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The Cell Phone & Your Child

Not too long ago texting became an obsession. Instead of calling a friend you’d text them. Instead of putting away a phone when with friends, we’d interrupt conversation to text someone else. Talking was out, and texting was in.
Socially, we have been taught to be respectful to others by: giving eye contact, having conversational grace, listening for inflections in a voice to hear how a person feels, and to pay attention to facial and body gestures. No matter how good we are at this, or how important the conversation is, answering a text takes precedence over being polite. It seams that when the text bell chimes, we drop everything to answer…even our manners. Just as Pavlov’s dog salivated at the sound of a bell, we quickly revert to this rude and addictive behavior when we hear the text chime. 



The Shy Child

Shy children are easily spotted. They are the ones sitting quietly by themselves during lunch, and they barely if ever raise their hand in the classroom. Parents become exasperated by progress reports stating lack of participation in activities, and needing improvement in classroom discussions. Parents wonder how they are expected to force their child to be involved in activities and discussions in the first place. After all, they cannot be in the classroom with their kids can they?
Surprisingly most parents with “shy” children say that their child is actually outspoken and lively in the home. These kids are usually quite smart, and do very well on tests. “Why don’t you speak up in class?” Parents ask. “I don’t know.” kids respond, but that is not entirely true.



Take Time

Tell your children they can be anything they want in life.
Your voice will always be in the back of their head. Let the words they hear to be those of encouragement
Ask them what they admire about themselves, and add your own observations.
Include stories about their character that makes you proud.
Keep a distraction free zone when together: No phones, or hand held games.
Nothing can be more hurtful to a child then feeling less important then a phone call or text message. The same is true for parents feeling ignored and unappreciated while a child focuses on device during conversation.



Goal Setting And Your Child

I can almost hear the groans as parents think of the last conversations with their child about goals. It went something like this:

Parent: What do you want to do with your life?
Kid: I don’t know…something. I’ll figure it out eventually.
                                        (End of conversation)


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