Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Are We Loving our Kids into Therarpy - Part 2

If this is your first time joining us here at Shenanigans Inc., or if you are one of those people who can only take me in small doses and, therefore, can only stomach my blog on the rare occasion, this is what we are talking about today:  How to Land Your Kid in Therapy.

Listen, I hate links too.  You come here for a quick laugh and a gawk at my darling kids, and then all of a sudden, I send you over to read another article WITH an attached video.  Oh, the injustice of it all!  But seriously, this article is very interesting and the video is a must-watch.  So, go!  I promise I will still be here when you get back.  You can do it . . . press the button.  Yay!

I love summer, but it is awfully difficult to find time to think around here when the kidlets are home all day!  But, thankfully, the kids entertained themselves during that wet, wet, wet day yesterday and so, like Pooh, I found my thoughtful spot, sat down, and thunk and thunk and thunk . . .  tee hee

How do you land your kid in therapy?

Well, you could snap a picture of them on one of their cross-dressing escapades, promise to never show it to anyone except family (but you're my blogging family), and then post it on your blog for the entire world to see.  That should do it, right?

Oh, the levels my wee Websters will stoop to when there is competition involved. It was wacky Wednesday at soccer camp and the person with the zaniest costume won fifty points for their team.  And you guessed it, Avery won!  He's the one with the cute black blob and turquoise headband if you didn't recognize him.

Anyhoo, although this could definitely land your kid in therapy, what the article is concerned about is today's parents' obsession with making their kids happy because, guess what, they have now discovered that not only is too little attention bad for a child's development but too much is equally as bad.  Does this make your head hurt?  Recently, psychologists have started to see more and more young people, who grew up with great parents, come into their office with depression, and they believe this is due to the phenomena of  "Ta-da parenting".  "Ta-da parenting" is when you raise your child to believe that everything they do is amazing. I  loved the woman in the video who said: "you breathed in and out . . . this is fantastic!".  Then these kids grow up to be adults working in an office where no one thinks their fantastic, or where no one lurks around every corner to snap their photo for an entire blog entry about how fabulous they are.  Okay, the last bit was my addition, and yes, I recognize that I am the worst culprit of "ta-da parenting".  Didn't I dedicate an entire blog post to they ways my kids shine?  I hope my darlings have a good medical plan someday. 

According to these professionals, what kids need to learn is that ordinary is okay and it is okay not to shine in everything.  Which leads me to another one of my favourite quotations in the video, "when did being average or ordinary become distasteful in our culture?".  There is about a billion of us on this planet so why do we think that we could even for a minute be on top of it all?  This is not to say that we shouldn't encourage our kids to strive to do their best, but we shouldn't try and make them "the best" in all things and at all times.  They go on to say that drama teachers now struggle to choose plays filled with equal parts because kids and their parents time how long each kids gets to be on stage.  As a soccer coach, you wouldn't believe how many times I am blasted by parents because their son/daughter did not have equal playing time as the other kids.  This is ridiculous!  I am sorry but Johnny sucks and every time he gets the ball it is a disaster!  Why can't we say that?  Okay, maybe that was harsh, but you know what I mean. 

Also as parents, we struggle to ensure that our kids are exposed to everything.  The parenting books say we need to have well-rounded kids; therefore, we sign them up in classes for everything.  It is simply not enough that Johnny plays football, but he also needs to play baseball, soccer, hockey, and don't forget art classes and music. We've all seen these kids.  My kids have been these kids!  At one point, we were in swimming, karate, soccer, and piano.  INSANITY!  And to top it all off, I was working full-time.  We did that for one year, and finally we decided that keeping up with the Jones' was definitely not worth it.  Now, we have the rule of one sport and piano, but it is not easy to stick to.  What it comes down to is, yes, kids need to be exposed to all sort of experiences, but they can have these experiences in their backyard.  They don't need to take a painting class, they can paint at home.  They don't need to join a baseball league, they can play baseball with their friends in the backyard.  Kids need to pick one thing they are really interested in and want to get better in and only sign up for those classes.  Sounds easy, but it is tricky.  Derrick and I spent three hours the other night discussing how we are going to better institute this in our own family because, for instance, Zoe may only be signed up for soccer and piano outside of school time, but then she gets picked for all the scholastic teams at school, which quickly becomes a huge time commitment and encroaches upon family time and her much-needed down time.  So how do you maintain the balance?   Well, according to the professionals in the video, you say "no".  GASP!   Can we do that to our kids!  Yes, and we need to do it for our kids.  Which leads me to my absolute favourite line in the video: "at some point, our kids need to think it is a tragedy of earth-shattering proportions that they have been born into the wrong family".  Love it!  They need to hate you, and we are not supposed to be their best friends.  We are the parents and we are here to set limits.  Oh, and to knock them down a peg or two . . . tee hee!

In the end, one thing that was touched briefly upon in the video, and what I believe is at the core of all that is wrong with the world today, is the break down of community.  In the past, children were raised in large families, with large extended families and in neighbourhoods with a ton of kids.  They played and worked together.  And in a community, you learned that you were loved and valuable, but more importantly, you learned that you were no more special than the next person.  There was a sense of belonging to a group and being dependent upon that group for survival.  Today, although we are "connected" to a gazillion people via the world wide web, we live very isolated lives, where we no longer have to get to know anyone.  And in our isolated lives, we can create, to steal a phrase from the video, "a pod of coziness", where we rule as lord supreme and our kids are raised upon the fallacy of their own superiority.  What have we done?

It all sounds very heavy and very apocalyptic, but the answer to raising happy kids is to relax.  Love them, yell at them, feed them, ground them, clothe them and tell them no.  Be a family!  Get involved in your community, and let your kids see for themselves just how awesome and not-so awesome everyone else is.  It can be that easy and that wonderful!

Oh, and by the way, I just paid Avery $2 for the rights to the photo above, and then I told him I was posting the photo not because he is special but because he is a fool!   See, this parenting thing is a cake walk . . . tee hee! 

Oh, and he is still trying to figure out who Johnny is because he definitely doesn't want him on his soccer team.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post Krista! You can always put your thoughts down so eloquently, and you make it so fun/easy to read and relate-able too. I hope a lot of people will read this.
    It makes me think. What do our kids see more; our eyes, or the back of our head. Because if we are running them around all day long, then all they see is the back of our head.