Book Giveaway: Teaching Kids to Think: Raising Confident, Independent, and Thoughtful Children in an Age of Instant Gratification
7am on Saturday morning – I’ve already checked my iPhone and I am preparing this book giveaway and review post with my MacBook still in bed; my 6 year old son is treating me as a recliner, laying on my back watching something that sounds like the history of Pokemon video on his 3DS; my 10 year old son is in the TV room watching MineCraft YouTube videos on his Kindle Fire.
WHAT THE… why would I share this with you? Because. It’s real life, it’s happening. I don’t normally take my MacBook to bed but it was a late Friday night catching up on some freelance design projects. Back to the kids 😉 I’d like to also mention that our house rules are the boys only get videos on weekends. This is a treat for them.
It’s about the only ‘screen’ rule I have successfully put into place and can enforce. It is not easy, it would be so easy to not setup email accounts for them, not pay for parental controls, not set passwords, so easy to give up those passwords when begged – not have to input passwords while showering or at 6am and not have to reset the passwords when hubs says it out loud during our phone conversation. Ugh.
They do get free apps, sometimes. They do have to wait, most times. They get new video games as a reward for doing things (or, who am I kidding, when their dad takes them randomly to GameStop…). They turn off the handhelds at 7pm daily.
These restrictions are what they need because it’s a daily struggle – yes, daily struggle to manage the number of screens and screen times. I am most concerned with the 6 year old, he is very curious and way ahead of his brother when it comes to technology. “I wish I could download… Mom look, look, a 30 day trial! Mom, can you look something up online?” If you know him you know it’s not make believe. I kid you not. If you know us you’ll know they are good kids, we are happy, healthy and social… but that’s for another post.
I’m not a big book reader, in fact the last paperback (crime novel) I read was in the year 2000. You don’t read?! Yes, I read. I read articles using Flipbook on my iPad, I read magazines via Next Issue. I read kids books to the boys often. I read blogs online. I read recipes. Information and media is everywhere.
I’m a few chapters into the book at this point. It is an easy read. All ‘three of my boys’ are rolling their eyes watching me read this book. What is she going to do next. I’m looking forward to learning what others have gone through and some teaching tips as they are getting older.
Setting the scene for our life is not exactly the book review I imagined, but (errr, no way i’m erasing this) it shows that I can relate to those families raising kids of the Instant Gratification Generation. This book is packed full of so much beneficial information.
Let’s get to the giveaway !
a Rafflecopter giveaway
An Excerpt From…
TEACHING KIDS TO THINK
BY DARLENE SWEETLAND AND RON STOLBERG
One of the most common mistakes that parents make is failing to recognize the difference between supporting their children and rescuing them. When a parent rescues his children from a conflict, he is “doing” it for them. In the previous chapter, we identified this as the rescue trap. By contrast, when parents support their child in solving the problem independently, parents are “encouraging” the process of critical thinking and tolerance. The child is using problem-solving, planning, and social skills while at the same time learning to tolerate the discomfort that comes from not feeling sure about the resolution. This process is essential practice for developing children and teenagers, and it is lost when they are rescued.
Anxiety as a Healthy Emotion
Anxiety is a state of uneasiness and apprehension about future uncertainties. In other words, anxiety occurs when a person does not know what will happen. Parents know that life is full of uncertainty. We cannot change that for ourselves or for our children. What we can do is prepare our children for how to deal calmly with life’s uncertainties.
One week, I received calls from three separate families wanting therapy for a child who was feeling anxious and beginning to avoid activities. One wanted to stay home from school because she was afraid to talk to her teacher about missing an assignment; one wanted to come home from school because he was nervous about talking to longtime friends at lunch after a misunderstanding the day before; and one wanted to quit soccer and avoid practice because she didn’t think the other players thought she was good enough.
Many teens come into our office because they are feeling anxious, and they cope with this feeling by using avoidance tactics. The causes of anxiety among teens vary, but the overarching theme is that teens have had very little experience facing challenges without a parent to rescue them. Time and time again, we hear about teens who have expressed anxiety to their parents, only for their parents to ease their discomfort by solving the problem for them. In doing so, teens fail to realize that anxiety is temporary and that resolving the problem on their own could actually decrease their anxiety. Instead, they learn a false sense of security that everything will work out, because mom or dad will always be there to save them. Teenagers who have never had the opportunity to practice problem solving on their own are at a huge disadvantage when they make a teenage-sized mistake that their parents can’t protect them from. For example, we often have parents share with us that they can’t believe their teenager was pulled over by the police for being out after curfew or being caught with friends who were drinking. These same teenagers were driven to school every day, their only social activities were organized by adults, and they were so busy there was no time for chores or family responsibilities. Their parents then expect them to make good choices when they had no chance for practice in doing so before. We know it is difficult to let children have the freedom to mess some things up, but allowing it when they are younger prepares them for the choices they will need to make later on.
A parent’s motivation for attempting to rescue their child typically stems from the parent’s own anxiety and a sense of protectiveness. We all want to prevent our children from having a negative experience, especially when we have the power or knowledge to fix it. Yet one of the best gifts you can give your children is teaching them not to fear uncertainty. Your children will gain self-confidence in knowing they have the ability to deal with whatever circumstance comes their way. It can be as simple as letting your child go to the restroom by himself in a familiar restaurant. It’s possible that he might get lost on the way back to the table, so he may feel anxious. But after walking around looking for you, or even asking a staff member for directions, he will probably make it back to the table with the realization that he has the power to solve his own problems. Another option is to give your children two or three items to retrieve for you at a familiar grocery store on their own. This type of solo experience increases children’s self-confidence, pride, and sense of responsibility. While some parents may feel wary about this level of independence and might think, “What if he gets lost?” We say, “In this safe environment, I hope he gets lost so he can figure out what to do.”
BOOK MEDIA KIT:
Teaching Kids to Think: Raising Confident, Independent, and Thoughtful Children in an Age of Instant Gratification
Darlene Sweetland, Ph.D. and Ron Stolberg Ph.D.
Sourcebooks; March 3, 2015; ISBN: 9781492602750; $14.99, Trade Paperback
Why Do Kids These Days Expect Everything to be Given to Them?
Today’s kids don’t know how to read a map. They can Google the answer to any question at lightning speed. If a teen forgets his homework, a quick call to mom or dad has it hand-delivered in minutes. Fueled by the rapid pace of technology, the Instant Gratification Generation not only expects immediate solutions to problems—they’re more dependent than ever on adults. Today’s kids are being denied opportunities to make mistakes, and more importantly, to learn from them. They are being taught not to think.
In Teaching Kids to Think, Dr. Darlene Sweetland and Dr. Ron Stolberg offer insight into the social, emotional, and neurological challenges unique to this generation. They identify the five parent traps that cause adults to unknowingly increase their children’s need for instant gratification, and offer practical tips and easy-to-implement solutions to address topics relevant to children of all ages.
A must-read for parents and educators, Teaching Kids to Think will help you understand where this sense of entitlement comes from—and how to turn it around in order to raise children who are confident, independent, and thoughtful.
Clinical psychologists and international speakers, DARLENE SWEETLAND and RON STOLBERG have decades of experience working with children and their families as well as consulting with teachers, counselors and administrators. They are married and facing similar challenges of raising children and teens of this generation.
Note: I received this product for free. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.