Few of the addictions are called mild or soft addictions which are usual, mindless conduct or mood. Some of the examples of mild addictions are eating too much, television watching, browsing the internet and playing video or computer games, and playing casino. But various other possibilities exist? Talking bad about others, fantasizing, working out, pitying oneself, shopping and so on. The majority of parents are not distressed by these behaviors, assuming rightly that they’re "normal". They become abnormal and take away from a child’s development, however, once they become habits, depriving children of the time, energy and motivation to engage in more significant activities.
All children need alone time to think and investigate. They require space to think about what’s important in life and to gain knowledge and develop skills that will allow them to achieve their goals. Soft addictions are foes of reflection, discovery and skill development.
The media has documented the epidemic spread of soft addictions. Many of these reports reveal that children spend more time than ever before sitting in front of computers, TV's and video game screens.
Additional researchers have found that an alarming percentage of overweight kids, softly addicted to unhealthy foods including fast food restaurants, obsessed with celebrity worship and fanatical about shopping is also rising. Parents need to be in charge of helping their children manage these soft addictions. Too frequently, they model behaviors that encourage kids to fall into soft addictions instead. For instance, a great majority of parents return home from a day of work and use the majority of their leisure hours slumped in front of the television, they overeat and some exercise religiously, refusing to take a day off from their exercise routine even when they are desperately needed elsewhere. There are also parents who model rumor-spreading behaviors, they spend many hours each day writing and phoning friends about who is fooling around with whom.
I am not asking that parents or children go "cold turkey" and quit all soft addictions. Most of us have a couple addictions. We can still live a full, meaningful existence if these activities are in our life, but, they need to be a minor rather than a major part. We work with many adults? Professionally successful people who are also parents? Who all admit the same thing about their lives: "There must be more than this."
There is! However, they will not find it unless they use their time and energy on more conscious, fulfilling endeavors. This doesn’t go to say that they have knit sweaters for homeless children in Siberia and labor in soup kitchens feeding the hungry (even though these are great activities). Reviving the fine art of conversation, visiting friends, going for walks in the mountains, sharing their feelings with those they care about, listening to inspirational music? All this can add purpose and meaning.
It will also give a hale and hearty behavioral model for their children. Kids are brilliant imitators, and softly-addicted parents normally produce softly-addicted children. It is dreadfully hard for parents to get their kids to stop watching so much television when they’re guilty of the same sort of mindless, habitual behaviors. Parents will find however, that by learning to spend their time more meaningfully, their own lives will be more enjoyable and they’ll help make more pleasing lives for their kids.