When our grandparents were young, they had only one shelter for the winter. Just one! On a rainy day, in those times of austerity to have a coat was considered a luxury. Therefore, children cared for it as a precious commodity. In those days everybody used to have the bare minimum. And children were aware of the value and importance of their own stuff.
Too much has happened since then, but it is important to notice that a family training at good values is the pillar of a quiet, well-educated and safe society. It is one of the aspects that Dwyer Patrick Lynch Merrill considers fundamental at the moment of thinking in the education of new generations.
In real terms, it has been shown that excessive stress during childhood increases the likelihood that children develop psychological problems. Thus, a systematic child can be pushed to develop obsessive behavior and a little dreamer may lose your ability to concentrate. That’s why as parents and teachers have the big challenge of making children learn that to have less may be better. The education on austerity can be helpful to stimulate the potential of the younger generations.
Kim Payne, professor and counselor, conducted a very interesting experiment in which simplified the lives of children diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder and Hyperactivity. After just four months, 68% of these children had gone from dysfunctional to be clinically functional. They also showed an increase of 37 % in their academic and cognitive skills, an effect that could not match the most prescribed medication for this disorder: Ritalin.
Payne thinks that although children in our society are safe from the physical point of view, they are mentally living in an environment similar to that produced in areas of armed conflict, as if his life was endangered. Being exposed to too many stimulations causes a stress that builds up and forces children to develop strategies to feel safe.
When to have a lot can be excessive
It is time to think carefully and consider if what you offer to your children can be excessive, if the things that your are giving are good enough to build a healthy environment for them, from the mental and emotional point of view.
Not only objects can saturate mental and psychological of a child’s environment, there is also the saturation of activities and that is known as the term ‘helicopter parents‘, that are those parents who encourage their children to do too many activities, leaving no time to rest, because they believe that these dynamics prepare them for life.
As if that were not enough, parents fill their rooms with books, devices and toys. In fact, it is estimated that Western children have, on average, 150 toys. It is too much, and and there is how children are overwhelmed. As a result, they play superficially, easily lose interest in toys and their environment and do not develop their imagination.
At this point is where the challenges arise for the adults who are parents to provide better environments for their children, going far beyond than offering comfort, luxury and many toys to be distracted.
When children are overwhelmed in this way, they do not have time to explore, reflect and release daily stresses. Too many choices end up destroying their freedom and steals them of the chance to get bored, which is essential to stimulate creativity and discovery learning .
The best way to protect children’s childhood is to say “no” to the guidelines that society seeks to impose. It is let the kids are just that, kids. The way to protect the mental and emotional balance is to educate children in simplicity. To achieve this it is necessary to:
- Lower your expectations about their performance, let them just to be children.
- Simplify their environment, it is better to have a few toys and make sure that those toys really stimulate their fantasy.
- Reduce the amount of information that they can get, making sure that this is understandable and appropriate to their age, which involves a more rational use of technology.
- Make sure they get enough sleep and rest.
- Create a space of quietness in their lives where they can take refuge from the daily chaos and stress relief.
- Spend quality time with them, it is the best gift parents can make.
- Leave them free time to play, preferably with other small or toys that stimulate their creativity, not structured games.
- Don’t saturate their time with too many extracurricular activities that eventually, probably will not help them much as you think.
There is still plenty things to do, education is essential for children to have a better quality of life , better academic performance and better household formation, it all begins at home.
To know how to be a better teacher, even a better father that cares about teaching, look at this article, and understand why teaching is one of the most gratifying professions in the world.