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13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do

Raising mentally strong kids who are equipped to take on real-world challenges requires parents to give up the unhealthy — yet popular — parenting practices that are robbing kids of mental strength.

Of course, helping kids build mental muscle isn’t easy — it requires parents to be mentally strong as well. Watching kids struggle, pushing them to face their fears, and holding them accountable for their mistakes is tough. But those are the types of experiences kids need to reach their greatest potential.

Parents who train their children’s brains for a life of meaning, happiness, and success, avoid these 13 things:

1. They Don’t Condone A Victim Mentality

Getting cut from the soccer team or failing a class doesn’t make your child a victim. Rejection, failure, and unfairness are part of life. Rather than allow kids to host pity parties or exaggerate their misfortune, mentally strong parents encourage their children to turn their struggles into strength. They help them identify ways in which they can take positive action, despite their circumstances.

2. They Don’t Parent Out Of Guilt

Guilty feelings can lead to a long list of unhealthy parenting strategies — like giving in to your child after you’ve said no or overindulging your child on the holidays. Mentally strong parents know that although guilt is uncomfortable, it’s tolerable. They refuse to let their guilty feelings get in the way of making wise choices.

3. They Don’t Make Their Child The Center Of The Universe

It can be tempting to make your life revolve around your child. But kids who think they’re the center of the universe grow up to be self-absorbed and entitled. Mentally strong parents teach their kids to focus on what they have to offer the world — rather than what they’re owed.

4. They Don’t Allow Fear To Dictate Their Choices

Keeping your child inside a protective bubble could spare you a lot of anxiety. But keeping kids too safe stunts their development. Mentally strong parents view themselves as guides, not protectors. They allow their kids to go out into the world and experience life, even when it’s scary to let go.

5. They Don’t Give Their Child Power Over Them

Kids who dictate what the family is going to eat for dinner, or those who orchestrate how to spend their weekends, have too much power.  Becoming more like an equal — or even the boss — isn’t healthy for kids. Mentally strong parents empower kids to make appropriate choices while maintaining a clear hierarchy.

6. They Don’t Expect Perfection

High expectations are healthy, but expecting too much from kids will backfire. Mentally strong parents recognize that their kids are not going to excel at everything they do. Rather than push their kids to be better than everyone else, they focus on helping them become the best versions of themselves.

7. They Don’t Let Their Child Avoid Responsibility

You won’t catch a mentally strong parent saying things like, “I don’t want to burden my kids with chores. Kids should just be kids.” They expect children to pitch in and learn the skills they need to become responsible citizens. They proactively teach their kids to take responsibility for their choices and they assign them age-appropriate duties.

8. They Don’t Shield Their Child From Pain

It’s tough to watch kids struggle with hurt feelings or anxiety. But, kids need practice and first-hand experience tolerating discomfort. Mentally strong parents provide their kids with the support and help they need coping with pain so their kids can gain confidence in their ability to deal with whatever hardships life throws their way.

9. They Don’t Feel Responsible For Their Child’s Emotions

It can be tempting to cheer your kids up when they’re sad or calm them down when they’re angry. But, regulating your kids’ emotions for them prevents them from gaining social and emotional skills. Mentally strong parents teach their children how to be responsible for their own emotions so they don’t depend on others to do it for them.

10. They Don’t Prevent Their Child From Making Mistakes

Whether your child gets a few questions wrong on his math homework or he forgets to pack his cleats for soccer practice, mistakes can be life’s greatest teacher. Mentally strong parents let their kids mess up — and they allow them to face the natural consequences of their actions.

11. They Don’t Confuse Discipline With Punishment

Punishment is about making kids suffer for their wrongdoing. Discipline is about teaching them how to do better in the future. And while mentally strong parents do give out consequences, their ultimate goal is to teach kids to develop the self-discipline they’ll need to make better choices down the road.

12. They Don’t Take Shortcuts To Avoid Discomfort

Giving in when a child whines or doing your kids’ chores for them, is fast and easy. But, those shortcuts teach kids unhealthy habits. It takes mental strength to tolerate discomfort and avoid those tempting shortcuts.

13. They Don’t Lose Sight Of Their Values

In today’s fast-paced world it’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day business of homework, chores, and sports practices. Those hectic schedules — combined with the pressure to look like parent of the year on social media —cause many people to lose sight of what’s really important in life. Mentally strong parents know their values and they ensure their family lives according to them.

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the author of 13 Things Mentally Strong Women Don’t Do.

Amy Morin is a psychotherapist and the international bestselling author of 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do and 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do. …

Source: 13 Things Mentally Strong Parents Don’t Do

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30+ Fun Photos Of My Family That I Took To Fight Boredom – ​Kate Weiland

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My name is Kate Weiland. I’m a happy mother of three kids and the creator behind the delicious (and totally ridiculous) photography food series Our family bites (#ourfamilybites). I’ve always been a massive supporter of the fine arts and having taught Drama and Dance for many years, I was eager to get into the photography side of things. The forced perspective photography technique has been especially interesting to me – I knew it would be fun to start a series where our family could look back and just have a good laugh. The outfit ideas are endless and I’m eager to create and present new designs…..

Read more: https://www.boredpanda.com/creative-mom-family-photography-kate-weiland-kweilz/?utm_source=mix&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=organic

 

 

 

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How to Support a Partner Struggling with Depression – Eric Ravenscraft

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Being in a romantic relationship when one (or both) of you suffer from depression is a massive challenge. Depression can make your partner seem distant. They may feel like they’re a burden or close themselves off. None of that means your relationship is the problem. You two can tackle this together. Here’s how…..

Read more: https://lifehacker.com/how-to-support-a-partner-struggling-with-depression-1717700336

 

 

 

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Why I can’t stop posting my kid’s photos and sharing him with the world – Philip Bump

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Obsessive photo-sharing isn’t new to the social media world. The instinct has long been there; it’s just that it used to require a lot more overhead. In the 1970s, for example, there was the post-vacation slide show, in which relatives and friends of the lucky travelers had the bad luck to be buttonholed into two hours of photos with lengthy you-had-to-be-there anecdotes.Then there was the business-guy-with-pictures-of-his-kids-in-his-wallet, something that ingrained itself in my mind so robustly that to this day I think I should be carrying around physical pictures of my son Thomas (as though I don’t have a small metal-and-glass rectangle that contains more photos of Thomas than existed in the universe before 1900)……

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/on-parenting/why-im-posting-my-kids-photos-and-sharing-him-with-the-world/2018/08/30/f0cd085a-9cda-11e8-8d5e-c6c594024954_story.html?utm_term=.cdbeb354f68b

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Parental Debate: Should Your Kid Have a Cellphone in School – Edward C. Baig

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Lawmakers in France recently passed a ban on the use of smartphones in schools, impacting students in their early to midteens. In U.S. school districts where digital device policies are all over the map, parents and teachers are divided on how to curb or permit phone use in the classroom.

Some schools have students stash their phones in their lockers – as they do for middle schoolers in my Northern New Jersey town. Others have kids place them in a canvas “pocket chart” – essentially a hanging shoe organizer – in the classroom.

What most everyone agrees on is that screen-time addiction is a problem for young and old, an issue that companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook are finally tackling with recently announced software updates. You hear all too often how kids who are fixated on smartphone screens are only modeling the behavior of their parents. (It’s also not unheard of that a teacher also may use a phone in the classroom, to check on his or her own family at home.)

According to nonprofit family media watchdog Common Sense Media, 24 percent of kids from 8 to 12 years old have their own smartphone and 67 percent of their teenage counterparts do, with tweens using an average of about six hours’ worth of entertainment media daily.

Compounding the confusion is the age at which families give their kids a phone – often, but not always, when the youngster is about to enter middle school. But what  effect does a kid who has a phone that’s visible at school have on a classmate who doesn’t have his or her own handset?

Some schools implement “one-to-one” programs to provide computers, tablets or other mobile devices to each student. Other cash-strapped districts may have to share tech gear in the classroom. And some educators may even encourage students to bring their own devices for class use.

It’s safe to assume that most schools aren’t about to dictate to a parent that a kid can or cannot use a device on the way to or from school, though some do actually ask families to sign commitments to temper tech use.

Keeping all this in mind, here are some of the arguments made for and against a stricter cellphone-use policy in schools.

Why cellphones should be permitted in schools

“Have a plan, not a ban,” says Liz Kline, vice president for education at Common Sense Education in the San Francisco Bay Area, a group whose  mission is to help kids thrive in a world of media and technology. “There are legitimate learning contexts for using devices in the classroom,” Kline says, whether students are making movies or studying photography.

Kline acknowledges that digital distraction is “totally real,” and she recognizes that setting up the classroom norms for when it’s appropriate to use a phone – and when it is not – is not a simple matter.

Lisa Highfill, an instructional technology coach at the Pleasanton Unified public and secondary school district in Pleasanton, California, believes letting students have phones helps them prepare for higher education and eventually the workplace. “How many people go to work each day and turn their phone in?” she asks. “To me, getting ready for career and college is learning how to avoid the distraction of your phone.”

Educators should have dialogs with students about when and why kids feel compelled to pick up their devices, she says. “Teach students how to refocus, how to take care of something that is really nagging at them and then move on and put it away … Self-monitoring is a lifelong skill that we have an opportunity to integrate into our lessons.”

Of course, there ought to be times when phones are put away or even collected by teachers, no questions asked, namely during test time. Indeed, some students use the devices to cheat.

Safety concerns are also often given as a reason to let kids have devices at school. When there’s an accident or tragic incident, the presence of phones lets parents get in touch with the kids, and the kids can get in touch with a parent.

“Phones are as much for peace of mind of parents as they are for kids,“ says New York City-based social media coach Sree Sreenivasan, a parent and co-founder of the Digimentors consulting firm.

But parents may also try to reach the youngsters under more routine circumstances.

“I ask kids all the time, who do you normally get texts from during school? Their friends, of course,” Highfill says. “But their mothers are texting them, and it’s actually very practical. ‘Don’t forget to talk to your math teacher’ or ‘don’t forget you have this appointment at the end of the day.’ ”

Kline adds another dimension to the let-kids-have-phones-in-school argument. In some lower-income areas where there’s concern surrounding the digital divide, the school might offer the kind of speedy internet access that is not available at home. “I think there is some nuance around this,” she says.

And then there’s this argument: Restrictions just might not work.

“I really believe that the more rules and restrictions you put on top down, the more kids will just work to try to work around those rules. And they’re good at it, the best hackers,” Highfill says.

When her IT department blocked Snapchat access at school, kids built their own server as a workaround. Highfill also knows of students who put their cellphone cases – but not the phones themselves – inside pocket charts to fool teachers.

In a scene from the "Screenagers" documentary, students

The case against phones in class

“When we’re asking these 12  to 13 year olds to carry the phone and not be on them, we 100 percent know that’s not happening,” says Delaney Ruston, a physician and director of the documentary “Screenagers: Growing Up in the Digital Age.” “You can go into any classroom or ask any middle schooler, and they will tell you consistently how they and/or their friends are sneaking being on the phones during class times.”

The consequences? According to the “Away For The Day” initiative Ruston developed with the team behind “Screenagers” to try to institute policies requiring phones to be put away, 56 percent of middle schools allow students to carry phones on them all day, yet 82 percent of parents don’t want their kids using phones there.

The Away For The Day website cites various academic studies that point to potential negative outcomes of classroom phone use. In one such study, 75 percent of teachers reported that the attention spans of students have decreased. In another study, students regularly interrupted by text messages had test scores that were 10.6 percent lower.

Ruston believes that putting the phones away can improve a child’s emotional well-being in school and help with their focus in and out of the classroom.

And while she recognizes that a teacher might ask a kid to pull out a phone during a given lesson, “to do X, Y, Z … the reality is that many of these kids now on their personal device have gotten so many notifications that they’re actually not going to whatever the teacher is saying they should be doing, but instead sending and receiving messages or going onto their video games.”

“You’re already going to have those struggles with (school supplied) educational devices,” Ruston adds, “but it gets exponentially more challenging when it’s a personal device.”

Even if a device on a student’s desk is turned off, the worry is that it still becomes a distraction.

Ruston also dismisses the safety argument. She pointed to an NPR report in which security experts have said that letting a kid have a phone in the classroom during a lockdown makes them less safe, not more. When students should be quiet, for example, a ringing or vibrating phone might alert an assailant where kids are hiding. Parents trying to reach youngsters in an emergency might jam communications and interfere with first responders. And the kids might miss instructions from the authorities.

But Ruston concedes that “that’s not to say there’s not an emotional upside for a parent.”

 

 

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