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An artificial world...

Reem Antoon

So apparently our children today go to school emotionally unavailable for learning.

Psychotherapist and occupational therapist Victoria Prooday says there are many factors in our modern lifestyle that contribute to this.

She says parents, despite their greatest intentions, unfortunately remould their children’s brains in the wrong direction.

In 2016 Prooday said compared to virtual reality, everyday life is boring.

The inability to process lower levels of stimulation leaves youngsters vulnerable to academic challenges, she says.

“Technology also disconnects us emotionally from our children and our families. Parental emotional availability is the main nutrient for child’s brain. Unfortunately, we are gradually depriving our children of that nutrient,” claims the therapist.

Within a year of putting pen to paper her feelings, six million people had read her thoughts, with the article being translated into 15 languages.

Although I am not so sure about her above claim, I do agree with her on the following point – children today get everything they want the moment they want!

“The ability to delay gratification is one of the key factors for future success. We have the best intentions – to make our children happy, but unfortunately, we make them happy at the moment but miserable in the long term,” says Prooday.

“To be able to delay gratification means to be able to function under stress. Our children are gradually becoming less equipped to deal with even minor stressors, which eventually become huge obstacles to their success in life.”

The inability to delay gratification is often seen in classrooms, malls, restaurants and toy stores the moment the child hears “No” because parents have taught their child’s brain to get what it wants right away.

Unfortunately, in order to achieve our goals in our lives, we have to do what’s necessary, which may not always be what we want to do.

“We have created an artificial fun world for our children. There are no dull moments. The moment it becomes quiet, we run to entertain them again, because otherwise, we feel that we are not doing our parenting duty,” says Prooday.

To make a difference in a child’s life his or her brain must be trained so that they successfully function on social, emotional and academic levels.

And in order to do that Prooday recommends, we limit technology and re-connect with our children emotionally.

“Surprise them with flowers, share a smile, tickle them, put a love note in their backpack or under their pillow, surprise them by taking them out for lunch on a school day, dance together, crawl together, have pillow fights, family dinners or board game nights,” she continues.

“From my experience as an occupational therapist, children change the moment parents change their perspective on parenting. Help your children succeed in life by training and strengthening their brain sooner rather than later!”

Reem Antoon is a former GDN news editor. She can be reached on:

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