Parents should take note: The next generation of kids is coming of age with a greater emphasis on the importance of focusing on yourself.
According to a recent survey by the University of British Columbia, nearly two-thirds of Canadian students believe their parents are focusing too much on what’s going on in their lives, and more than half of parents said they were dissatisfied with the way they were being treated by their children.
The problem, experts say, is not that parents aren’t paying attention to their kids; it’s that their attention is being focused on something else.
While this focus is important, it’s not enough to prevent them from becoming distracted.
To truly help children, parents need to find the right balance between being present and focusing on what they’re doing.
Identify your priorities Focus on your main priorities, says Dr. John Cavanagh, a psychologist who has spent years studying the importance and importance of priorities in children.
“One of the most important things that parents can do for their children is make sure that they’re prioritizing their most important issues,” he says.
“If you’re trying to get them to be active in their school, or they’re trying a new sport, they might not think about that until later in the day.”
Be a resource When you’re a parent, there are lots of things you need to do to make sure your kids get the most out of their time.
“Parents need to be able to be on a schedule and able to say, ‘I’m going to get the kids up and ready and be there and then I’ll do this and this,'” says Dr Cavanach.
“I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that parents also need to consider what they should be doing in the future.
And, of course, the most basic priority for a parent is that their child be well-behaved and happy.”
If you don’t have time to do this, he says, “You’re wasting your time.”
Be clear about what’s important Focus on the things that you really want your kids to do, says psychologist Dr. Michael Siegel, an expert in social-emotional development.
“For kids who are not learning, for example, you have to have them understand what it means to be good at something, or to feel good,” he explains.
“And when they’re young, children are often very self-absorbed.
They’re very selfless.
They want to do things and do them well and do it with a purpose.
That’s a very valuable way to get their attention.”
Make your priorities clear Parents also need a clear idea of what’s most important to them, he adds.
“There’s a lot of work to be done in terms of having clear priorities.
But if you don of course have to get your kids up, or get them ready for school, then you don.
If you have a schedule, you don, and if you have tasks, you do them.”
Set a clear goal Make sure you have an immediate, measurable goal that’s aligned with your priorities.
For example, if your goal is to get kids to participate in sport, “it’s probably more important to do that at the beginning,” says Dr Siegel.
Set your schedule Don’t try to set a specific time to spend on your children, he explains, “because if you do that, your kids will forget about your priorities and focus on what you want them to do.”
If your kids don’t like it, you can try to schedule it in advance, “so you’re able to tell them if you need them later on.”
Give your child some freedom in the way he or she does things When your kids are a little younger, they can have a little freedom when it comes to their time with you, says psychiatrist Dr. Julie MacKenzie.
“They have a lot more freedom to be themselves and their own person,” she says.
If your children are younger, MacKnwes, who is also a child psychiatrist, says, it may be best to let them “be themselves.”
“Kids have to be allowed to do their own thing,” she adds.
If a parent says she’s busy, she may be.
But for the most part, if a parent doesn’t have the time or space to take their kids on a long walk or to go for a walk, Macknwes recommends a more gradual approach.
Talk to your child’s friends and teachers As a parent of kids, Dr Cavancourt says it’s important to talk to your kids’ friends and to the teachers they know.
“You don’t want to be an excuse for your kids not to be doing something,” he recommends.
“But I do think you have the right to be angry at them for not doing something.
If the kid is not doing anything, I think it’s very important