2002-01-25 From high atop the soapbox…..

My little experience with the principal has got me thinking about my various parenting methods, at first I thought he had me *re-evaluating*, but there’s nothing to re-evaluate. I love the way I parent my kids, and in all honesty, I’ve got great kids, so I’m definitely doing something right. I’ve been around a lot of parenting communities, forums, both on the internet and IRL, and I’ve come to realize, that I’m pretty alone in the way I raise my kids. I’ve also noticed, that I’m one of the only parents I know, who doesn’t have cause to bitch and moan about my kid’s behavior. That’s got to count for something. I don’t spend a lot of time angry with my kids, the things they do that piss me off are usually so inconsequential that I’m really not pissed off at all, I’m just a little irked.

95% of the parenting methods I see in the world today, make me laugh. And they’re so widely accepted, that nowadays, we have a world full of obstinate, unfocused and often disrespectful kids. Parents whine at their children, seemingly begging them to do things. They have these soft spoken, pleading conversations with their kids….when they want the child to do something. And in return, they get a child who realizes that the parent is being the weaker one in the situation, a child who’s learnt to manipulate the situation, and a child who loses respect for the parent. Think about it, would you respect your boss if he whined and begged and pleaded for you to do something?…No, you’d think he was a spineless ass, which is pretty much what most kids think of their parents.

Another problem with parenting recently is the urgent need to apply a *label* to a child as an excuse for their behavior. You show me a child diagnosed with ADD, ADHD, hyper-activity etc., and I’ll show you a child who’s either lazy, over or under stimulated, or just plain bored. You show me a child who needs medication to control their behavior, and I’ll show you a parent who doesn’t know how to meet the needs of their child.

Most parents feel they need to make compromises with their children, sort of make a deal with their kids to get them to behave. “Settle down, or your not going to Johnny’s on the weekend”, BRIBERY the most accepted form of parenting. Let’s just bribe our kids into doing things, let’s tell them that they can’t have one thing, unless they do another….yeah, that makes sense. I just don’t see how that teaches them anything but manipulation. That doesn’t teach them how to behave, or how to be respectful, it just teaches them how to work a situation to their own benefit. Which in itself isn’t always a bad thing, but they should learn when it’s appropriate.

I hear (and read) of a lot of parents complaining when their child *talks back* or mouths off, and they’re always wondering why….Why?? Because you taught them that you’re spineless and that they always have control of the situation. You’ve taught them that there won’t be any consequences for their behavior. And you’ve failed to realize, that kids are human, they will have their own opinions and feelings, but they don’t know how to express those opinions….because well, you didn’t teach them how to express those opinions appropriately.

And the NUMBER ONE problem with parents today? (and always) They’ve forgotten what it’s like to be a kid. They all grew up, had their own children and went into a state of denial about their own childhood. The wiring in their brains splintered and they no longer remember that being a kid is all about experimentation, pushing the limits, stretching the boundaries, and finding a niche in life. Parents are in too big of a rush to raise their kids, they want them to *grow up and act their age*. Never stopping to realize, that a child has no idea how to act their age. They’ve never been that age before, how can they possibly know whats expected of them? Let them be kids, they’ll be a whole lot happier, and they’ll *thank you for it* when their older.

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