This week I took time to teach my students about their brain wave states. (You can find out what those are HERE.) During our class discussion, I had a student say:
Oh my god, I thought my mom was just mean giving me a bedtime! I had no clue that it was good for me!
After our discussion, I decided to challenge my students with the following:
Get 8+ hours of sleep EVERY night.
Do not look at your device for the first 30 minutes after you wake up.
As a parent, this week’s lessons were really powerful because I was able to challenge my students to change their habits at home so they are better prepared for school. Essentially, I feel like I am helping their parents to parent without being there.
Anyway, each student is going to keep track of their results over the next two weeks. I want them to see trends and patterns for the days and nights that they actually follow through on their challenge.
But, the experience this week really made me wonder when the majority of us, parents, decided that we should not be worrying about our children’s sleep or the amount of technology they use.
How much technology is okay for my kids?
There has been so much research on this and unfortunately, putting technology in front of kids is a great babysitter! Yes, I’ve used it in that way…have no fear, we are on the same team. BUT, I continue to ask myself how much is too much?
Studies have shown different times for different ages, but I rather like this take on it. Melbourne Child Psychology says that although the amount of screen time that should be allowed keeps changing, the better idea is to create rules around screen time. Have no screen zones in your house, preferably in bedrooms. Use screen time as a time to support education, and make it a family time, as well.
Parents need to parent
This brings me back to my original point of parents taking charge and actually parenting. Schools and teachers need parents to be active and present in their child’s lives. Just like their own kids need them. Parents need to parent so that our future generations are prepared, cooperative, collaborative, understanding, compassionate, and educated.
As the years go on, I find that my students are less and less able to sit quietly on their own without a direct consequence or the threat of one. They are all buzzing with excess amounts of energy and an uncanny amount of things to say – usually at inappropriate times.
What I am NOT saying:
I am NOT saying that there aren’t good parents, even great parents out there. l am saying that we need more of them. I had an elementary school teacher tell me recently that one of his second graders so naturally and easily slipped a curse word into their lesson. Before she could actually finish the word, she had caught herself. This tells us that she knows it’s not a good word to say, but she is so accustomed to saying it that is slipped out. Second grade! And, I can’t help but wonder where that is being learned.
Now, I’ll make you a deal, right now, I won’t judge you as a parent, if you won’t judge me as a teacher. We need to work together, but I can’t feel like I am working harder than you on your child. It’s not fair to them. Deal?
Your Challenge: Find something that is not good for your child’s health, education, etc… and make some adjustments. Feel free to use the two challenges listed above! We want to hear your story, so make sure and tell us how it’s going below.
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