Resilient Children – 4 Things You Need to Do If Your Child Has Digital Pouting Syndrome (A Huffington Post Exclusive)

This blog appeared in the parenting section of the Huffington Post.

Conflict resolution for children and young teens used to be easier. When we didn’t get our way, we’d just take our ball and go home.

We quickly learned, however, that this coping strategy wasn’t the best approach because, let’s face it, home was a boring place to be. Anyone remember having only three VHF channels with Jack LaLanne as the daytime highlight?

As a result, we learned to quickly get over our hurt and go back to playing with our friends. Conflict resolution at it’s finest.

Today, I have noticed that conflict resolution in children and young teens is taking a different and more concerning turn. Their “ball” has now been replaced with their iPad. When they don’t get their way, they simply stick their headphones on, plug into the Internet, and avoid the conflict.

This is a new coping strategy that I call digital pouting.

The problem with digital pouting is that the Internet is a great escape. Let’s be honest, it can sometimes be more fascinating than friends. It makes conflict resolution less important.

Coping skills and learned resilience suffer as a result, and these skills are critical as young teens face the inevitable pressure and stress of social pitfalls and shifting social alliances that adolescence brings.

So how do you provide your children with the positive coping skills they will need to handle these stresses?

1.  When you notice this behavior, have your child unplug and talk about the conflict that occurred.

Why were they hurt?

What role did they play in the conflict?

What could they have done differently?

What can they do to move forward and resolve it?

2.  Teach your children how to reframe the situation.
3.  Format an action plan to resolve the conflict.
4.  Discuss why reverting to the Internet is not the right solution and the importance of solving versus avoiding conflict.

Changing the way children and young teens think about challenges and adversity is one of the best ways to provide them with the tools they need to navigate successfully to adulthood.

Then again, we can take away their iPads and torture them with old episodes of The Jack LaLanne Show!

Let me know if you’ve seen digital pouting in children and share what has worked for you!  Please share this with others if you liked it!   

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Posted on by Mary Holloway Enterprises


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