I am not a professional educator, however; I live with one. Her experiences and mine as a behavioral monitor have led us to the inescapable conclusion that we are experiencing a decline in the fine art of parenting. I can see the sadness in Sharon’s eyes when we are confronted by children who defy their parents, and parents who see themselves as simply facilitators for their children who, more than ever, are in control. What kind of parent are you? Here is our take.
Children are watching. If you habitually drive over the speed limit, roll through stop signs, curse other drivers and rely on the universal gesture of disrespect when displeased behind the wheel, all while your children are in the car with you, you are providing a blueprint for your kids when they climb behind the wheel. Yesterday, I was fortunate to find one of only a couple of parking spaces left at the gym where I regularly work out. We have a dedicated parking lot across the street from the pool in Republic. The lot was full of soccer moms and dads, delivering their children to the pool in defiance of a sign that designates this lot for gym patrons only. Our lot is a precious few steps closer to the pool entrance than their designated lot that had 28 vacancies in it at this point. Why? Because lazy parents, in the presence of their children, were reluctant to add 20 or so steps to the walk to the pool from their cars. Lesson for the children? To hell with the sign and courtesy, we do what is convenient not what is directed. Rules don’t matter. Terrific training for “attitudes” that are being shaped.
We watch, transfixed as children dominate their parents in restaurants. On oh so many occasions, direction provided by parents becomes mere suggestion that is abandoned in the face of defiant children. We have watched children actually strike parents while defying them and parents quickly conceding the point to the offending child. We were raised differently. Our parents seldom delivered mere suggestions and defiance came with a price that discouraged us from making the same mistake again. Those same children find themselves in the classroom, equally defiant to the authority vested in the educator or coach. Today, teachers are hamstrung by such foolishness as allowing children (K-12) to identify as animals and being required to bark or meow to satisfy the child’s silliness. This is ceding control to the child in the face of authority. The outcome? Folks who burn, loot and break the law with impunity.
Congress is rightfully concerned about the lack of parental guidance today. They lament the lack of male presence in the parental scheme. We suggest they be careful what they ask for as in many cases the wrong parental influence can be more dangerous than no parental influence. Parenting involves both facilitation of healthy activity and denial of unhealthy activity. We are doing a tremendous disservice to our children by permitting them to come to school, self identify as a cat, and being required to meow in their presence. My father would have deftly handled any desire I had to self identify as anything other than a male whose activity was age appropriate.
Many parents, more than ever, are pulling their children out of public education, opting for private or home schooling. They see no advantage to exposing their children to the narcissistic environment that is being offered in schools today. Irresponsible parents really aren’t all that concerned and are pulling their kids because they, too, dislike discipline and control. They will continue to model defiance to rule, discipline and expectation in the presence of their children and the results are obvious. My message this week is simple. Happy Father’s Day to those who still participate in the appropriate nurturing of their children. To the other fathers out there, buck up and provide a positive influence to your kids. How you drive and your respect for rule and law is a part of that education. The results of your efforts will certainly be felt in the years to come. We do not need more drag queens and “furries” (yes, this is a thing today) in our classrooms. We need common sense, the will to deny, a “trip to the car” or “the look”. You know what I mean…..
Have a great week!
2 thoughts on “Parenting, A lost Art…….”
Our son had a little buddy and imitated his behavior when he was about 6 yrs old. One day our son made a very disrespectful comment to his mother while we were grocery shopping sounding like the disrespectful little kid he was looking up to.
Before he had a chance to finish his comment and nasty look toward his mother he was swfitly removed from the shopping cart child seat and escorted out to the parking lot. Out by the car I told him he’s never going be disrespectful to his mother . I swatted his butt. Then I told him I’m going to follow you and if you don’t go back in the store and find yourmother and apologize then we’d come back out to the car and he’d get his butt swatted again. He come around and we did not have that kind of problem again. BTW, the kid he was acting like ended up doing time in prison. His parents and nobody else could control him.
From an early age our kids learned that disrespectful behavior would not be tolerated. Even when it came to the typical whiny kid not liking what was for dinner. They were taught to never complain about what was for dinner. We kept peanut butter, bread, plastic ware, and paper plates in a lower cabinet. If they didn’t like dinner then there was their alternative. Make a sandwich and be ate the table for dinner. And every now and then hey would have peanut butter for dinner.
We encouraged our kids to disagree but it had to be done respectfully. One technique we taught was in order to be able to disagree they had to ask a question about the thing they didn’t like. Then they could say why they didn’t like whatever but in a respectful tone. Like the old saying goes, it’s not what you say but how you say it.
When our kids were little we would wave a hand and tell them “be easy” (calm down and behave). Making that jesture and comment carry weight allowed us later to just look at them and gently wave a hand and they responded.
We weren’t puritan disciplinarians but we simply demanded respect. We talked to our kids, listened to them, and did our best to model the behavior we wanted from them.
It’s a life’s work and takes a total “all in” commitment. Unfortunately, we see so many kids starving for attention and direction. Yes direction. We are firm believers that kids want to be directed (guided) but with respect. It’s a two-way street.
We believe there is a direct correlation between a child being taught how to behave by parents and their quality of life.
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Another example of how it should be done and you, as a college professor, are an expert on education without breaking the will to push the envelope just a little. Somehow, the rampaging young sociopaths are the product of a generation that is rudderless. Such a shame……thanks for reading and commenting, Dan.