I recently heard a segment on NPR that talked about how childhood and parenting have radically changed in the past few decades. This has led to the point where far more children today struggle to manage their behavior. That’s the argument Katherine Reynolds Lewis makes in her new parenting book, The Good News About Bad Behavior.

We face a crisis of self-regulation,” Lewis writes. And by “we,” she means parents and teachers who struggle daily with difficult behavior from the children in their lives. Lewis, a journalist, certified parent educator and mother of three, asks why so many kids today are having trouble managing their behavior and emotions.

She says there are 3 main factors that have contributed to this crisis.
1. Where, how and how much kids are allowed to play has changed.
2. Their access to technology and social media has exploded.
3. Children today are too “unemployed.” She doesn’t simply mean the occasional summer job for a high school teen. The term is a big tent, and she uses it to include household jobs that can help even toddlers build confidence and a sense of community.

They’re not asked to do anything to contribute to a neighborhood or family or community,” Lewis tells NPR in a recent interview. “And that really erodes their sense of self-worth — just as it would with an adult being unemployed.” I want to encourage all our parents to look into reading this book by Lewis: The Good News about Bad Behavior.

Sarah Caudle, PA-C