Parenting: 10 Things your kids need in 2014
E-Comm—the regional emergency communication centre for southwest B.C.—has released a list of 2013’s most absurd reasons to call the emergency line. With over 2500 calls per day, all of the items on the list are crazy, and two really stand out to us:
1.Can an officer come over to tell my kids to go to bed?
2. My son won’t give me the remote control
Now there is no question that many parents have felt like calling the police on their kids from time to time, but the fact that two people actually made these calls means that things are truly getting out of hand.
So let us get back down to basics as we begin this year. We don’t have to make a bunch of resolutions or earth-shattering changes as we get started. What we do need to remember and act on is as follows. If it seems like too much, just pick one for now.
1. Kids want parents to parent – not to be their friends or to let them fly free with no boundaries. They need us to set limits and to follow through.
2. Kids want to feel capable – they can’t if we won’t let them. Please stop doing everything for your kids (stop solving their problems and helping them when they can do it themselves).
3. Kids need sleep – you don’t need a policeman to make this happen. You do need to make a bedtime plan (we’ll help if you need us to) and then stick to it.
4. Kids need to know who the boss is. If your son won’t give you the remote control, take the TV, unplug it and lock it in the trunk of your car if need be. Your son (or daughter) needs to know that technology is a privilege not a right.
5. Kids need responsibility – once they are contributing to the family community, they can have access to the privileges of technology, along with other great things a family provides.
6. Kids need to get out and exercise. They also need access to healthy food. The very best way to teach them this is to model it. Kids learn what they live.
7. Kids need our time and our presence. They need us to turn off the TV, put down our phones, close the lid on the tablet and be with them. They need to read books, play games, walk, cook and hang out WITH us. They need to look at us and know that we’re looking back – not all the time, but definitely much of it.
8. Kids need us to advocate for them – not to make excuses for them but to stand up and support them as they learn the lessons that they need to learn and make the changes that they need to make.
9. Kids need to learn from the consequences of their actions, not to be rescued from them.
10. Kids need our love, hope and support. They need us to believe in them because when we don’t believe in them, it is impossible for them to believe in themselves.
Make this the year that you step-up and parent your kids responsibly. (Oh yeah, and teach them what a real emergency is so that they don’t call 9-1-1 for the wrong reasons.)