Since the beginning of time, a few topics – such as bedtime, diet and the appropriate footwear for school – have been a constant source of disagreement between children and their parents. In amongst this inability to see eye-to-eye, tantrums can ensue… and that’s just the adults!
All jokes aside, as caregivers, we’re duty-bound to remember the old saying: “Mum (and Dad) knows best” when it comes to bringing up baby. So why don’t our kids always see things our way? For the sake of family harmony, I wanted to know if there were a few places where a little compromise could be sought on some of the biggest parent/child conflicts.
Gaming and Online Safety
Kids of all ages absolutely love gaming (particularly in our household)! Scientifically speaking, there are actually a number of reasons why gaming can actually be beneficial to your child’s development. As well as encouraging problem-solving and nurturing their creative capabilities, video games can help kids bond with their peers while giving them a healthy interest in friendly competition.
This being said, kids have a natural tendency to want to be part of the big, wide world while parents have a natural instinct to protect them from it. If your kids are into ‘Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games’ (MMORPGs), you might be concerned about the possibility of them talking to strangers online. One solution is to invest in a dedicated game server from a known provider that allows them to play online with friends. The server will only allow known acquaintances to join (as players need to be invited and accepted to take part) so that your child can have the fun of an online multiplayer function, with peace of mind for mums and dads.
Every child-rearing book has a different opinion on whether bedtime should be strictly enforced, but taking a middle ground stance is the easiest way to ensure that older kids have an opportunity to get enough sleep without feeling “forced” to live by a strict timetable. Older children are especially aggrieved by having a bedtime hour, so instead of insisting that they be asleep by a certain time, why not compromise that as long as they are in bed and not using their electronic devices or watching TV, they can stay up an hour or two past regulation. This gives them some freedom, a sense of responsibility and an opportunity to pursue ‘quiet activities’ such as reading, writing or drawing until they naturally feel ready to drift off.
If you have fussy kids (particularly the young ones) you’ll know mealtimes can be a battleground. It’s no easy task to cater for everyone’s individual tastes while also ensuring your kids are getting the right nutrition in them, to boot. Rather than make mealtimes a dictatorship, a little listening goes a long way. As opposed to the expansive list of things your kids won’t eat, one idea is to sit them down to discuss what healthy veggies and fruits they actually will enjoy. You might be surprised how varied their palettes are, so combine their newly agreed healthy food preferences with some active participation (children are generally more enthusiastic to eat meals they’ve helped to prepare) and you’ve got yourself a recipe for mealtime harmony. Bon appetite!