In­dul­gent par­ents rais­ing ‘me first’ chil­dren

The Gympie Times - - YOU - — De­bra Kil­lalea, news.com.au

PAR­ENTS are so caught up in boost­ing their chil­dren’s self-es­teem that “they’re rais­ing a gen­er­a­tion of self-en­ti­tled and dis­re­spect­ful peo­ple’’.

Au­thor and par­ent­ing guru Michelle Mitchell said par­ents were cre­at­ing a rod for their own backs by in­tro­duc­ing bad habits early in their chil­dren’s lives.

Ms Mitchell said this in­cluded over-prais­ing chil­dren and not al­low­ing them to solve their own prob­lems.

The Bris­bane mother of two said an even big­ger con­cern was par­ents who al­lowed young teens to have un­re­stricted ac­cess to so­cial me­dia.

This meant young girls in par­tic­u­lar were at greater risk of be­ing sex­u­alised at an ear­lier age.

It was also lead­ing to in­creased anx­i­ety lev­els and a fear that their lives were bor­ing com­pared to oth­ers.

“The main is­sue with un­re­stricted so­cial me­dia is that kids have a ten­dency to only see the pos­i­tive side of what’s posted and not so much the bad bits, which re­in­forces the no­tion we live in a per­fect world,” Ms Mitchell said.

The au­thor of Par­ent­ing Teens in The Age of a New Nor­mal said teenage girls faced dif­fer­ent is­sues to pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions.

So­cial me­dia was just one ex­am­ple where young girls were com­ing un­stuck in ar­eas in­clud­ing bul­ly­ing and sex­u­al­i­sa­tion. Many lacked the emo­tional ma­tu­rity to deal with th­ese is­sues.

Ms Mitchell said the in­tro­duc­tion of smart­phones and so­cial me­dia made par­ent­ing even more chal­leng­ing to­day.

“Once you press send you don’t know where it goes or who to,” she said.

“I’m not say­ing don’t let them have so­cial me­dia and smart­phones, but if you’re a par­ent, own the tech­nol­ogy and give them the priv­i­lege of us­ing it.

“If you do let your daugh­ter on so­cial me­dia make them sign a con­tract with you. I say you’re do­ing them a dis­ser­vice by not do­ing this. In­sist on trans­parency.”

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