When my boys were little, I used to compare them (unkindly maybe) with puppies. Providing they had plenty of affection and were allowed to run around a lot outside, they were happy. Preschoolers are natural little whirlwinds of energy and need masses of exercise. Physical activity keeps little ones fit, healthy and strong, helps them relax and sleep better and is FUN!
Around 14% of Australian 4-17 year olds and 20% of 15-19 year olds have mental health issues, according to Mindframe. The percentage of young people flagging mental health as a concern has doubled in the last six years.
Why are anxiety and depression so prevalent among our young people today and what can parents do to raise strong children, equipped to deal with the curveballs life throws at them?
We love our kids. We want to provide for them, do our best for them and protect them. But sometimes our desire to make them happy and our dedication to looking after them can lead to ‘over-parenting’. With the best intentions in the world, we can over-praise, over-indulge and over-protect our little darlings ... and risk raising self-centred, entitled dependents, unable to think for themselves.
Here are some red flags that indicate you might be raising a spoilt child:
Most of my friends have had the experience of consoling me after I have been dealing with my daughter’s strength. “The force is strong with this one” seems to be a blissful statement that doesn’t even begin to touch on her perception of her capabilities.
I was fighting it hard. But for all my efforts, trying to teach this tiny woman with an iron clad will that she would submit seemed to be useless. I am a fundamentalist. And there was a part of me that believed that ‘good parenting’ meant submissive children. Enter massive issue…..my daughter will not submit, she wants to lead.
I’ve never been great at small talk. It is only when I can burrow beneath surface-level chit-chat level that I become truly engaged.
I am, however, considerably more advanced at the art of polite conversation than my children. My boys are either too direct (eg “My grandad’s losing his hair too”) or shy and monosyllabic, mumbling to their shoes when spoken to by someone unfamiliar. Even in writing, they can struggle with self-expression. “Dear Nana,” emailed my eldest, after the death of my father-in-law, “I’m sorry that your husband died”. He wasn’t being deliberately insensitive. He was trying to sound ‘grown-up’ as he typed through his tears.