1.3
May 3, 2014

The Boundary Between Conscious Parenting & Controlling Children. ~ Ocean Pleasant

crying child

You might be wondering why a teenager is writing a parenting blog.

As a young person, I witness firsthand what happens when parents are incapable of drawing boundaries, forever transforming their children into insufferable teenyboppers who ask to be dropped off on the corner because they’re “embarrassed” of their “lame” parents.

I’ve seen it happen, I’ve had friends plagued by the pop culture epidemic, and trust me, unless you make your child take a five month sabbatical free of electronics in a sketchy rainforest somewhere, they will probably never grow out it.

Fortunately, there is something you can do right now to avoid the last resort (sketchy rainforest scenario).

Ask yourself the following questions. If you answer yes to one or more, keep reading.

1. Have you ever given your child something to prevent a tantrum?

2. Does your child dictate where you eat out? For instance, if you’re craving sushi, do you somehow end up at Noodles & Co eating mac n’ cheese?

3. Does taking your child to a gathering with your friends mean them asking to play on your phone, and you letting them (out of fear of them throwing a fit and demanding to leave)?

4. Do you let them play on your technological devices if only to buy you a moment of peace, or perhaps you purchase them their own?

5. Are you sometimes wary of their reaction when they don’t get their way?

If you answered ‘yes’ to:

1 question, your child is a pain in the butt 20 percent of the time

2 questions, your child is a pain in the butt 40 percent of the time

3 questions, your child is a pain in the butt 60 percent of the time

4 questions, your child is a pain in the butt 80 percent of the time

5 questions, your child is a pain in the butt 100 percent of the time (God forbid)

Don’t worry, this is all solvable.

What your child needs and wants more than anything, the one thing that will help them most growing up, is…boundaries.

And guess what? You need them too! (Desperately, if you answered three or more questions above.)

You’ve just worked 11 hours and really want sushi. Go get sushi, and encourage your youngster to try something new. Or maybe they just eat rice and soy sauce—that’s okay too!

Putting yourself first occasionally is not selfish; in fact, it’s exactly what your kid needs. They need to understand that the universe does not revolve around them, despite you living, breathing and sleeping to provide for them.

“Can I play angry birds?” *Child continues to tug on your hair while you’re in the middle of a conversation, until you hand them your phone (if only to save yourself from getting scalped).

This creates a technological dependency, both for you and your child. You learn how to bargain for a moment of peace, and they learn how to act out in order to receive this privilege.

By behaving poorly, your child learns that you will give them whatever they want to make them stop.

So, how can you encourage them to behave without also making them intolerable? Make them play outside, count sugar packets on the table, play tic-tac-toe. When children possess the ability to entertain themselves and activate their imagination, suddenly they have a skill that will serve them for the rest of their lives.

So, please, do the planet a favor and help culture the next generation in a fashion which promotes conscious interaction, respect and awareness.

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Apprentice Editor: Kimby Maxson / Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: Flickr

 

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Ocean Pleasant

Ocean Pleasant, 17, is the Global Youth Editor for Origin. Magazine, also working in production for Mantra Yoga + Health and Thrive. She is launching her own national title, REAL Youth Culture, this July, a quarterly publication encouraging the next-generation to brainstorm solutions for issues our planet is facing while also engaging with local organizations making a difference. She is the founder of Hope Photo Project, working to empower young girls in slums through photography. This project has been curated in New Delhi and Kenya. You can catch her giving a talk at Tedx Women in Vail this December, or check out her blog, to learn more.