The number of video games that is available in the market is, quite frankly, mind boggling. Out of these, the majority tend towards violence in some form or the other. Most parents do not know just how violent and graphic these games can get unless they play the games themselves or watch their child play it. The problem is that with the kind of technology prevalent in our society today, there is no sure fire way of prohibiting children from playing these games.
As parents, we try to curtail the amount of time our children spend playing these games. However, if we ourselves are undergoing an emotional period in our life, we actually push our children towards them.
Warm, restrictive and anxious-emotional are the three dimensions of parental styles that were examined for a study by the Iowa State University.
Warm parents are the Positive Parenting type, i.e. they avoid physical discipline and, instead, use affection to show approval. Restrictive parents set and enforce firm household rules. Anxious-emotional parents show elevated emotions and are often overprotective when dealing with their children.
Warm and/or restrictive parents have children who spend less time playing such violent video games. Anxious-emotional parents have children who have more problems and spend more time playing games.
The negative impact of these games can be seen in the way children are more prone to violence at an earlier age in this generation than in any earlier generation. Firstborn and boys, especially, seem to be the most deeply impacted.
The study specifically focused on eight to 12 year old children, since this is an age when many children start playing video games and this is also a very impressionable time of their lives.
At the end, the takeaway was that parents need to set limits and be calm when relating to children. This sets the lead for your child to follow. Also, setting limits teaches them what is acceptable and what is not.
Everybody has dealt with at least one bully at some point in their lives. Bullies are people who basically lack empathy for other people. They always want the spotlight on them and always have to have things go their way every single time!
Verbal bullying includes name-calling, threatening and disrespectful comments targeting appearance, religion ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, etc. Support your child by teaching them self-respect and give them the confidence that they are loved. Teach them how to stand their ground by being assertive and which phrases they can use to confront their bullies. Phrases like “That wasn’t nice,” “Leave me alone,” or “Back off.” used assertively can make a difference.
Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, tripping, blocking, pushing, touching in unwanted and inappropriate ways, etc. Discreetly question your child if you suspect they are being bullied. Do not respond emotionally at all in front of your child. Get all the pertinent details and then start putting together a document that lists everything needed to make a case. Approach the school administration only. Never confront the parents of the bully. If it continues, then contact the next level up in the hierarchy.
Relational bullying includes deliberately preventing someone from joining or being part of a group like a lunch table, game, sport, social activity, etc. Make it a nightly routine to talk to your children about how their day went. Help and encourage them in doing things that make them happy, emphasize their positive qualities and, above all, make sure they know that they are loved. Focus on developing their talents and interests. Get them involved in after school activities to broaden their social circle.
Most importantly, listen to them when they talk to you about their problems and give them the support they need from you, the parent.
* Link to article that prompted this post – http://www.deccanherald.com/content/507715/spotting-ravanas.html *
Today’s world is spinning so fast that sometimes we can feel like things are getting out of hand. Imagine how it must be for a child?
Bringing up a child is never easy. It wasn’t for the generations before us and it is not going to be for the generations to come. The only thing we can do is to try to keep up with the way the world develops and how it affects our children. Hopefully, we can give them a strong foundation which they can use when it is their time to be parents.
Do you remember the old adage, “Spare the rod and spoil the child!”? This was the way that Generation X, Y and the early Generation Z were the recipients of the type of discipline this saying entailed.
The latter half of Generation Z are the ones benefitting from “Positive Parenting”. Instead of using threats, fear and violence to discipline their children, the parents use positive reinforcement instead. Instead of breaking down a child, they build a child up.
Positive parenting covers topics from the child’s self-esteem to looking at parents’ own belief system and reevaluating them, from the stress the child goes through from all aspects of their life to the stress of today’s parents, from the simple skill of listening to kids to assessing the impact of one’s own life style on kids, from the anger a child feels to the different forms of punishment and how they affect the child’s psyche, looking at alternate ways of correcting child’s behavior, from what role modeling can do for a child to dealing with teenagers.
Positive parenting takes into account various aspects of a child’s life from the time they are born to the time they become adults in their own right. However, let us face it, children will always be children and as such, we never stop being their parents. Positive parenting never stops either.