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Parenting zombies - we do our best

I met two zombies in the past couple of weeks. One was 7 the other 17. The former creates the latter. The 7 year old had an ipad, x-box and I don't know what else but had the attention span of a fish. Crikey. I asked the parent to go cold turkey with him - no electronic games at all. The 17 year old had a plug, was unemployed, failed all GCSEs and was frankly not going anywhere fast. A waster wasting his precious time.

As parents we're all trying to deal with the balancing of values and keeping the children on the good side of life; we work with what we know and do our best. When one of us tutors has a word with pulling the plug, it's not a criticism of parenting but a third party point of view; in the fast pace of modern life, bringing up children is fraught with distractions - our own and theirs - and it's easy not see a problem manifesting until much later, when a teenager is surly and grades are collapsing. Since we work with pupils of all abilities and ages, we can see the weeds growing - we encounter the symptoms all too often for us not to say anything.

I like the words used by Andrea Clifford-Poston: "Parents may arrive...feeling guilty that they have failed and anxious that 'there is something wrong' with them or their child. Very rarely is that likely to be the case, most families who seek...help...have simply got into a muddle." Quite. We all do that: hence I turn to mentors and trainers myself to see where I'm going wrong or why I'm not getting something right!

So don't feel guilty. Just pull the plug or monitor gaming strictly. Research the effects or better still, sit with us when we deal with the zombies! We see the 17 year olds who have wasted so much of their youth in an electronic matrix.

Article by Dr Alexander Moseley
Added Mon, 28 Sep 2015 13:14

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