Why children do not have any motivation in their life and remain dull?
Kids today are in a devastating emotional state! Most of them come to school emotionally absent from learning. There are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to such a dull and droning state.
I am a teacher with years of experience working with children, I have seen and continue to see a decline in children’s social, emotional, and academic functioning, as well as a sharp increase in learning disabilities and other diagnoses.
As we know, the brain is malleable. Through environment, we can make the brain “stronger” or “weaker”. I truly believe that, despite all our greatest intentions, we unfortunately, remold our children’s brains in the wrong direction.
Here is why:
1. Kids Easily Get Everything On Time
“I am Hungry!!” “In a sec I will stop at the drive-thru” “I am Thirsty!” “Here is a vending machine.” “I am bored!” “Use my phone!” The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success. We have the best intentions — to make our child happy — but unfortunately, we make them happy at the moment but miserable in the long term. To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress. Our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors, which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.
The inability to delay gratification is often seen in classrooms, malls, restaurants, and toy stores the moment the child hears “No” because parents have taught their child’s brain to get what it wants right away.
2. Limited Social Interaction
In our busy lives, we keep our children busy by making handing over digital gadgets to them. Earlier, kids used to play outside, wherein they adapted social skills in unstructured natural environments. Unfortunately, technology replaced the outdoor time and made the parents less available to socially interact with their child. Unarguably, our kids fall behind cause’ these babysitting gadgets are not equipped to help kids develop social skills. Since, most successful people possess great social skills; hence, this is the priority!
The brain is just like a muscle that is trainable and re-trainable. If you want your child to be able to bike, you teach him biking skills. Similarly, if you want your child to be able to socialize, you need to teach him social skills.
3. Endless Fun
We have created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty. We live in two separate worlds. They have their “fun“ world, and we have our “work” world. Why aren’t children helping us in the kitchen or with laundry? Why don’t they tidy up their toys? This is basic monotonous work that trains the brain to be workable and function under “boredom,” which is the same “muscle” that is required to be eventually teachable at school. When they come to school and it is time for handwriting their answer is “I can’t. It is too hard. Too boring.” Why? Because their workable “muscle” is not getting trained through endless fun rather gets trained through work.
Using technology as a “Free babysitting service” is, in fact, not free at all. The payment is waiting for you just around the corner. We play with our kids’ nervous systems, with their attention, and with their ability for delayed gratification. Compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring. When kids come to the classroom, they are exposed to human voices and adequate visual stimulation as opposed to being bombarded with the graphic explosions and special effects that they are used to seeing on the screens. After hours of virtual reality, processing information in a classroom becomes increasingly challenging for our kids because their brains are getting used to the high levels of stimulation that video games provide. The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves kids vulnerable to academic challenges. Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families. Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for the child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children of that nutrient.
5. Kids Rule The World
“My son doesn’t like vegetables.” “She doesn’t like going to bed early.” “He doesn’t like to eat breakfast.” “She doesn’t like toys, but she is very good at her iPad” “He doesn’t want to get dressed on his own.” “She is too lazy to eat on her own.” This is what I hear from parents all the time. Since when do children dictate to us how to parent them? If we leave it all up to them, all they are going to do is eat macaroni and cheese and bagels with cream cheese, watch TV, play on their tablets, and never go to bed.
What good are we doing them by giving them what they WANT when we know that it is not GOOD for them? Without proper nutrition and a good night’s sleep, our kids come to school irritable, anxious, and inattentive. In addition, we send them the wrong message. They learn they can do what they want and not do what they don’t want.
The concept of “need to do” is absent. Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do. For example, if a child wants to be an A student, he needs to study hard. If he wants to be a successful soccer player, he needs to practice every day. Our children know very well what they want, but have a very hard time doing what is necessary to achieve that goal. This results in unattainable goals and leaves the kids disappointed.