Getting Back to Basics

By Kim Roberts

Even though I often call myself the older mom among my 14-year-old daughter’s friends’ parents, I always said to myself I have raised two other children (25 and 22 now), and I am the same person, so I must be raising her the same way.

Well, as it was pointed out to me recently by one of my older children, things are vastly different now with teens.

They are constantly connected in some way to social media; they know what is going on every second of the day with every single one of their friends and acquaintances. They know when they have been excluded from things, and depression is very tangible.

Actually, researchers have provided alarming statistics on a steady increase in depression and mental illness that is reaching epidemic proportions. In fact, there has been a 200% increase in suicide among children between the ages of 10-14.

The youth of today are being over-stimulated and deprived of the basic fundamentals of a healthy young life. Unfortunately, I see that in my own home, to an extent. My daughter always has her phone with her and is looking at one thing or another.

We have decided to be more vigilantly monitor this activity. The phone is put up in another room by 9:30 p.m. on school nights; no phones at the table (we already did this); we talk to and from school – phone put away; I have no problem saying no to her; I’ve added chores to her weekly activities, and I do not feel it is my job to entertain her. Reading, journaling and drawing are offered as options.

I feel like getting back to parenting basics. Peeling away the technology has produced positive results and simplified the day-to-day life with a teen.

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