opportunity to practice taking orders and doing things they don’t want to do. Let your kids maintain a clear family hierarchy.
- Offer children a balanced lifestyle full of what they need, not just what they want. Don’t be afraid to say “no” to your kids if what they want isn’t what they need.
- Give your kids nutritious foods and teach them how to make healthy choices.
- Spend at least an hour a day outdoors doing activities with your children.
- Provide routines and structure.
- Teach responsibility and independence. Let your kids mess up sometimes and make mistakes. It will help learn resilience.
- Educate them to wait and delay gratification.
- Provide opportunities for “boredom.” Boredom encourages imagination and creativity.
- Teach them to say “please” and “thank you.”If we want our children to say thank you, we need to make sure that we are doing it ourselves.