Quiz: Are you a Robotic Parent?
1. For you, a "driving range" is defined as:
(1) green grass, blue skies, and your yellow golf balls
(2) the miles between hockey rinks (soccer fields, etc.) your child plays on during traveling team games
2. How well does your child know spiderman (barbie, etc.)?
(1) pretty well, by reading or watching a dvd they were in
(2) very well, as spiderman (barbie, etc.) has come to see him personally, at his birthday party
3. You artfully arrange a double sleepover (away) for your two kids on a Saturday night so you can:
(1) seduce your husband
(2) finish up studying how to help your kids with their homework
4. After a game of tennis with your daughter, you:
(1) give her a bottle of water, to rehydrate
(2) give her your remote control, thank her, and leave the room
5. You are cleaning the dinner dishes yourself because:
(1) your kids are in full body casts from a freak accident and can't help
(2) your kids are busy texting their friends
Scoring: If you scored 5 points, you are still a human person. If you scored 7-9, you are in the danger zone. If you scored 9 or 10, you have crossed over and become a robotic parent. Time for the 10 steps...
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Great job breathing!
It was the monthly “Recognition Assembly” at school, where all students are celebrated. I watched Ms. McDermott instruct her fifth grade students to stand up to be recognized and honored for their accomplishments. “Randy, for handing in his homework on time,” Ms. McDermott began, announcing their accomplishments, “Jessica for sharing her ideas.” “Sara for completing her class work on time.” “Kevin for being respectful.”
As I sat there I wondered, where was, “Nick for talking clearly”? Where was, “Kristen for coming to school with shoes on ”? What was wrong with this picture? What next? Jason, for not killing anyone. Michelle, for being able to walk and talk at the same time. Samantha for breathing without prompts?…
We’re setting unrealistic, unfair expectations for our children, yet at the same time we’re giving awards to our children for just doing what they’re supposed to do.
Why are we setting the bar so low? What’s next? A parade for the student who says “Bless you” when someone sneezes? A plaque for the student who stays in school for the entire school day? Shouldn’t we be teaching our children that doing what is expected is the norm? The bare minimum? Great, yes, commendable yes, but not award status!
Shouldn’t we encourage our children to strive to be the best they can be, and not just meet our...social norms?
And why do our children have to be amazing? Outstanding. Perfect! Why can’t we value our kids just for just being themselves? For being good people. Why is this not enough?
How can I help my child develop a realistic sense of herself and a healthy sense of self-esteem?
Robotic Parenting Step #9: Tell your children they did not do a good job.