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Marie Woods LMFT CSAT-S's blog

Children Are Not Little Adults

After attending a host of holiday gatherings over the past few months, I started reflecting on a pattern I noticed of a lack of attention that being paid towards young children at some of these events. What I noticed was not that children were being overtly neglected, but that there seemed to be some odd expectation that they would behave like little adults while the actual adults got on with more important and mature matters.

This observation inspired my thinking process, and thus this blog post, about reasonable expectations for children.  The old saying that “children should be seen and not heard” is long since a thing of the past, and we have plenty of research to show that quite the opposite is true in terms of promoting their healthy development.

  • Children are meant to play. In this process, they are meant to explore, make messes, and be spontaneous. This means that they will jump from one thing to the next without thinking, and yes, without cleaning up. This process is critical to their development. Their brains are not developed enough to complete one task at a time, clean it up, and then neatly move on to another one. (Let’s be honest, some adults can’t even do this).

How to Have Less Technology and More Engagement This Year

A common complaint among parents these days is that their kids spend too much time on technology. In fact, it’s the reason why many families call our office. Parents often notice that their child seems disengaged and less interested in other social activities, and thus prefers the tablet or video games. After arguing with their child (and sometimes even their spouse) for days and months on end, they often seek therapy out of frustration. Here are a couple of strategies we offer to help families strike a balance with technology use and family time.

1.     Avoid discounting technology all together. Taking extreme measures like banning all technology does not help teach balance. Of course there are sometimes when restricting privileges is appropriate, but those should be on a case-by-case basis.