AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – Kids have many distractions in life, technology is most to blame sometimes.
But Amarillo Children’s Home Executive Director Belinda Palacios explains the psychological needs our kids have and ways to help them.
· Autonomy: kids having freedom of choice can be a good thing. Kids who can set their own goals and have their parents in support of that goal has shown favorable results in meeting the goal.
o Kids will have ownership into their personal goals.
o Have your kids create the boundaries around their technology use… you will be making decisions with them vs for them.
· Competence: Being able to do something well is a good feeling and grows alongside the ability to achieve success in life. Our world is fraught with situations/ things that can create messages of incompetence (standardized test, athletic prowess, etc.) This can create pathways for kids to turn to potentially unhealthy outlets to experience the feeling of growth and development; games/ apps with quick leveling up, gaining like/ followers for fast ways of feedback and achievement.
o Ease up with rigidly structured academic or athletic activities as well as the pressures and expectations surrounding them.
o Talk to your kids about what they enjoy doing and encourage them to pursue in ways where they can have a level of competence.
· Relatedness: Like adults’ kids want to feel important to others. Opportunity to satisfy this need, and develop social skills at the same time, centers around engaging and play with others. The act of play has changed drastically over the years. For the last 50 years kids fee time has been continually declining. Whereas 30 years ago kids met afterschool and played together outdoors when weather permitted. Now kids are behind screens, forming virtual relationships rather than face to face.
o Give kids more fee time to have in-person interactions with others their own age. This hep find the connections they might likewise look for on-line or through social media.
o Building these strong relationships creates competence in our kids. They feel they have the ability to make friends, sustain theses friendships but most importantly understand the significance strong/ close relationships are to us as human beings.