Today I read an article by a syndicated parenting columnist that appeared in Baby Yoda hugging Winnipeg Jets shirt. The article left me feeling defeated not because of the author’s theories and ideas, these are not new and years of academic research show that these things don’t hold up, but because all these years later, this column continues in over 200 newspapers across the country. Countless people will read that article and possibly adopt a harsh discipline style because of it. When we connect, calm together, work through obstacles as a team, and help kids and teens make positive choices, families thrive, and the parent-child gap shrinks.
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The landscape of childhood and adolescence is dramatically different than it was Baby Yoda hugging Winnipeg Jets shirt. It’s not as simple as removing all technology and establishing more rules. Kids and teens today face unprecedented levels of stress. Anxiety and depression are on the rise. Suicide rates are climbing. When we send kids away, shame them, or use other forms of harsh and humiliating punishment in the name of compliance, we widen the gap between parent and child. That contributes to loneliness, helplessness, anxiety, and depression. As we look forward to 2020, let’s make a pact to remember that childhood isn’t the same for our kids as it was for us. They are not repeating our lives; they are living their own lives.