Why Kids Of Today Are Bored, Entitled, Impatient, And Have Few Friends
The majority of parenting today is far different than it was when I was a kid. It seems like every child I know is constantly complaining of boredom, has no manners, and would rather spend time with an iPad than a peer. Occupational therapist Victoria Prooday explains that these behaviors are becoming common in children for the following five reasons.
1. Technology Is Too Accessible
In today’s world, technology is seen as a “free babysitter” for kids. However, it affects them negatively by altering their nervous systems, attention spans, and ability to delay gratification. Technology puts children in a dissociative state and isolates them from social interaction. It overstimulates their brains, resulting in problems focusing and an inability to emotionally connect with family members and peers.
2. They Always Get What They Want
If you’re on a road trip and your child is hungry, you’ll likely stop at a fast food restaurant right away. If your child is bored and wants a phone or tablet to play on, they get handed one immediately. These behaviors all lead to an inability to delay gratification, and will make even the smallest stresses nearly impossible to bear once they enter the real world.
3. Parents Let Them Rule
According to Victoria’s immense experience working with children and families, “Parents create any number of excuses for their children and allow them to dictate what their parenting duties are.” This gives children reason to believe that what they know is best, and that it’s acceptable to ignore their parents’ direction.
4. There’s No Limit On Fun
Yes, you want your children to have fun childhoods. But parents nowadays believe that if their child isn’t having fun at every waking moment, they’re not being good parents. This endless, artificial stream of entertainment isn’t setting children up to deal with boredom or perform more monotonous tasks (both things which are required in real world, daily life).
5. Lack Of Social Interactions
Because kids of today spend so much time indoors playing with technology, they are no longer being exposed to playing outside with other children their age. This stunts their social skills and makes it harder for them to connect with classmates, teammates, and even their own family members.
So, what can we do as parents to combat these behaviors? It’s important to limit screen time with all forms of technology, and encourage children to play outdoors with their peers. It’s completely acceptable that your children are bored from time to time, and it’s not up to you to constantly entertain them. You are the parent, and they are the child — you make the rules, and you are absolutely allowed to say no. Practicing these things goes far beyond entertaining them in the moment; it sets them up for the future success every parent desires for their child.