Uh, since when did an adult start asking a child where they wanted to eat? When does a child get to tell an adult what he is or is not going to do? When did parents start debating with their children? Or how about a 15 year old who threatens to run away if her 21-year-old girlfriend isn’t allowed to live at her parents’ house and so what do the parents do? They give in. Over the past 15 years as an educator, I have watched a drastic devolvement of children and teenagers. The future will be in dire straights if this trend continues.
Future generations will always need guidance and boundaries. This idea of “young and free and exploring” has been and is still a train wreck of a parenting idea. “Well, we let Johnny say the F-bomb, even though he’s in kindergarten, because we certainly don’t want to suppress his language skills . . . or ways of expressing himself, for that matter.” Do what?! On that comment from a parent, I had to sit down before I fell down. Many, many times I am left stunned when I witness the interaction between an adult and child in at school or a store or even in their own home.
A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone. –Billy Graham
Respect does not, nor will it ever come, from a parent being a child’s “best friend.” They already have friends at school. Be their parent. You can love them, praise them, hug them, cherish them, but when it is time to hold them accountable for their actions, it is imperative that it is done. I cannot count how many times a parent has come to me about their child in my classroom or on the team I coached, for example: “Could you talk to him about his driving crazy? He listens to you” or “I wish he would do what I tell him like he does with you.” The athlete or student did not listen to me because they feared physical punishment. They respect the fact that I had boundaries. I was fair across the board, but if the kid crossed the line, there was a consequence. No debate. Done. The kid knew that I still cared, but it was his fault why he wasn’t playing or losing points on a project. Heck, I can still remember the days when any adult could hold you accountable and would do so in a heartbeat if you were acting a fool when your parents weren’t around.
I am aware that I have hit on this topic before, but there are things that I’ve observed lately that brought it all back to the surface . . . it’s usually around the time that school starts back. I can only hope and pray that this trend will stop. Fingers crossed.