Sometimes it takes unfortunate circumstances of others for us to realise what is most important for our kids and us.
I don’t know about you but when I hear how some kids are struggling and not coping I just want to help them and take away their pain. Many kids bury themselves in online comfort to escape their pain or reality as a means of what they think is coping. In some cases online interaction is in fact the cause of their pain. Either way it is not a solution and seems to be getting worse.
Kids Online Are A Concern
Today we do have a kid’s online problem.
I believe it is a real problem and most parents have big challenges with their kids when it comes to being online. The amount of time they spend online, what content they are exposed to and who they are taking advice from. The immediate dangers of predators online have also expanded to bullying online and falling into the trap of being addicted to being online. Many kids have to have a phone, ipad, ipod or a device they can reach the Internet on with them all the time... It is suffocating and consuming.
1.“What do primary-aged children do online?
Even at this young age children are avid social media users. Forty-five per cent of eight to 11 year olds use social networking sites. For the eight to 11 year olds we found that the top four sites were YouTube, Moshi Monsters, Club Penguin and Facebook, with the most popular activities being playing games, private messaging, posting comments and posting their own status updates. In other words, they ‘like’, they post, they share just the same as their older counterparts. And they value it, very much. In fact, the proportion of eight to nine year olds who rated the internet as ‘very important’ had doubled since 2009”.
It is not going to go away therefore we need to take extra measures to help our kids come back to themselves, get out of cyber world, bring balance into their lives and chill out.
What Can We Do About It?
We can help kids become aware of simple tools and skills that will allow them to choose who they want to be, love and accept that person and listen to their inner voice. It is our responsibility as adults and role models in our kid’s lives to guide, support and encourage. Therefore leading by example is a great start.
Make time matter when you are with your kids. Have routine that supports limited Internet and encourages other things in life such as; outdoor play, walks, swims, camping, connecting with nature and each other. Kids love all these things because it makes them feel good. Do not wait until their behaviours have grown and nuropathways are developed, as it is harder to undo.
The more we anticipate the future or worry about things that have not yet happened the more anxious we become. Similarly looking and living in the past, this time has been and gone and we cannot change that, therefore the danger of visiting the past can make us feel depressed. You can see how the only time worth investing in is the here and now. We must help our kids and ourselves to be more present as often as possible.
We can all do this by practicing mindfulness.
What is most important for you to see in your child or children; success, good grades, always striving for excellence, high achiever, happiness, peacefulness, kindness, compassion or something else?
Hard question as for some of us we live through our kids and wish for them what we did not have or achieve. What we forget in these circumstances is that our kids are individuals; they are unique and have their own journey to travel. Kids are a product of their parents both genetically and through learned behaviours and they do mimic in many ways. However, given half a chance I wonder how different, if allowed, would they be?
Teaching our kids to embrace their uniqueness and individuality is in fact part of our parenting and will only help our kids be who they are meant to be. Can we step aside long enough to notice our kids true authentic selves and let them grow organically or do we have to control them?
There is a lesson here for parents; we need to allow our kids to discover, grow and listen to their own inner voice. The inner voice provides us with all the answers when we take time to stop, breathe and listen.
To plant these seeds and get our kids on their way of learning life skills and mindfulness enrol your child in our Proud Peacock Kids Programs. Together with ongoing support and encouragement from our membership you and your kids will be on your way to positive, healthy, supportive change. We can make a difference in our kids lives.
For more guidance on how to practice mindfulness contact Rachel.
Rachel Dickey is a Life and Mindfulness Coach specialising in building self-esteem. It is her passion to bring programs to all kids that will enhance their uniqueness and develop their true authentic selves through life skills and mindfulness.
Visit www.loveyourlifecoach.com.au for Proud peacock Programs and services.