Earlier we looked at a lack of discipline in My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy – Lack of Discipline as we continue discussing I Can’t Be a “Keeper At Home” Because … with a focus on My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy.
The following aren’t necessarily discipline issues because a child could be perfectly obedient and still do some of the following. However, these can lead to attitudes and behaviors that will cause the family added stress.
2. Children are eating too many high calorie foods and yet never expending the energy they have stored.
This is something that previous generations generally never had to deal with. Our highly processed foods with so many chemicals and added high fructose sugar can wreck havoc with a child’s behavior and energy level. Some children expend the excess energy with hyper activity while others may just gain weight.
Another related issue is the carbohydrate crash, the eating of sugar laden foods which give quick energy but then when the carbohydrates are used up lead to an energy crash a few hours later. This can quickly turn a happy, obedient child into a whiny and tired child. Some children are more sensitive to this type of sugar highs and lows.
There are many sources for improving the nutrition of your family available both in books and online. But since this is a weak area in my own family if you have some good resources share them in the comments.
3. TV, videos and sedentary games have replaced exercise and outdoors play. Children haven’t been taught how to play games like baseball and soccer without all the extras. Organized sports have replaced free unstructured play.
This issue combines with the above diet issue to cause added stress. Children have too much energy and yet do not have good habits in order to deal with the excess energy. Have you ever seen a child who does not know how to play? I have. I’m talking about the child that needs an adult to get them started on an activity and to constantly help them with ideas. The child that can’t go outside with friends and just play ball without the structure of an organized sport.
All parents should encourage their children to be creative and come up with play ideas on their own. No mother has the time to constantly be leading her child in play and activity just because the child is not able or willing to do so for them self. Often this type behavior occurs more with an only child or when there is a boy and a girl divided by a few years. But if the only way a child knows how to occupy themselves is with TV or videos then the parent is encouraging habits that may last a lifetime. If watching TV or playing video games is not what you want your adult child to be doing all day then they should not be doing so as a child.
4. Mothers were not taught how to manage home and children because many of their own mothers worked.
This is an area where a Titus 2 friend would be very helpful. There are many young women that fall into this category and do not know what to do each day or how to manage a home. Since my mother always worked, I did not grow up seeing many women managing their homes. My grandmother that was home also lived on a farm so she was busy with her garden, canning, freezing, and quilting but since I didn’t have much opportunity to do those, I found it harder as a young mom to structure my day. The few other women I saw at home where my babysitters, which all I remember is watching soap operas all day, not good for me as a child or for them!
Mrs. Parunak has written a post for stay-at-home wives which might be helpful for those who are just beginning to be home each day – What Do You Do All Day? Creating a Schedule for a Stay-At-Home Wife.
5. Children are not expected to work and be productive members of the family. They have been trained to be catered to.
Do you remember reading books of older times about the children? Books such as Little House on the Prairie? The children did have free time but they also had many chores and responsibilities to fulfill. It may have been hauling water or feeding animals but every family member had responsibilities that helped the household. The children were important and necessary to the household and everyone worked as a team. (Just as a soapbox – This is why people think children need team sports, which they really don’t need. Team sports have taken the places of families. Families are the ultimate “team”! There is a big difference between helping score a point on a field and helping to feed your family. The sense of accomplishment does not compare between a useless sport and being a necessary part of the family. The goal is to develop real character and not just self-esteem.) Now granted living in the city the opportunities are fewer for really important chores that aid the family but that just takes more thought on the parents part.
When is your child going to learn to work hard for 40 plus hours a week to support a family, as an adult, if some hard and regular work does not begin at home? How is your daughter going to learn that babies must be fed, clothes washed, supper prepared and cleaned up no matter what else is going on, if she doesn’t learn at home?