How Do You Raise Happy & Productive Kids In This Crazy World

If there were a parent alive that has the answer to this question, they would be the richest person in the world.  Parents have struggled with how to raise happy and productive kids since the beginning of time.  Every generation believes that they had it much worse growing up than their kids and that they never gave their parents the difficult time that their kids seem to be giving them.
Unfortunately, the current generation may be the first to be correct in their assumption.

With social media connecting our kids to each other and the entire world 24/7 and the level of technology they have at their fingertips, it may seem impossible to instill the same values that you learned growing up without these conveniences.  Today, your child can quickly Google the answers to his homework rather than take the time to read the material, think through a problem and formulate a comprehensive answer.  Rather than using his imagination to build a fort outside with his friends, he can connect with a stranger from thousands of miles away to kill aliens or humans in a multiplayer online role-playing game.  In such a “crazy world,” it begs the question, “How do we raise well-rounded, happy, productive kids?”

Because we are raising kids in a world much different from the one in which we grew up, it is difficult to supervise everything our kids see, hear and do.  Instead of unplugging the world, maybe we just need to learn to live in it more wisely.

Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.  – Benjamin Franklin

Do you remember having an early bedtime?  Did you get up early to do chores before going to school?  Children need boundaries and rules in order to learn consequences and responsibility.  It is difficult to be studious when you stayed up most of the night playing a video game.  A recent study revealed that children sleep better when parents establish rules and limit technology.  Help your child by being more productive and happier by setting and enforcing reasonable bedtimes.

The more you like yourself, the less you are like anyone else, which makes you unique.  - Walt Disney

Instilling in our children that they are special, unique and beautiful just as they are is important.  Children who are self-confident are less likely to choose risky behaviors under peer pressure.  Keep reassuring your child that he does not need to be “like” anyone else to be accepted.  It is okay to be different because we are all special in our own way.  Help your child learn to be happy with the person they are becoming by reinforcing positive behaviors while compassionately discouraging negative ones.

The man who rolls up his sleeves seldom loses his shirt.  - Thomas Cowan

image001Some people refer to the current generation as the “entitled generation” because this generation believes they should have everything they want simply because they exist.  Teaching our children the value of hard work is one of the best gifts we can give them as they are growing up.  Instead of giving your child everything he wants, allow him to earn an allowance to pay for things he wants.  He will learn the value of money and have more respect for his belongings because he earned them.

There is no blueprint for raising a happy, productive child.  However, the more time you spend with your child the more you will be able to instill the values you deem important rather than allowing this crazy world to guide your child as he grows up.

Image credit: emanuele spies