Love & Logic Weekly Tip

Phil, a recent business school graduate, got his dream job. He did so well that he was invited to a retreat with the big shots of the company. Not only did he get to attend, but he also had a chance to rub elbows with the top man, the CEO of the company.
 
Almost jittery, he approached his idol, “Sir, I was told that I could ask you a question, and what I want to ask is what does it take to become as successful as you are?”
“Well, young man. Success like mine takes a whole series of good decisions.”
“Oh, sir, I’m sure that’s true, but what does it take to make those good decisions?”
“Well, here’s the hard part, son,” the older man responded with pride. “It takes wisdom.”
“Oh, thank you, sir. But that creates a burning question for me. How do you acquire such wisdom?”
“Bad decisions, son. It takes a whole lot of bad decisions. Wisdom comes from learning from your mistakes.”

In 1977 I first started writing about Helicopter Parents. These parents carried the heavy burden of swooping in to rescue their kids from any mistake, disappointment, or struggle. Out of love they were crippling their children by stealing away their opportunities to gain wisdom and resilience.

What I am seeing now is a much worse. This problem has almost reached epidemic proportions with parents trying to create a perfect life for their kids. Little do they know that their children won’t be able to maintain that great life if they have not prepared for it by having to deal with their own little problems early in life.
 
The authors of Love and Logic meet many parents who are afraid for their kids to make those poor decisions needed to gain wisdom. I hope you are not one of those parents. But if you are, this gentle reminder comes from my heart. Bruised knees and bruised emotions are the building blocks of wisdom and personal strength. Don’t steal that from the kids you love so much.
 
Listen to my most popular audio CD, Helicopters, Drill Sergeants, and Consultants, for some laughs and solutions to this tempting parenting style.
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Jim Fay  
What’s your answer to the following question?
 
Has my parenting caught up with technology, or am I stuck in the “Middle Ages” when people used phones hooked to cords and web addresses were inhabited by arachnids?
 
While the basics of parenting remain the same, issues involving technology have left many parents wondering what limits are appropriate, how to hold their children accountable for misuse of technology, and how to help kids learn the decision-making skills required to make healthy technology choices when they leave home.
 
There’s good news! While these modern issues are definitely challenging, we can achieve success by applying some age-old parenting truths:
  • Kids need limits.
  • Limits are best set through actions instead of hollow threats.
  • When kids make poor decisions, they need to experience natural or logical consequences.
  • Consequences are always more effective when provided with loving empathy.
  • Our kids will learn how to live their lives by watching us.
Listed below are a few examples of essential limits:
  • You may have your tablet as long as there is no arguing when I ask you to shut it off.
  • Feel free to have a cell phone when you can pay for the entire cost.
  • We allow kids to have their internet-connectable devices as long as they check them in with us each night. We’ll return them in the morning as long as there are no problems.
  • I’ve met plenty of good people who’ve ended up doing bad things on the internet. That’s why your mom has all of my passwords and is free to see my history. You may have this device as long as you do the same. Everyone needs someone to hold them accountable.
  • I’m shutting my phone off so that I can give you 100% of my attention. Thanks for doing the same.
For more tips on parenting and technology, listen to Taming the Technology Monster in Your Home (download).
 
Thanks for reading! Our goal is to help as many families as possible. If this is a benefit, forward it to a friend.
 
Dr. Charles Fay
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