A Call for Connection

A Call for Connection

A Call for Connection

Are our children being affected negatively by the online and social media presence in their lives? Due to the technological age we find ourselves in, it is all the more important to remember what true connection looks like. Through person-to-person contact we can avoid loneliness and feelings of isolation.

 

Social Spamming

The other day it was brought to my attention how different things are for young people today versus when I was their age. I witnessed my teenage daughter’s heart break a little when she was not invited to a friend’s get together one evening. There were no valid reasons provided, except that the friend hosting did not want my daughter receiving any attention from the others who were invited. Although we had a nice and “hyggelig” evening together at home, I couldn’t help but feel frustrated at the exclusive behavior of my daughter’s friends, and it troubled me that not a single one spoke up to put a stop to this unfair treatment.

 

Unfortunately, there is nothing new in young people acting this way, however in the more superficial way of living we find ourselves in, it seems more brutal now than when I was that age. The difference is that children today are constantly spammed with snaps and streaks from those they are not physically with, where as in the eighties we weren’t aware of what everyone else was up to at all times. Today, young people are constantly updated and reminded of what they are not a part of.

 

Missing out on Meaning

Children and young people today are woven into a “friend-shopping” and “easy-to-pretend–easy-to-hide” culture, which is thriving off of the increasing interest and easy accessibility to an online life. A platform, which helps provide a vital lifeline for many of us, especially people unable to physically socialize as much as they would like to. With an online presence it is easy to add and subtract friends, making it far too simple to get away with shallow communication and relationships. Social media and online interactions have become the most common digital venues for meeting friends, and only 25% of teenagers actually spend physical time with friends in person outside of school on a daily basis. When I was a teenager, it was the opposite.

I think that the effect of this widespread online culture is much more worrying than we might like to fully acknowledge. I believe that having a sense of connection deeply rooted in your inner being improves the quality of our lives, and the rapid growth of our technological presence is resulting in us missing out on this. Call me old school, but although adding “friends” online might seem real and meaningful to many, it causes nothing but alarm for me.

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OTKRIVAMO: KAKO NAJSRETNIJI LJUDI NA SVIJETU ODGAJAJU DJECU

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Razgovarali smo s poznatom psihoterapeutkinjom, otkrila nam je filozofiju danskog odgoja

Četrdeset godina, gotovo otkako se provode globalna ispitivanja zadovoljstva životom, Dance stavljaju na sam vrh, proglašavaju najsretnijom nacijom svijeta.

“Mnogo je raznih objašnjenja zašto je to tako, no nitko se dosad nije bavio danskim odgojem. Radim s djecom više od 20 godina i meni je odavno jasno da to što su Danci sretni ima veze s načinom na koji su odgojeni”, rekla nam je Iben Dissing Sandahl, danska psihoterapeutkinja i koautorica knjige “Danski odgoj djece - što najsretniji ljudi na svijetu znaju o odgoju samopouzdane i sposobne djece” koja je upravo objavljena i u nas (Egmont). Nisu roditelji koji olako hvale svaki dječji crtež i postignuće, više ih usmjeravaju na daljnji rad i trud te ih naglašeno uče pozitivnim životnim stavovima.

Otporna, emocionalno sigurna, sretna djeca odrastaju u otporne, emocionalno sigurne, sretne odrasle ljude.

Knjigu je uz Sandahl napisala i Jessica Joelle Alexander, Amerikanka udana za Danca, koja kaže da je bila sve samo ne majčinski tip žene i da su se prijatelji u početku smijali kad je rekla da - piše knjigu o odgoju. “Upravo me je nedostatak urođenih majčinskih osjećaja i zainteresirao za danski način odgoja”, a i vidjela je da odgajanje djece njezinu suprugu, Dancu, i ljudima oko nje, Dancima, uspoređujući ih s njezinim sunarodnjacima, Amerikancima, daleko lakše ide. Zajedno su Alexander i Sandahl postavile pitanje postoji li danski način odgoja, tražile literaturu o tome... bez uspjeha. Potom su same počele istraživati što je to tako tipično i osobito u danskom odgoju djece.

Njihova knjiga govori o postulatima danskog odgoja: usredotočenosti na igru, iskrenost, empatiju i društvene vještine.

Danski način odgoja opisuju pomoću akronima: P.A.R.E.N.T. (engl. roditelj) sastavljenog od početnih slova riječi play, authenticity, reframing, empathy, no ultimatums i togetherness, u hrvatskom prijevodu: igra, autentičnost, preoblikovanje, empatija, bez ultimatuma, zajedništvo.

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Finding Peace Within – A New Year’s Wish

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The New Year marks the beginning of a fresh start for many. A new beginning!

As we step into a new month, affirmations of wishes and promises for a brighter future jump to the forefront as we say farewell to the current year. It is tradition in my family to spend time going around the dinner table taking turns sharing our personal dreams and wishes for the upcoming year. Even though everybody tries to delve deep and find something meaningful while being truthful and honest at the same time, the promises we make to ourselves often end up unfulfilled and forgotten – at least that is what I have experienced in the past.

The Ongoing Commitment to our New Year’s Resolutions

Approximately 41% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and out of those only 44.8% follow through with their commitments after six months. In 2007, a British study from the University of Bristol found that 88% of people who make New Year's resolutions fail - while the NHS reckon only one in ten of us will be successful. Out of those surveyed, 43% of Brits lasted less than a month, and 66% made it one month or less. 80% of people didn't make it to the end of March before going back to their old ways. It is apparent that the enthusiasm in which we make our promises for the New Year are rapidly decreasing from our lives. In Denmark, only one out of four people make a conscious effort toward changing something in the New Year, so it appears that we are all slipping into the same trend. It is quite possible that the abundance of social media in our day and age results in the tendency to keep the “weakest” aspects of our lives to ourselves. Perhaps it is the personal imperfections that we leave up to ourselves to resolve.

To me, New Year’s Eve has become a great opportunity to stop and reflect on how life has been going up until then. Although this can be exercised at any point in time – and I often try to do so more frequently – I enjoy the tradition of reflecting and feeling connected to myself and others during this special tradition. 

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Love isn't enough

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When Sofia was only 4 years old, it began. Her bedtime ritual, which had previously been a pleasant hour with Mom and Dad, suddenly became stressful and exhausting. All at once Sophia began to react violently and throw tantrums to avoid being tucked into bed.

Evenings were full of screaming and yelling and frustrations. It was exhausting, not just for Sophia, but also for the rest of the family. Her loving and devoted parents tried various strategies they found in books and online, but nothing helped.

Instead, Sophia’s condition worsened as time went by. When her mother took some time off to go shopping, exercise, or meet with friends, Sophia sobbed her heart out. It all came to a head when the family received a telephone call from Sophia’s teacher saying she had hit one of the other girls in school. Not just hit her, but screamed right in her face.

The family felt powerless because they simply couldn’t understand the source of Sophia’s unreasonable behavior. It hurt them deeply to know that the daughter they loved was suffering so badly at some level.

Anxiety is common

But Sophia wasn’t alone. A full 3 percent of children in the U.S. aged three to 17 have been identified as having suffered from anxiety, and a National Survey of Children’s Health showed that 1 out of 7 U.S. children aged 2 to 8 years had a diagnosed mental, behavioral, or developmental disorder (MBDD). Stress among children is estimated to have increased 45 percent over the past 30 years in Canada. You can read more about stress in America here.

Our children live in a performance society, where they are constantly being told that they must be the best version of themselves and that only the best is good enough. It’s a part of our culture, and many of us parents tend to believe that busy days and high expectations are needed to help our kids reach their potential.

But there’s another factor that’s creating turmoil, insecurity, and stress in our small angels’ lives: It’s everything we don’t have control over; all the impressions and inputs our children take in every day.

Children are exposed to a lot of unnecessary things. Social media and access to sometimes disturbing knowledge and facts are no longer limited to adults. Our children have access, too. Children hear and understand far more than we know and this makes them afraid and insecure. Terror, war, conflicts and all of the worlds’ frightening messages reach our children without us realizing, and without them being able to put it all in context.

These external influences plant small seeds of fear in our children.

 

Read the full article here