December 29, 2014 by Kristen from We Are THAT Family
“I want it.
Because everyone else has it.”
It’s a conversation we’ve had countless times in our house. It doesn’t matter what it’s about–the newest technology, the latest fad, the most popular shoes- it’s treacherous ground to add it to our want list so we can be like everyone else.
These five dangerous words are turning homes upside down. When we give our children everything they want (because everyone else has it), it speeds up their childhood: We have six year olds addicted to technology, carrying around their own ipods and iphones without limitations; eleven year old sons playing bloody battles of Assassin’s Creed over the Internet with strangers instead of playing ball outside; And 13 year old daughters shopping at Victoria’s Secret, wearing angel wings across their bums, looking far older than they are.
But worse than losing a generation of children, this choice breeds a nasty virus. Because maybe if we keep giving them everything they want, they might just drive a new car intoxicated and kill four people and be diagnosed with affluenza.
The psychologist testifying for the 16 year old boy who did just that, defined affluenza as this: children who have a sense of entitlement, are irresponsible, and make excuses for poor behavior because parents have not set proper boundaries.
And when you write a little post about the warning signs of entitlement and it’s shared nearly 800,000 times, perhaps we’re all a little scared of our kids catching the same bug.
“I am an RN working on a psych unit, and I see everyday the effects of entitlement. I see adults in their 20′s and 30′s who always had everything they ever wanted given to them while growing up, and now they just don’t get it. They are unemployed, either living with parents or with one friend or relative after another, or on the street. Having been given everything they ever wanted without working for it while growing up, they don’t feel that they should work for anything now. They were raised to think they could do no wrong, but instead of growing up to have high self-esteem, they have grown up unable to function. They cannot take disappointment of any kind. So we have a generation of kids that don’t want to work and can’t function as adults. Because they have no coping skills of any kind to deal with life, they become depressed and often turn to drugs and/or alcohol to feel better. Then, they end up on our unit, depressed, suicidal, and addicted,” a comment on this post.
Why are we saying yes to our children too early, too soon and pulling in the boundaries? I’m not sure, but I think it starts here:
To conquer the affluenza virus, though, one must first recognize it within himself and ask why and from where it comes. Ask yourself the following questions:
-Do you frequently buy things you do not really need?
-When shopping, are you unable to control how much you spend?
-Do you envy the lifestyles of the rich and famous?
-Do you feel bad when your neighbors have things you do not?
-Do you measure yourself by what others have?
-Do you ever use shopping as a means of escape?
-Do you use your possessions to impress others?
-Do you compare your possessions with what your peers have? If so, do you experience a feeling of superiority that yours are better?
-Do you speak often about the things you want?
-Do you find yourself complaining about the things you want but cannot afford?
-Do you think of spending your money more often than saving it?
-Do you often think your life would be more complete if you had more money and possessions?
“Jesus, speaking to the people, he went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” Luke 12:15
So what’s the cure? Maybe it starts with the little word no. We aren’t going to buy, get, do that just because others are. It’s okay to want things, but there’s a big difference in getting something because you love it and getting it because you want to be loved.
Maybe it starts with deciding why you do what you do. Don’t let the culture lead your family. Because it certainly will. I heard this week the most popular word among teens in 2013 was twerking. Do we really want society guiding our children?
Maybe it starts with reality–no, not everyone has, does, gets ____ (fill in the blank). We’ve discovered other people who don’t have ____(fill in the blank), but we’ve had to look for them and pray them into our lives. The world will tell you (and your kids) you’re completely alone. But that’s a lie. There are other families swimming upstream against our society and affluenza.
Maybe it starts with a dab of old fashioned failure (I love what this teacher said below).
“Some parents don’t wish their kids to fail. I admit I want my children to. I want them to fail, so they can learn how to get back up. I want them to not get every gift they want on their Christmas list, so they can appreciate what they have and work for what they don’t. Lastly I hope all of them get at least one or two teachers they hate. That way they will learn that in the real world, they will have to work with people (and bosses) they may not like,” a teacher who left a comment on this post.
Maybe it starts with exposing them to how the majority of the world lives. Affluenza is a first world problem. Hunger is a real world problem. Give them an opportunity to serve others.
Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I really don’t think our kids want the latest technology or the hottest name brand as much as they want something else. Oh, they think they do. And they will beg and plead (and drive us crazy) for it. But deep down, they are hungry for something deeper that satisfies and lasts a lot longer than just stuff. Giving them firm boundaries, love and perspective is exactly what we can offer them.
By Sloane Bradshaw
At first it was easy for me to point every single finger and toe at my husband for obliterating our 10-year marriage. He's the one who cheated and walked out without looking back. And long before that, he repeatedly shut me out, choosing to bury himself in his work to avoid what was happening to us at home.
Blame was my coping mechanism to get through the first difficult months of our separation, and "how dare he (gasp!)" was my mantra. I rallied an entire army of supporters who, like me, were totally, utterly and completely aghast at the nerve -- the gall -- of this man.
Because obviously being a lying, cheating, family abandon-er trumps anything I did to our marriage in the past decade. Right?
I deflected any and all culpability in the failure of my marriage for months, holding on to the picture I painted of myself as the gentle, selfless and long-suffering wife. It wasn't until I found a therapist who called me out on my bullsh*t that I was forced to take a long, hard look at my shortcomings.
It wasn't pretty.
Here's what I now know actually screwed up my marriage. May it serve as a warning to you. Before it's too late.
1. I put my children first.
It's easy to love your own children. It takes very little effort, and they adore you no matter what. Marriage is the polar opposite: it's work. And whenever my marriage started to feel like work, I would check out and head to Build-A-Bear Workshop or the science museum with the kids in tow. I'd often plan these adventures when I knew my husband couldn't go (and spoil my good time). I told myself it was OK because he preferred to work anyway and always seemed grouchy on family outings. I chose most nights to cuddle with them in our bed, blaming his late-night bedtimes and snoring for the sleeping arrangement. As a result, we were hardly alone together and never had kid-free date nights. Well, maybe once a year on our anniversary.
2. I didn't set (or enforce) boundaries with my parents.
They were at our house frequently, sometimes arriving unannounced and walking right in. They'd "help out" around the house doing things we never asked them to, like folding our laundry (incorrectly, of course). We'd vacation with them. They'd correct our children in front of us. My own fears of upsetting my parents kept me from drawing a line in the sand and asking them not to cross it. The few times I did stand up for my family's autonomy, I didn't hold my parents to the same standards in future. My husband, quite literally, married my entire family.
3. I emasculated him.
I thought love was about honesty, but we all know that the truth hurts. As we grew more comfortable (read: lazy) in our relationship, I stopped trying to take the sting out it. I talked smack to my girlfriends, my mom, my co-workers. All. The. Time. "Can you believe he didn't do this?" and "Why in God's name did he do THAT?"
Instead of building up his ego, I trampled all over it. I belittled him often, saying his job was unimportant and dismissing his friends as "hangers-on." I berated him for doing things wrong when, in all honesty, he just wasn't doing them my way. At times I spoke to him like a child. I controlled the family finances and grilled him over every single penny he spent. And in the bedroom -- yup, you guessed it -- he was doing that all wrong too, and I wasn't shy about telling him so. As our marriage crumbled, I found myself constantly looking for faults and mistakes so that I could justify my superiority. By the end, I had zero respect for him and I made sure he knew it and felt it every day.
4. I didn't bother to learn to fight the right way.
I know it sounds odd to suggest there is a right way to fight. But there is. I tended to keep the peace in our house by keeping my mouth shut when things were really bothering me. As you can imagine, all the small things that drove me crazy grew into a giant suppressed ball of anger that would erupt occasionally in a huge, really frightening fit of Hulk-like rage. And by rage, I mean rage in the clinical, mental-health definition kind of way. After the fact, I'd justify my anger by saying that a woman can only take so much. Looking back, I was one scary b*tch during those episodes.
I write this mea culpa not with the hopes of winning my ex back, or even wanting his forgiveness. I write this because I can't believe how long I kept my head buried in the sand. I hope other women out there will yank theirs out and take a good look around. And while I'm still hurt that my husband chose to solve our problems in another woman's bed when some conversation and counseling might have helped, I absolutely know that my behavior was part of what pushed him there.
This article originally appeared on YourTango.
5 Types And 9 Ways To Deal With Anxiety Disorders In Your Kid
SAARA FATEMA DOCTOR ON NOVEMBER 13, 2014
Anxiety is a state of nervousness that brings along with it variety of mental disorders, accompanied by bouts of panic attacks. Anxiety in children is an obscure, unpleasant emotion, which is experienced in anticipation of an unknown fear. Anxiety is adaptive and normal in children.
Everyone from the young to the old experience anxiety once in their life. Normal level of anxiety can enable you to solve the problem more efficiently. Whereas chronic levels of anxiety can reduce your child’s capacity to respond appropriately and have a serious impact on his daily life.
Anxiousness usually affect a child’s thinking because the anticipated danger that they are concerned about appears to them much greater than what it actually is in reality. It results in other physical ailments such as stomach ache, insomnia, diarrhea, irritability, nightmares, restlessness and difficulty in concentration. If your child needs a strong need of reassurance very often, then he may be overly anxious.
Types Of Anxiety Disorders In Children:Your children can be prone to more than one type of disorder at the same time. Listed below are few types of commonly seen anxiety disorders.
1. Panic Disorder:Panic disorder is the most commonly observed anxiety disorder in children. This kind of disorder is characterized by unpredictable panic attacks, sometimes even during sleep, followed with an unknown fear of oncoming bad incident. A panic attack is often accompanied with symptoms such as losing control, feeling shaky or going crazy. Sometimes your child may not wish to go school because of the fear that something awful will happen to him. Frequent panic attack means that your child has a panic disorder that needs treatment.
2. Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD):Seen in a lot children, obsessive-compulsive disorder is characterized by having frequent intrusive thoughts which engage them multiple times compulsively in an attempt to reduce the feeling of anxiety. For example, a child who is frightened of germs will repeatedly wash his hands in order to avoid catching a disease.
3. Separation Anxiety Disorder:Some children have excessive anxiety about being away from their family. Such children may refuse to go to school, may cling on to their parents when they try to leave the home or may even want someone to stay with them at bedtime. Children with separation anxiety disorder constantly complain of feeling sick when separated and have a sense that something terrible will occur while they are separated from their parents or left alone. This type of anxiety disorder in children is more common in six to nine years age group.
4. Selective Mutism:This is a term used to describe the children who refuse or are reluctant to speak in certain forums and are okay talking in some others. Children with selective mutism worry about speaking in situations that make them feel anxious. They are often seen comfortable talking to their parents and tend to stand motionless, avoiding eye contact or turn away their heads while talking to others. This usually happens when a child enters the school between 4 to 9 years of age.
5. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder:Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder that your child develops after suffering directly or witnessing a traumatic event. Irritability, sleeping patterns, flashbacks of the traumatic event, lack of concentration, nightmares and vivid memories are symptoms of such disorder.
How To Reduce Anxiety In Children?
If your child is facing any kind of anxiety disorders, your position in their lives takes precedence. Here are some effective ways with which you can tackle the situation as a parent.
1. Encourage Your Child To Share His/Her Fears:The most important thing is to first make a note about your child’s nervousness so that his/her difficulties can be addressed sooner rather than later. Encourage your child to share his/her anxieties and make them believe that it is okay to be scared or fear something. Discuss the fear in detail to understand what scares your child the most. You can then have a brief discussion about your child’s fear and emotions with a counselor in case the intensity becomes chronic.
2. Encourage Your Child To Face His/Her Fears:Encourage your child not to avoid and run away from his fears. Explain him that anxiety is not dangerous and that avoiding or running away from his anxiety(ies) will not solve the problem. Although anxiety disorders are a little uncomfortable, they eventually decrease with your constant support and participation.
3. Rewire & Explain:Ask your child what is actually scaring him and what might actually happen. Help him find inner strength by asking to check whether these intrusive thoughts really make sense. This is a constructive way of making your child understand the fear better.
4. Parental Behavior:Sometimes sharing your own experiences enables your child to fight the problem better. Help your child by being a role model. Explain them as to how you cope positively when you are stressed. This will make him more confident. Children look up to their parents to determine how to react in a situation.
5. Do Not Take Over:Children suffering from anxiety disorders are very glad when they have parents to do things for them. This is not acceptable, as children will then never learn to cope up themselves. So avoid taking over their difficulties. Let your child deal with the situation on his own.
6. Reward Your Child:The little rewards will always lift your child’s spirits. Appreciate and reward your child for his small accomplishments on every step for managing disorders. Reward him with a tight hug or something tangible like a chocolate, ice-cream, gifts, etc.
7. Offer Comfort:Your child will largely benefit from your constant support and company. Try to play a favorite game of your child, cuddle him in your lap or do something that makes him happy. Bond well with your child so that he enjoys being with you and listens to what you tell him. By doing so he will share his fears and you can help him get over the same.
8. Physical Activities:Get your child outside for a walk to boost his mood. This will help him lift his spirits and give him a new perspective of revisiting his situation. Apart from this, make sure your child is eating healthy foods as lack of nutrition in his diet can contribute to stress and anxieties even more.
9. Minimize Scary Television:It is best to limit your child from watching scary shows, as your child will be less likely to get scared due to the visual impact.
Understand that dealing with anxieties will take time for anybody and your child is no exception. Try the above methods to enhance the communication channels between the both of you. If you think that in-spite of all the efforts your child is still suffering from high level of anxiety disorder, you have to immediately seek the help of a therapist.