Working in a public school, I’ve noticed parallels between the Little Caesar’s business model and parenting trends in 2103: with little effort and forethought, you can have quick, cheap answers for your family’s needs.
I’ve worked in public schools with tweens and teens for over ten years. In recent years, my colleagues and I observe parenting trends that are troubling. Parents want quick, easy answers for their family’s behavioral, emotional, and academic needs. Here are five reasons why the Quick and Easy parenting model is detrimental to your family.
- Quick and easy access to information via technology is robbing teens of developing critical thinking skills & common sense. Kids aren’t using higher thinking skills to solve problems academically or socially. Kids are shutting down and giving up on hard processes earlier than prior generations. When something becomes too difficult, kids say, “I don’t know how” or “I don’t know what to do.” Looking at situations or problems from different angles is slowly becoming a lost skill. A group of average sixth graders I recently worked with didn’t know their address or phone number. l sixth grade students I work with did not know their family or their personal expenses?s Do you allow your tween and teen opportunities to develop problem-solving or critical thinking skills outside of school? Is technology making them smarter or robbing them of common sense?
- Quick and easy answers for problems are robbing kids of experiencing life’s challenges, disappointments and hardship. Experiencing hardship in family life where there’s guidance and support is a healthier learning environment than learning it for the first time when you’re on your own as an adult. A lot of kids don’t know what it means to persevere through difficulties because parents are sheltering them from pain or responsibility. Do you shelter your child from these things?
- Quick and easy access to material possessions is robbing teens from learning how to work for their needs and wants. Exasperated parents question why their kids are demanding and unappreciative yet they’ve handed their child almost every luxury there is. Parents are wondering why their adult children aren’t getting jobs and leaving home. Do your teens know the value of work? Do they contribute to household or personal expenses?
- Quick and easy answers for homework is normalizing cheating and robbing kids of learning. A student can find almost any answer to homework questions or articles they can plagiarize from the internet. Too many kids are Googling answers without learning the information or where to find the information.
- Quick and easy meals are robbing teens and families of valuable skills and culture. Living in a fast-food world robs families of face-to-face, sit-down-and-talk family dinner time. It prevents tweens and teens from learning basic skills of food preparation, working together as a family, setting the table, and bonding over healthy food and good conversation. In the schools I’ve worked at, a majority of students eat both breakfast and lunch at school. When having fast-food for supper, both nutrition and family bonding time suffers.
As with anything in life, balance is essential. Just like the ease of $5.00 pizzas, quick and easy parenting tricks aren’t all bad. But when ease becomes routine in family life, it undermines social, emotional and cognitive development. What are things your teens are missing from fast-food parenting? How can you change small things in your family so your child isn’t robbed of essential skills?