Difficult Topics, Great for All Ages, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#103 What’s the Hubbub Surrounding Spanking? (with Alison Smith)

The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out a strongly worded statement arguing against spanking because the AAP argues that spanking can harm kids. This is controversial because a lot of parents spank their kids as part of discipline and no one wants to hear that they are doing the wrong thing, especially when they feel like they don’t have a good alternative. So what’s the deal with spanking? And are there good alternatives?

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The American Academy of Pediatrics just put out a strongly worded statement arguing against spanking because the AAP argues that spanking can harm kids.

What are the arguments in favor of spanking?

  • “I got spanked and I turned out fine.”
    • Years of research show that most people who were spanked usually aren’t “fine”.
      • Anecdotal evidence vs. research based evidence
        • Anecdotal evidence is a true story of one person in one particular set of circumstances in his/her own results.
        • Research takes lots of anecdotal evidence into account and the person’s particular circumstances, as well.
    • Is it really worth the risk?

What are the consequences of spanking?

  • It does do harm, but it often appears over time.
  • We have laws and ethical standards against hitting animals, spouses, strangers, so how are children biologically different that makes hitting them ok?
  • Any force, whether physical, emotional, etc., from a larger adult to a child has subtle and significant impacts.
  • The idea of spanking is to inflict at least temporary pain or discomfort.
    • How can we then say that it is not causing pain or discomfort?
  • When they are touched in a private area (the buttock) that they are supposed to protect; they feel shame and humiliation because they’ve had no choice in that.
    • This causes uncertainty and confusion about whether the buttock is a private part of the body.
    • Children can’t articulate this, but they know that something feels off, uncomfortable, or “icky.”
    • Under the age of approximately seven, children have not developed in the part of the brain that judges whether something they see or hear is true or not. So, if someone they love/respect and has a place of power does something to them and says it’s their fault, children take that in internally that they are bad and have done something wrong. They don’t even know how or why, but they feel uncomfortable, knows it has something to do with the private parts of their bodies, and that they must deserve it if this loving person is doing this to them.

Many parents believe that they have to spank their child. There are interventions that work just as well in the short term and are better for the long-term, without the risks associated with spanking.

What are a few good discipline techniques?

  • Allow them to feel like they can come for help without the fear of something bad or uncomfortable happening that may cause them to lose part of that connection they have with you. Then there’s an opportunity to work with your children to help them see the possible outcomes of all of their choices, which then builds the trust and connection between you and your children for next time so they will be more likely to come back to ask for guidance.
    • Keep a good, open communication with your child.
    • The decision making part of the brain does not fully develop until the child is 25-30 years old.
  • Teach the problem solving process and give them safe practice.  
  • Expect them to mess up.
    • There was a fear of messing up because of the thought of being in trouble. This kept us from taking healthy risks and from learning important things. It stifled us.
    • Our goal is to teach them in the moment how to make those right decisions.

But, there has to be consequences sometimes…

  • Consequences are a natural result of something.
  • Some consequences we don’t want them to experience.
  • It takes time and intentional effort.
    • We need new skills to teach us how to do this.

Where do parents go for help now that parenting has changed?

  • Parents can visit a
    • Parenting specialist
    • Therapist with specialized backgrounds in parenting/family dynamics, relationships, problem solving
    • Parenting consultant/coach/educator.
      • They focus on prevention. They consider relationship as much as possible.
  • Follow the links below.

What constitutes spanking? I have a friend who gives her son just a little tap when he’s messing up and she argues that he immediately stops and corrects his behavior. She argues that this is not spanking.

  • I would argue that it is in fact a form of spanking – she is hitting her child and that is physical punishment. And I think that teaches the child that hitting is okay – because his mom is modeling that behavior for him.
  • It teaches that might makes right.
    • Whomever has the size, strength, or power, and if they are motivated enough then they can use their size, strength, or power and it’s ok.
  • It confuses the child on what’s private, what their in charge of, and what someone in power can do.

Summary of how spanking is harmful:

  • There’s more than physical harm. It affects the way they think, the way they internalize the mistakes that they’re making, and it has a lasting impact.
    • Parenting is the most important relationship.
    • People can heal, but it takes more work to counteract those early years.
  • Being spanked has been linked to lower self-esteem, depression, masochism, and psychological distress.
    • It has an emotional affect.
  • It impacts the relationship between parents and children when power is taken out of the equation. The bond and trust we have is important to protect.

References & Resources:

Alison Smith Parent Coach

A Gift from Alison Smith: The Gentle Parenting Manifesto from

The Happy Student episodes on discipline:

“The General Rules of Discipline”

“Types of Discipline”

“Giving Logical Consequences”

“What To Do When Your Kid ‘Talks Back’ with Alison Smith”

“The Bizarre Time-Out Controversy”

“Lighthouse Parenting”

Debra L. Stang has put together some excellent arguments against spanking, using both research and common myths in favour of physical punishment. I shared a number of points from her article. https://nospank.net/stang2.htm

GENERAL SPANKING RESEARCH LINKS

https://stopspanking.org/research/

https://stopspanking.org/2013/06/20/what-researchers-say-about-spanking/

Hard-hitting essay on the evolution of society’s view of what constitutes violence.

https://medium.com/@tommycrow/parents-who-spank-should-be-worried

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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Great for All Ages, Parent Tips, Stress Management, The Happy Student Podcast

#102 How To Be Happy and Fulfilled So Your Kids Are Too

Our kids do as we do. And what we want for them is to be happy and fulfilled. So, if they’re going to be like us, we need to be happy and fulfilled so they can be. Easier said than done. Fireborn’s got 7 tips that intertwine so you can do multiple at a time for maximum happiness efficiency, so that your kids can learn how to be just like you.

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  1. Give yourself some quiet time.
    1. Take time to meditate, to reflect on the day, and to daydream, and maybe to practice some yoga.
    2. You can specifically set aside time for quiet time in a specific place and your kids know they are not to bother you while you are there (or they can quietly join you in your quiet time).
      1. Put on some classical music that is a cue to your kids that it is your reflection time. If your kids interrupt or ask, definitely tell them what you are doing and why. They will start to interrupt you less and less and they may even start to join you.
  2. Put the phone and social media away.
    1. The real problem is “reverse FOMO”. You’re not missing out on anything online. But by always being online you’re missing out on life.
    2. So stop the scrolling and live in the real world more often.
    3. This gives more time for that quiet reflection.
  3. Spend more time having conversations with people (in person if possible).
    1. Use phones to make plans to hang out with people, but avoid using it to catch up. If you can’t meet up in person, a phone call is way better than texting.
    2. That personal connection is so much more powerful and healthy and joy-producing than seeing life updates on Instagram.
  4. Give and get a lot of hugs (with consent obviously).
    1. As Eric Barker puts it, “Hugs make you happier.”
  5. Make plans and do stuff together with your friends.
    1. Don’t just talk with your friends, do stuff together! Learn a new activity together!
    2. Eric says, “Someone else is not doing cooler things than you because they have “more time”. It’s because they have different priorities.”
  6. Have a hobby and make sure your leisure time is high quality.
    1. Hobbies are things we are passionate about. Things we like to do, skills we like to learn, and challenges we like to overcome.
  7. Remember to focus on your values.
    1. People are prioritizing doing cool stuff because that is what they value.
    2. We don’t even think about how to spend our free moments. Somehow it just happened that every time we have a second, we check our phone. So you have to figure out what you value and remind yourself of those values to get  motivated to not check and scroll forever and to do that cool stuff instead. You have to be intentional with your time.

Reference:

Barker, E. (2019) This is the most powerful way to make your life fantastic. Barking Up the Wrong Tree.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

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Difficult Topics, Executive Functions Training, Great for All Ages, Stress Management, The Happy Student Podcast

#101 Emotional Control

It can be really difficult for kids to focus on school work when they’re having social troubles and yet sometimes we have to sit through class or study for a test even though we are going through tough times. We have to be able to control our emotions in order to get stuff done. Learning to control our emotions when it’s hard requires learning how to do that when our emotions aren’t out of control. Fireborn’s got 6 tips to help you help your kid control their emotions when times are easy so that they are easier to control when times are hard.

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Peg Dawson and Richard Guare state that you have good emotional control if you agree with the following three statements:

1.     My emotions seldom get in the way when performing on the job.

2.     Little things do not affect me emotionally or distract me from the task at hand.

3.     I can defer my personal feelings until after the task has been completed.

It can be really difficult for kids to focus on school work when they’re having social troubles, maybe they just had a fight with their friend or maybe they didn’t do well on a test and they feel anxious about it. Those anxious or sad emotions can get in the way of focusing in the current class. It can be distressing to have to wait until recess to talk to your friend to repair the relationship. It’s okay to have those distressed, anxious, sad emotions. It’s normal. It’s natural.

So, emotional control is not about not feeling emotions. It’s about recognizing that you have that emotion, but not letting it get in the way of you doing what you need to do. We do not want our emotions to control us.

Your child is feeling sad because their friend hurt their feelings. But he/she can’t always mend the relationship right away. He/she has to be able to get stuff done even though he/she is dealing with a lot of emotions. So how do he/she do that?

We need to calm down – but I would NEVER recommend saying that to anyone. Saying “Calm down” to someone invalidates their feelings, making them feel like you don’t understand, and so they get further enraged. So instead of saying, “Calm down”, we work on techniques for calming down, like meditation.

  • Practicing 10 minutes of meditation a day when we are already calm helps us to realize when we are getting agitated and need to meditate in other situations.
  • Finding an app like Calm or a CD or activity book for meditation like Sitting Still Like a Frog can help teach your child to notice when their emotions are overwhelming them and can give them strategies to calm themselves down.

Another technique you can teach your kid for calming down is to teach them how to realize when they are flipping their lid. Flipping your lid is one way experts use to describe what’s happening in your brain when your emotions take charge.

  • To describe flipping your lid goes like this…
  • Use your hand closed as a fist to represent your brain. Your palm is the “downstairs” brain – the emotional part of your brain. The downstairs emotional part of your brain quickly determines threats and reacts.
  • The upstairs part of your brain are your fingers covering that palm when your hand is in a fist. The upstairs part of your brain is the logical, problem solving part of your brain. So it works with the downstairs brain to figure out if there is really a threat and what to do about it.
  • When you are calm, your upstairs and downstairs brain are working together nicely to sort through your emotions and problem solve anything that pops up.
  • But when we get overwhelmed, we “flip our lid” – when that happens the fingers rise up and your upstairs brain is no longer connected to your downstairs brain. Your downstairs brain, your emotions, have taken control. And you can no longer think clearly and problem solve.

Then you teach them the trick to getting back to that brain that looks like a fist where the downstairs and upstairs are working well together – and the trick is to BREATHE.

  • Breathing out slowly cools off your downstairs brain and allows your upstairs brain to come back and work with your emotions. So each time you flip your lid, count how many breaths you need to take until your lid has come back down.

Exercise is also always a good option for getting your emotions back in check. There is something about using up all that anxious or angry energy that helps us to re-center ourselves.

Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg recommends that you “Blank it out” which means that you fill in the blank and write it out, dance it out, sing it out, draw it out, or whatever you want to blank it out.

Finally, to prepare for times when you know your emotions could get out of control, role play the scenario at home first.

  • Problem solve ahead of time so that when they get to the scary situation they are equipped with strategies to deal with their anxiety.

To summarize… to help your child develop emotional control:

1.     Meditate

2.     Teach your kids about flipping their lid

3.     Teach your kids the solution to flipping their lid: breathing

4.     Exercise

5.     Blank it out

6.     Role play

Resources:

Calm

Flipping Your Lid

Sitting Still Like a Frog

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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Definitions, Easy Action Items, Executive Functions Training, School Advice, The Happy Student Podcast

#100 : Work that Memory

Working memory is basically your short-term memory. If you struggle with working memory, you just don’t have the space in your short-term memory to remember what you just read. It can be hard for note taking because maybe you want to respond to your teacher’s question, but the person next to you is making a good point – how do you write down what they are saying while remembering what you want to say? It’s super hard and frustrating! So we’ve got some tips to help you improve your kids’ working memory!

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Working memory is basically your short-term memory. It’s all the information you are storing and using now.

If you disagree with the following statements, it means that working memory is not one of your strengths:

  • I have a good memory for facts, dates, and details.
  • I am very good at remembering the things I have committed to do.
  • I seldom need reminders to complete tasks.

Here are some other things to look out for if you are worried your kid might have weak working memory skills (these are provided by Attitude Magazine):

  • You want to join in a conversation, but, by the time the other person stops talking, you forget what you wanted to say.
  • You consistently lose your keys, cell phone, wallet, or homework.
  • You get lost easily, even when you were just given directions.
  • You have trouble following a conversation because you forget what the other person has just said.
  • You have many unfinished projects because you become distracted and forget about the first project.
  • You plan to do some work at home, but you forget to bring needed items with you.
  • You have to reread a paragraph several times to retain the information.
  • You miss deadlines at work because of your disorganization and inability to follow through on projects.

Tips on improving working memory:

Write it all down

Write down everything. If your kid really wants to use an app for things like a planner, that’s fine, but there is something about actually writing it down on paper that can help improve memory as well.

Break down overwhelming projects into simple, targeted tasks

Write down all of the things you have to do to study – like redo all the old tests and quizzes, redo the old homework problems, and so on. Then do one task at a time.

Reduce multitasking

Multitasking is really taxing on your brain’s resources. It’s much easier for your brain to do one thing and then move on to the next.

Develop routines

Routines make it so you don’t have to think about what you are doing – you just do it automatically. That reduces the amount of resources your brain has to use, freeing it up to spend those resources on other things.

Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness and meditation help to reduce distractions and improve focus, both of which are very important to improving your working memory.

Play games

Games like Memory, the card game, Uno, Go Fish, Crazy Eights, and Sudoku help you to stretch and grow those working memory muscles. You can also check out CogMed, Play Attention, and Lumosity for some working memory games.

Work on visualization

Have your kid draw pictures of what they just heard.

Have your child teach you the skill that they are working on

This gets them engaging with the information in a more active way than passively listening to the teacher and trying to remember it later.

One big overarching theme is reduce distractions.

Another theme is to help your kid interact with the information by visualizing it or teaching it to you or making it interesting or unique in another way that we didn’t talk about like turning it into a song or something like that.

References & Resources:

Attitude Mag

CogMed

Lumosity

Play Attention

Understood.org

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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Elementary School, Great for All Ages, High School, Middle School, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#99 Bob Sternberg on Wisdom, Intelligence, Creativity, and Success

Psychologist Bob Sternberg joins Fireborn to talk about how there is more to succeeding and thriving than testing well. He says “You don’t have to be the best student in your class to have something to contribute to the world.” That’s an excellent message to get across to kids because in school you are so often assessed based on grades that it may be hard to remember that you have value even if you aren’t the best in your class. In this episode, we talk about how to help your child really take that message to heart.

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What skills are tests missing?

Creativity

  • People need to aware and adept to the ambiance of the rapidly changing world in order to succeed. This applies both for businesses and in social aspects of life.
  • Schools don’t reward creativity, but actively penalize it. School want things done a certain way. For example, if the student does not solve a mathematical problem the way they were taught, but wrote the correct answer, they would still lose points for not following the way they were taught to solve the problem.

What can parents do?

  • The best thing to do is model creativity and not be dogmatic about it. Look for opportunities to demonstrate your own creativity to your kids. Be flexible in your own life.
  • Encourage your child to look at problems in alternative ways and take sensible risks.
  • Help your child realize that when you do things creatively you may get beaten down, but that’s ok, you have to be resilient in the face of objections or resistance.
  • Reward creativity.
  • Sometimes you have to look at things differently from how you have in the past by letting go of the things you may have once believed was true.

Common Sense or Practical Intelligence

  • This means knowing how to respond to different kinds of practical and social situations; such as handling conflict and making judgements of things that our “worth your time.”
  • Common sense or practical intelligence is weakly correlated with IQ type and academic intelligence. “Being a star student doesn’t buy you any common sense.”
  • Common sense or practical intelligence is important. Tests don’t value your ability to navigate the world, however

What can parents do?

  • Make sure your kids are talking to you about their problems and challenges with others.
  • Help them work through the problems they may have (don’t just tell them the answer) by discussing possible options with their advantages and disadvantages. This encourages social problem solving. By telling kids what to do it’s hard for them to develop common sense because then they don’t have experiential basis of what to do.
  • You should model common sense because children are more likely to do what you do, not just what you say.

Wisdom

  • Wisdom means using your knowledge and abilities for a common good. It’s taking the smarts you have and applying it to make the world a better place.

What can parents do?

  • Show that as a parent you value a common good. Show that you care about making the world a better place and you hope they will too.
  • Think about what to do to make the world a better place.
  • Have your child do prosocial things that will help whatever issues you think are important.

Find one’s passion

  • Parents can help their child find the “thing(s)” that’s right for them. This may be something parents did not have in mind. Parents can help encourage their child to find what excites them, whether or not it excites the parents. Just make sure that it doesn’t get them in trouble.
  • Parents may try to impose their value system onto their child, and that doesn’t work. It may not be what’s best for them.

What can parents do?

  • You may try a lot of things with your kids and find that most don’t work. Expose them to different kinds of experiences and interests, knowing that most won’t work.

Parents should show genuine interest and be willing to devote their time and mental resources to kids. When your kids talk, listen to them. When they need help be there for them. Don’t be intrusive and try to take over their life. Invest yourself in making the kids who they can be. This takes time and patience.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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HERE’S HOW TO SUBSCRIBE & REVIEW

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Difficult Topics, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#97 When Your Sad Teen Won’t Open Up

Communicating with teens can be a challenge. And it can only get harder when they are sad, stressed, or grumpy. Maybe they come home and are just furiously texting or maybe they come home and they rush to their room or they hang out in the family area, but they just don’t engage with you, despite your sweet, sincere attempts to figure out what’s wrong. Psychologist Lisa Damour, who wrote Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, has identified 4 reasons why your teenager may not be talking to you when they are upset. In this episode we talk about all 4 of them and what you can do to get your teen to open up to you.

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Communicating with teens can be a challenge. And it can only get harder when they are sad, stressed, or grumpy.

Psychologist Lisa Damour, who wrote Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood, has identified 4 reasons why your teenager may not be talking to you when they are upset.

1.     They worry you’ll have the wrong reaction.

  • Your kids know you pretty well having studied you and seeing your reactions to their behavior their entire lives. So they may rightly worry that by telling you that they bombed a test that you will react by talking about how that’s unacceptable.

The fix:

  • You have to be able to keep yourself from having exactly that bad reaction.
  • Then, start the conversation by saying, “Are you worried that I’ll have a bad reaction?” This can be a really hard conversation for parents because if this is happening, your kid could tell you exactly what they are worried about happening and they could be totally right and that could really make you feel attacked and you could start getting defensive.
  • By having this conversation that is more about your reactions, you lay the groundwork for later conversations when your teen comes home and will feel more comfortable opening up to you because you will have hopefully figured out how to react in a way that your teen appreciates and that makes your teen feel safe opening up to you.

2.     They anticipate negative repercussions.

  • If they have done something wrong, made a mistake, or maybe one of their friends did something bad, they may worry that telling you will have a negative consequence for them.

The fix:

  • As Lisa says, “there are two rules I live by: good kids do dumb things, and I never have the whole story.”
  • This isn’t to say that there are no consequences, often there need to be consequences. Encourage your kid to take responsibility and think about their actions and do what is right. We all make mistakes and have to learn how to make up for them. This conversation teaches your kid how to start doing that

3.     They know that parents sometimes blab.

  • Especially as kids get older, they start wanting to have more secrets. And so if they realize that you have shared their top secret information with someone else, they may stop telling you those things that they don’t want shared.

The fix:

  • If you have accidentally broken your kids’ trust, the answer is simple: apologize. It may take time for your kid to test you and trust you again, but it’s a good first step.
  • If you are just trying to get ahead of this one, just promise them that what they say at home to you will remain between the two of you (and maybe your co-parent as well). And if there is ever something that is top secret, you could ask that they remind you ahead of time that this is really super private.
  • Let your kids know that if someone is in danger, you will have to tell other adults.

4.     Talking doesn’t feel like the solution.

  • Sometimes kids have already been processing what they’re going through so much that they are just tired of it. They may be so close to getting over whatever it was, they don’t want to rehash it all. They just want to move on quickly.

The fix:

  • Just give some basic comfort – hanging out with them, watching TV, chatting about silly stuff, or quietly snuggling them

Using these “fixes” to help improve your communication can make life smoother for them and for you and really enhance your relationship.

Resource:Damour, L. (2017). “Why your grumpy teenager doesn’t want to talk to you.”The New York Times.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?

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Definitions, Parent Tips, The Happy Student Podcast

#96 The Effectiveness of Helicopter Parenting

Recently research about the effectiveness of helicopter parenting came out – it seemed to say that helicopter parenting works. And yet, experts, like us, have warned against it. So Fireborn took a look at this research and came to the conclusion that maybe helicopter parenting works, but the research affirms what experts have always been saying: an authoritative parenting style is the most important thing for positive outcomes.

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No one that I know wants to be a helicopter parent. It’s more like they feel forced into it because of societal pressures. And then they feel ashamed of being a helicopter parent because all of the experts tell them it’s actually bad for their kids. I try to avoid talking about helicopter parenting or tiger moms or the lawnmower parent or any other term used for parents that’s not scientific and based in research.

Wikipedia says that a helicopter parent is: a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. It is hyper-involved parenting that this New York Times article says “is the route to kids’ success in today’s unequal world.”

Helicopter parenting is not one of the three main types of parenting researched by researchers (though, to be fair, it is now being researched, but it has not found a place amongst these three styles). These three styles are:

  1. Authoritarian: a parenting style characterized by high demands and low responsiveness. Parents with an authoritarian style have very high expectations of their children, yet provide very little in the way of feedback and nurturance. Mistakes tend to be punished harshly.
  2. Permissive: a type of parenting style characterized by low demands with high responsiveness. Permissive parents tend to be very loving, yet provide few guidelines and rules. These parents do not expect mature behavior from their children and often seem more like a friend than a parental figure.
  3. Authoritative: a parenting style characterized by high responsiveness and high demands. Authoritative parents are responsive to the child’s emotional needs while having high standards. They set limits and are very consistent in enforcing boundaries.
  • Authoritative parenting is best, has the best outcomes, is backed by a ton of research, and it is also the hardest and most time intensive. It takes time to talk with your kid about why what they did was wrong and what they will do in the future and make them understand that what they did was wrong, but also maintain your relationship.

Helicopter parenting could be associated with any of these parenting styles. Helicopter parenting is making sure that your kid has done their homework, maybe by knowing exactly what homework they have to do and reviewing it for their kid. An authoritarian parent might take dessert or screen time away if you didn’t do your homework when you said you had. A permissive parent might excuse the lie away – “Oh my child is just so overwhelmed by work.” And then help their kid do the homework together. And an authoritative parent might talk to their kid about why they lied and get to the bottom of that.

There is new research according to the article that is going to upset psychologists and other experts who have “[insisted] that hyper-parenting backfires – creating a generation of stressed-out kids who can’t function alone.” And what this new research shows, arguably, is that helicopter parenting works – kids of helicopter parents are more successful, they just also happen to be more stressed out too.

The article “The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works” starts talking about helicopter parenting and talks about how parents are currently spending more hours a day parenting kids than they used to do. And then the article sites this research that was done on how successful kids were depending on how “intense” their parents’ parenting style was. Kids who had “intense” parenting performed better on tests. The author transitions to say that the traditional parenting styles affected those tests scores. So parents who were strict (or authoritarian), their kids did not get the full benefits of the helicopter parenting. The article says, “The most effective parents, according to the authors, are ‘authoritative.’ They use reasoning to persuade kids to do things that are good for them. Instead of strict obedience, they emphasize adaptability, problem-solving and independence – skills that will help their offspring in future workplaces that we can’t even imagine yet.” The author continues by saying that these kids get more college and postgraduate degrees, are healthier and have higher self-esteem. This is exactly what that 20 years of research on authoritative parenting has said all along!

So when I read this article, I find that it simply reinforces what we already know: that kids of authoritative parents have the best outcomes. The most important thing is to be an authoritative parent to the best of your ability. Whether or not you are a helicopter parent, that seems negligible or like a non-sequitur because we already knew that kids of authoritative parents did better. This research said that kids of intensive parents did better but were also more stressed out. But the kids who had authoritative parents, even if they were intensive, whatever that means, were healthier and had higher self-esteem. And what other researchers have shown is that it can protect against that stress.

Maybe being a helicopter parent can help your kids. It can also stress them out. And the research is clear that if you are choosing a parenting style, authoritative is best. You can be authoritative and a helicopter parent. So, if you are going to be a helicopter parent, and I know it is close to impossible to avoid being one, be an authoritative helicopter parent.

Resources:

Lighthouse Parenting

Because I Said So

“The Bad News About Helicopter Parenting: It Works”

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