Episode recap: Pre-empting trouble with children with Larissa Mills

In this week’s episode, we explored the theme of pre-empting trouble with children with Larissa Mills. Larissa has 20 combined years of teaching experience in adult education, academic summer school, history and English, to name some. She also is the founder of Iparentgen.com.

Smartphones and unwanted behaviour

Nowadays it seems that lot of children’s unwanted behaviour is resulted from smartphones and not being willing to go and play outside as much. Excessive use of smartphones can result to passive, lazy and dull behaviour. Larissa had seen this change in the classroom and especially when coaching sports – fatigue, lack of concentration and declined performance were seen in the children. Parents should consider if it would be beneficial to create clear boundaries with mobile phone use.

What is the most effective parenting style?

Parenting styles can vary a lot, but some that were not considered valuable, such as helicopter parenting, which means that you protect and shield your children from everything. That may lead to an anxious dependent relationship with the parents and overall more anxious child. These kind of parenting styles can also end up weakening a child’s resilience a lot.

The goal is to combine parenting styles effectively, so that your child will come to you, when they need someone’s help. Connecting and engaging with the child everyday is the most crucial part, however – if that does not happen, the child will most likely have some unwanted amount of unwanted behaviour.

“Give them choices. Let them choose stuff if it is not going to harm them, let them have a choice. Let them make their own mistakes. But you still need to connect, love and hug.”

Larissa Mills

Pre-empting problematic behaviour

Larissa says that pre-empting the unwanted behaviour with children should start as early as possible. That means building the foundations of connection, play and love – otherwise the child will not feel connected to the parents when they grow, and gravitate towards someone else who is close to them.

Larissa gives a few tips for preventing unwanted behavior: first of all, you should get your kids outside as much as possible. This results in the fact that they are going to be better behaved when they are inside too. Secondly, while children are outside, they are going to socialize more with other people, which makes them more confident, because they have better social skills. This combination can thus have a lots of benefits for the child as well as the parent. Other tips that Larissa mentions are reduction of screen time and restricting the sites that younger children can go to. That is simply because internet is full of things that younger children do not need to see and in that way it will be safer.

Overcoming smartphone addiction

If it already seems that your children are already addicted to their phones, there are definitely actions that can be done. Larissa recommends that reducing the use little by little, for instance half an hour (or less) a day, can be a good idea. In that way the change will not feel that difficult. Another tip is to encourage the children to go outside and have playdates and other actions – in that way kids are stimulated through hours of social play.

How do you feel about smartphones and children’s behaviour? Have you noticed the change in the past few years? Do you think children are as active as they use to be?

You can join the conversation on our social medias and using hashtag #joysuperpowers.

Larissa’s website iparentgen.com offers more information and content about parenting, so if you are interested in developing your skills at pre-empting trouble with children, go check it out!

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Further reading