Par­ents need to take con­trol

En­ti­tled kids grow into rude adults

The Chronicle - - LIFE DIVA - Lisa Mayoh Opin­ion — news.com.au

SELF­LESS par­ents who put their kids be­fore their part­ners are cre­at­ing a gen­er­a­tion of en­ti­tled, spoiled chil­dren who get away with too much be­cause we let them.

That’s the gospel ac­cord­ing to fam­ily psy­chol­o­gist John Rose­mond, whose words have struck a chord on so­cial me­dia, with too-of­ten for­got­ten hus­bands of the world shar­ing the par­ent­ing ad­vice col­umn far and wide.

In it, Dr Rose­mond says the most im­por­tant peo­ple in a fam­ily are the par­ents – and we need to re­mem­ber that, for the sake of our coun­try.

“When we were kids it was clear to us that our par­ents were the most im­por­tant peo­ple in our fam­i­lies,” the US psy­chol­o­gist penned in a Florida pa­per.

“And that, right there, is why we re­spected our par­ents, and that, right there, is why we looked up to adults in gen­eral.”

He goes on to say that when grow­ing up, it was clear his par­ents’ re­la­tion­ship was the top pri­or­ity – so as kids, they didn’t sleep in their bed or in­ter­rupt their con­ver­sa­tions.

“The fam­ily meal, at home, was re­garded as more im­por­tant than af­ter-school ac­tiv­i­ties,” he wrote.

“The pri­mary ob­jec­tive should not be rais­ing a straight-A stu­dent who ex­cels at three sports, goes to an A-list univer­sity and be­comes a prom­i­nent brain sur­geon.

“The pri­mary ob­jec­tive is to raise a child such that com­mu­nity and cul­ture are strength­ened – ‘our child is the most im­por­tant per­son in our fam­ily’ is the first step to rais­ing a child who feels en­ti­tled.”

Whether you’re a par­ent or not, any­one will tell you kids be­hav­ing badly is not a new phe­nom­e­non. But – are they get­ting worse?

A re­port re­leased this week showed that yes – yes they are. And it looks like it’s all our fault.

Al­most half of 15-year-olds in the Aus­tralian schools stud­ied were badly be­haved, while al­most 40% in Vic­to­ria re­ported dis­or­der in most sci­ence classes.

Fed­eral Ed­u­ca­tion Min­is­ter Si­mon Birm­ing­ham was quick to blame “com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies” who he said needed to en­force a zero-tol­er­ance ap­proach to bad be­hav­iour.

“This re­search demon­strates that more money spent within a school doesn’t au­to­mat­i­cally buy you bet­ter dis­ci­pline, en­gage­ment or am­bi­tion,” he said.

“Turn­ing these re­sults around can­not rest solely on the shoul­ders of teach­ers or prin­ci­pals.”

Kids need dis­ci­pline. Kids need rules, and kids need to be taught to re­spect their el­ders – that’s fact.

But it can be easy for a par­ent to cave – this one in­cluded on the odd san­ity-sav­ing oc­ca­sion.

To give the choco­late egg to stop the melt­down for a minute, or buy the cheap stupid toy that will be bro­ken within sec­onds just to have a mo­ment’s peace when it all gets too much.

We can blame their age – the ter­ri­ble twos, the three-nager, the eff-you fours – and we can claim it’s all just a stage, that it’s not the poor lit­tle pop­pet’s fault and the bad be­hav­iour will stop. It has to. Doesn’t it?

But what can be eas­ily for­got­ten mid-melt­down is that it’s up to us to con­trol.

It’s time we bring back the Mr and Mrs so-and-so, look­ing at some­one in the eyes when you speak to them, not talk­ing back, be­ing po­lite and well man­nered – no ques­tions asked, no whinge­ing al­lowed.

Re­spect your el­ders, mind your manners and do the right thing.

Don’t yell out in class. Be help­ful to your teacher. Be a friend to your peers.

Be­fore it’s too late, and we are stuck with class­rooms of dis­rup­tive, rude, know-it-all kids who grow into in­so­lent, rude, know-it-all teenagers, who turn into ar­ro­gant, rude, know-it-all adults.

The most im­por­tant peo­ple in the fam­ily are the par­ents...

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

SET­TING RULES: Par­ents can eas­ily for­get, mid-melt­down, that it’s up to them to keep kids in line.

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