"Ugh, I Already Know That!"
Have you heard your child say this before?
Don't worry. Most of us have, and it's not too late to get it under control.
Very Few Things Are More Frustrating Than When Your Child Thinks He/She Is An Expert at Everything!
These are the kids that say “I know” when being offered advice or guidance, that blame others for their mistakes, or attempt to control play with friends (“That’s not how you kick the ball, this is how you do it.”).
At school, they may have trouble receiving constructive feedback.
If not corrected these children end up being labeled as "know-it-all" kids and "un-coachable athletes".
The worst part about these kids is that they put themselves in the position to NOT learn.
What Causes This Type of Behavior?
There is one common theme over the rest...
It’s likely that this child has been over praised.
When children are young, parents tend to dote on every little accomplishment (eating their first peas, catching a ball, or reading their first book).
While it’s exciting to watch your child learn and achieve new things, praising too much sets the precedent that they are worthy when they are “right” rather than when they have worked to solve a problem or learn a new skill.
These kids quickly learn to seek out praise and sometimes grow up thinking they should be catered to and accommodated. Unfortunately, this type of thinking pattern won’t get them far in the “real world.”
For instance, instead of praising every correct answer on their homework, focus on your child’s overall effort. If you do so less often, you'll teach your child to be happy about the work he/she did rather than your praise.
Then, when they are at school or with friends, he/she won't be shocked when their knowledge doesn't elicit a big reaction from others.
On the field (or gym, dance or music studio): Let the coaches coach and teachers teach! When a coach or teacher is working with your child to accomplish a task or skill, don’t interfere.
Undermining a coach or teacher by stepping in can cause the child to disregard their comments and only focus on your praise.
Let the adult manage the situation and afterwards you can acknowledge the hard work and effort your child was applying.
Be Cautious With Praising "Intelligence"
We run into trouble when someone’s sense of value comes from how smart they are, especially if “smart” means “right.” Too much emphasis on intellect can really mess up developing minds.
As parents it’s on us to convey that being smart doesn’t mean being right, it means wanting to know when you’re wrong.
Parents of successful kids learn to praise in a way that encourages positive lifelong habits.
This means praising children for the strategies and processes they use to solve problems, rather than praising them for their innate abilities.
Developing a growth mindset is key for success and researcher Carol Dweck has devoted her energy into this topic. Rather than praising the “smart” or “right” answer, consider praising the process.
Last But Not Least... He or She May Be Overcompensating
Kids who feel insecure in one area may overdo it in another to make up for what they think they are lacking.
For instance, if your child is telling a friend how much he knows about race cars (or whatever he is interested in) he may feel like he’s coming up short in another area.
For instance, maybe his/her friend knows how to ride a bike without training wheels…and your child doesn’t.
In this case, parents can intervene by telling their child that it is okay for people to have different areas of talent.
His/her friends may always be better at something than your child is, but this is an okay and even needed experience. Share some personal examples about different strengths and weakness you’ve experienced.
To learn more about a growth mindset, consider visiting www.mindsetworks.com
For additional concerns or questions contact Dr. Kristin Rose at DrRose@RoseTherapyCenter.com
School is back in session and parents are blissfully waiting for their child’s return home from school…until a fire breathing dragon returns rather than your child!
Meltdowns after a long (or short) school day is a legitimate problem. So much so that it has a name: Coined after-school restraint collapse by Andrea Loewen Nair.
What’s most frustrating for parents is that these children have usually been angels at school, getting glowing reviews from their teachers.
They have followed directions, been good leaders, helped others, and worked hard. Then the moment they get home they become complete and total hot messes!
The Symptoms Are Not All The Same...
Some kids withdraw or become weepy while others scream, throw things, and become generally unreasonable.
Children who are dubbed as sensitive or intense are more susceptible to after-school restraint collapse.
The meltdowns are more common during the first few months of school starting but can last all year.
So Why Does It Happen?
There are a few theories out there.
One is that children have spent all day keeping it together (following directions, learning new information, meeting new adults and peers) and are depleted by the time they get home.
Home is also a key word: Its only natural for kids to release their emotional, mental, and physical energy in their safe space.
Another theory is rooted in attachment.
Attachment is formed between birth and two years. Children become accustomed and dependent of their needs being met (appropriately) by an adult caregiver.
They learn that this is “their person” who helps in times of need. So, after a long day at school when their need for you can be high and you weren’t able to be there, they lose it when they see you.
The result is a major meltdown or what’s professionally known as a defensive detachment.
It’s important to note that these outbursts are not tantrums where your child is testing boundaries or trying to get their way.
The after-school restraint collapse is exactly that—a collapse, or meltdown, because your child is so emotionally overwhelmed that they can no longer keep it together.
How to regain sanity for yourself and your child:
If you want to discuss this topic further, please contact Dr. Kristin Rose at DrRose@RoseTherapyCenter.com
This is a common question I hear in my practice...
To date there is little research that is able to draw conclusions about the impact of screens on the brain.
This is not for a lack of trying. The data is still in its infancy and we just don’t know what the longitudinal (long-term) results will be.
Feels like much longer than that doesn't it?
Widespread usage of smartphones by young people didn’t occur until 2012.
For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics had suggested a limit of two hours a day of TV for children and teens. But when screen time started to include smartphones and tablets, these guidelines needed an update. So, the American Academy of Pediatrics changed its recommendations to no more than one hour of screen time for children ages 2 to 5.
For older children and teens, they caution against too much screen time, but there’s no specific time limit.
The American Heart Association announced similar guidelines. In December 2018 preliminary results of a study conducted by National Institutes of Health (NIH) came out.
NIH followed children and adolescents for 10 years and then performed an MRI of their brains while they were using screens. In the first wave of 4,500 participants, researchers noted significant changes in children’s brain development if they have more than seven hours of screen time a day.
The data also suggested that kids spending more than two hours a day on any type of screen received lower scores on language and thinking tests.
“Scientists believe screen time stimulates the release of the brain chemical dopamine, which has a pivotal role in cravings and desire.”
There have been several articles in popular media stating that tech moguls impose far stricter rules on their children’s use of screens than a typical parent does. This is because they know how addictive these screens are designed to be.
Screens tap into the pleasure centers of the brain, and they do so in a way that’s hard to replicate in the non-digital world.
When a child gets accustomed to the kind of rapid-fire reward system of gaming, YouTubes, and social media they may be less likely to: read a book, which requires considerable patience and offers no bells and whistles; go outside and explore nature; do something creative; and seek out social interaction.
As children develop from birth to adulthood an important process called synaptic pruning is happening. Infants are born with huge numbers of synapses (points of contact) between brain cells.
This is inefficient, so the brain prunes the connections it doesn’t need and reinforces (through myelination) the ones it does. This process is all driven by experience – by exposure to the environment.
Repeated experiences strengthen connections. Connections that aren’t used are pruned away. This means that how children spend their time can have important, lifelong ramifications.
Repeated behaviors can become biologically compelled habits.
Without adult guidance, most teenagers would spend almost all their waking hours behind a screen. Whether they're texting on their smartphones, or they're watching videos on their laptops, their electronics use can easily get out of control.
A 2010 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 8- to 18-year-old children devote an average of 7 hours and 38 minutes to entertainment media each day.
That totals more than 53 hours per week or 2770 hours each year!
They were designed to be useful and efficient modes of information (maps and directions, quickly finding out the weather, etc.). As said by Jean Twenge, screens should be a tool to use, not a tool that uses you.
Let's look at strategies you can use to limit your child’s screen time.
If you have questions or would like to discuss further please contact Dr. Kristin Rose at DrRose@RoseTherapyCenter.com
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8 to 18 Year Olds.
The ultimate goal of parenting is (or at least should be) to raise children well so they are prepared to leave our houses and live on their own.
However, a parenting trend that has become more common is stymieing their development. That is “helicopter parenting” or over parenting. Helicopter parenting is a form of over parenting in which parents apply overly involved and developmentally inappropriate tactics to their children who are otherwise able to assume adult responsibilities and autonomy.
A few examples include, following your children on the playground “in case” they get hurt or need help, making sure it’s “safe” to play outside in front of their house, and completing assignments or projects for them.
We have all seen the amazing Valentine boxes that begin in preschool; these elaborate boxes that likely took their parents hours to complete...and left no room for the child’s imagination or independence to take place.
"In short, a helicopter parent is one who hovers over their child's every move in an effort to protect them from pain, disappointment, and failure in the process of achieving success."
Over parenting seems to have taken force as parents become concerned with children’s self-
esteem. To build their self-esteem, parents tell them how great and special they are, coddling
them from doing anything too difficult or potentially dangerous. Therefore, it’s important to
discuss briefly the development of self-esteem.
Self-esteem develops from being loved and secure as well as developing competence. For children to develop self-esteem they must be able to make decisions and accomplish tasks on their own. One way to foster this would be to assign age appropriate chores, letting them make decisions (what to wear, what sport or instrument to play, etc.).
Encourage your child to say, “I’ll try” rather than “I can’t.” As your child meets new challenges, the more competent and confident he/she becomes.
In addition to developing self-esteem, researcher Carol Dweck has found that helping children
(and adults) develop an ability coined growth mindset sets them up to be better achievers.
Mindset is essentially our beliefs about learning and intelligence. When children are taught that intelligence is malleable, they understand that effort makes them stronger.
Also, teacher and parent feedback can either encourage a child to choose a challenge and increase achievement or look for an easier way out.
Studies on different kinds of praise have shown that telling children they are smart encourages a fixed mindset which often leads to avoidance of difficult or challenging tasks.
However, when children are praised for hard work and effort, they develop a growth mindset. With a growth mindset, children take on challenges and learn from them which increases their abilities and achievement.
The question becomes what we can do to create confident and high achieving children and later adults. Below are some tips to consider:
1. Let them experience risk:
A skinned knee from falling off a bike or a fall off the monkey bars can actually help your child in the long run. Let them experience their abilities and then improve them.
Allow them to play outside and walk home from school without constant adult supervision. They may just surprise you in what they are willing and able to accomplish.
2. Let them fail:
Parents can be too quick to rescue their kids.
Let them fail now when they are children and learn how to recover from mistakes.
Don’t do their homework or projects for them, let them experience this small failure and learn how to recover from a mistake. Failing a class in school now is far better than not knowing how to cope when they lose a job or don’t get hired.
3. Give purposeful praise:
We have gotten to a place in society where we reward mediocrity and adopted an “everyone gets a trophy” mentality.
Instead, praise their hard work and effort. Be there to provide empathy when they lose or get rejected but let them feel their feelings. Loss is hard, but a very important part of development.
4. Consider slowing down:
Children’s schedules have become quite busy. It is not unusual to see a child participating in three different activities at once.
These over scheduled children have little time to decompress or play or heaven forbid get bored. Boredom is a wonderful thing...it allows for creativity (if we don’t interrupt it).
If you have questions or would like to discuss this topic further, you can contact Dr. Kristin Rose at DrRose@RoseTherapyCenter.com
Reading material and websites to consider:
Carol Dweck - https://www.mindsetworks.com/default
Authors of The Coddling of the American Mind book: https://www.thecoddling.com/