Well, it really is shock news to some folks out there. What an amazing world we live in where we have to be reminded that children both need, and appreciate, boundaries. Stacy Hawkins Adams give us some good thoughts about this very point concerning teens (youth) and the s__ topic. Here’s her article in the Richmond Times-Dispatch:
Of course, you don’t have to read the article to start making sense of the issue [the original article has disappeared, but I liked this one as well. Point #10 talks about being your child’s ‘best friend’ as it relates to permissiveness & is pretty much spot on!]. How often have we found folks in our own anecdotal experience to have simply yielded-to-and-indulged to a point that the child grows up to demand the entire world indulge him or her?
The truth is, we can be spoiled as human beings (we can also be horrible over-controlled as well…but a counter-excess isn’t the answer to an excess). In fact, this is a nice way to think about it:
How would you go about spoiling a person?
Hyper-permissive theories actually have no way to deal with the notion of spoiling a child; they sort of think you ‘can’t really spoil’ a child. And yet, haven’t we seen children who are simply rude and disrespectful toward others… awfully demanding their own way in the moment? Is this your child?
Life, as it turns out, takes you on a field trip for what you don’t learn at home. As a result, not mentoring your child to interact properly with others is actually a kind of abuse (in my way of thinking). How will it be someday when an employer tells the little darling, “No.” Will your child pitch a fit? Will he plot against the boss?
It is clear that human beings are naturally self-interested, but there is something misguided when we become self-absorbed. The culture these days (and the parenting mistakes it escorts) is largely against the use of the word NO. And yet, the studies are relentless in showing the importance of developing self-restraint and health when NO is a part of the conversation. Children have to learn lots of things…sharing, waiting, and cooperating are all a part of the material. Especially waiting (in many ways) for the commitment of marriage is strategic for healthy families.
Here’s a simple exercise that could make a difference:
1. Think about how you would intentionally TRY to spoil a child.
2. Ask yourself if you are doing any of these things…
3. Courageously ask your friends and family their opinions of your parenting.
These things will give you feedback (they may be wrong 🙂 that you can use to consider in improving your own approach to parenting.
Remember…the goal is to grow up a happy adult…it isn’t to try to make a child happy all the time.
As one comment says in the article above… “I’m tired of parents not parenting, but instead trying to be their child’s best friend.” Oddly enough, that turns out to be a serious issue. Perhaps will look at it in more detail soon.