Give It To the Kids
The True "Best Practice"
When we mention the word kids, almost everyone has their own philosophy on what they and others should do in term of raising children. Millions of books and websites exist giving everyone best practices on how their kids should be raised. Today, with safety being such a tremendous concern, everyone has an opinion on what is safe and not safe when it comes to children. Here is the question we would like to pose: “How, during a time of more safety concern for children than at any other time during human history, do we see such a tremendous amount kids drowning in pools?”
The answer my friends is TIME. We don’t have time to watch our children closely. We don’t have time to put in safety locks on pool fences. We don’t have time sign up our kids for swim classes. The counter measure to every safety concern in the world is time. The best car seat in the world doesn’t protect a child whose parents are late for work and didn’t buckle them in correctly.
The age-old debate we would like to talk about here is whether to child-proof your house or house-proof your child. We talk about exposure all the time and what we mean by that is, if you are always taking things away from your child, they never have any decisions to make, they never have to learn or exercise self-discipline. If your child unravels the entire roll of toilet paper you have a couple options: 1 take the roll off the holder and put on top of something out of the child’s reach or 2 spend time with your child and teach them that we do not unroll the toilet paper no matter how fun it is. It will take time and there will be set-backs, but don’t freak out, just simply go right back to spending time teaching what we consider acceptable behavior. If your child stands too close to the TV you have a couple options: 1 yell and scream from the couch and potentially turn off the TV or 2 get up and gently pick them up and place them at an acceptable distance saying, “We do not stand that close to the TV, thank you.” Once again there will be many set-backs and you may have to repeat the corrective behavior 100’s of times but in the end that time spent will be well worth with it. You will be raising a child with self-control rather than them being tantrum riddled.
Please do not just sign up your child up for the next “thing” in their lives. Please invest your time in them and it will be paid back a thousand times. Rather than just signing them up for soccer and dropping them off at practice, go to the park and kick a soccer ball back and forth with them. It will mean the world to both of you someday. When we say give it to the kids we don’t mean money, presents, smartphones and tablets, we mean give them your time!