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Op-Ed: Being A Loving Parent Is Not Enough

Being A Loving Parent Is Not Enough
Parents have the primary function of training their child in a multitude of areas. This means moral values, appropriate behavior, the work ethic, relationship skills, critical thinking, showing kindness to others and faith in God among others. File photo: Backgroundy, Shutter Stock, licensed.

SPRING HILL, FL – Many parents assume that if you seem sympathetic and caring then children will automatically listen to them. This parental approach has been repeatedly presented in women’s magazines, television programming and seminars. The essence of being understanding and loving to your child is based on a narrative, not science, that children will listen better to a loving parent than a stern one.

The soft, caring, and loving approach is a legally safe one in our present culture. Parents have been indoctrinated that even a spank on the child’s backside is an abusive physical act, while allowing your toddler to be running around causing havoc in a store is not. The political campaign to weaken the way Americans raise their children has been taking place for over 60 years. Today a stern public reprimand by a parent for obvious misbehavior often receives a negative comment from others rather than support for good parenting.

In the past, parents were in charge of their children’s development. Years ago, government schools would never dare to tell parents that the school was in charge of what the children learned. There was no debate since children were trained to listen to their parents. If parents commanded that a child should do something, the child did it. Most children accepted that their parents were more experienced, and their parents were “the boss.” There was little consideration for the child’s feelings since there were many more important things to do.

Modern childrearing has changed by working parents putting the child in the forefront and in the position of power especially as the family became smaller with only one child. Today parents are directed by many child development experts to negotiate with their children about the slightest conflicts. According to the experts, every disagreement is novel requiring an equal negotiation between authority figures and youngsters before arriving at a mutually agreed upon decision.

These artificial and unnecessary negotiations place the child on an equal footing with any authority figure: coaches, teachers, and relatives. All people of authority must comply with treating children with kid gloves. This process leaves the child feeling and believing there is little difference between himself and any adult, even the parents. This false equality leaves the child less likely to accept the adult’s ideas. It is the same reason modern children use the “but” statement for almost anything asked of them. The consistent “buts” are annoying to parents and other authority figures but have become a common ritual.

The question of whether your child likes you or is better prepared to face the challenges of life, should be the answer. Every responsible parent and authority figure has the responsibility of assisting the child to be the best they can be. The lessons of parents, teachers, and other authority figures will be there forever. These lessons will lead the child down the road of success, not whether the child “likes” the parents at that moment.

Parents have the primary function of training their child in a multitude of areas. This means moral values, appropriate behavior, the work ethic, relationship skills, critical thinking, showing kindness to others and faith in God among others. This is a short list since as the child matures more new things will need to be learned. Each child is unique in their learning curve. Some children will have to improve their time management, learn to fully complete a task or how to control their nervousness in situations as they develop physically and mentally.

Excellent parents will be there to assist their child throughout their lives and to deal with a critical problem such as addiction, divorce, mental illness, or death. Parents should help their children deal with their own problem rather than solving issues for them. This is a form of love that does not rob the individual of the pride and satisfaction of handling his own life issues

Authority figures are supporters and helpers of other human beings. Parents have the ultimate position of being responsible for their child’s development into adulthood. Of course, parents should love their child but not pamper them.  There is a short time for a parent to inculcate all the necessary moral, social and practical knowledge needed for a child to grow into a highly functioning and spiritual person.

The “being liked” by your child approach of childrearing turns into a nightmare of for parents of disrespect and discipline issues. Authority figures usually have a lower tolerance of children not following instructions than a parent does. This different level of tolerance between parents and other authority figures can cause unnecessary hassles.

Being a lenient parent without teaching a child the boundaries of discipline often ends poorly for everyone.

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