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Shock News: Permissive Parenting Can be Harmful

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:

Permissive Parenting Can be Harmful

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.

Blessings,

 

Fred Lybrand

 

Parenting and the London Riots (time to wake up)

What is up with children these days? I am admittedly conservative about a lot of things. I am also more relaxed about many other things. On parenting, however, I am a classical parent. On society, I am a common sense advocate of sanity.

Just now, because of Max Hasting’s article entitled,

“Years of liberal dogma have spawned a generation of amoral, uneducated,

welfare dependent, brutalised youngsters,” (click for article)

I have reviewed some of the information on feral children (those raised in the wild, and usually by dogs). It simply underscores how much impact the environment can have on a person. The context for most children is the family (of course), but it is also includes the laws of the land. We cannot control how our kids turn out, but we can put the odds in their favor.

The UK (London especially) has seen a brutal uprising of havoc-raising kids… guised under the economy, but easily explained by the flaws in the welfare state (+ the bias against providing consequences by the government) across the pond. While I realize there is a petition out there to ask the Queen to take us Yanks back, I’d suggest we wait a few more years before we send it over.

Hastings says,

They are products of a culture which gives them so much unconditionally that they are let off learning how to become human beings. My dogs are better behaved and subscribe to a higher code of values than the young rioters of Tottenham, Hackney, Clapham and Birmingham.

Unless or until those who run Britain introduce incentives for decency and impose penalties for bestiality which are today entirely lacking, there will never be a shortage of young rioters and looters such as those of the past four nights, for whom their monstrous excesses were ‘a great fire, man’.

The Bible simply says, “A child left to himself is a disgrace to his mother…”

What more should be said? If they aren’t allowed to learn about consequences in the home, what chance is there in the world? Reality will eventually be brutal. Which is why this rabid trend to keep kids from ever hearing the word ‘No’ is so ludicrous. All humans must learn about boundaries, which is where the laws of the land come in handy. I need protection from those who invade my sovereignty.

And yet, can we really count on the government? We are sowing the seeds of the next generation with every over indulgence that teaches children that goals, effort, respect, honor, and the like are a waste of time. Every act or policy that continually ‘does for them’ creates another opportunity to sink deeper into, dare I say, a culture of the spoiled.

Beating children and abusing them by over-bearing and over-controlling is clearly wrong, but it is not the only option to the over-indulgence of a welfare mentality.

If we begin at home to establish boundaries with consequences, there is a chance for our children to grow up as contributors who respect laws and champion the rights of others.

Here are a few examples of what children should learn at home…

No means no
Bedtime means bedtime
You break it, you fix it or pay for it
Disrespect is punished, respect is rewarded
Hard work is honorable
Protect the weak
Comfort the brokenhearted
Seek peace with all
Don’t give in to the demands of terrorists

That’s a start. Let’s wake up. Leaders are forged in the home and community. No rioters will be leaders…well, no good money is every betting on them to lead.

The Bible adds, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he shall not depart from it.”

Finally, and oddest of all, your children stand to hate you when you spoil them. I remember friends of mine in a semi-affluent world while growing up. It was shocking how the kids who were given awesome cars, clothing accounts, and limitless credit cards…all tended to speak ill of their parents. Not a little bit ill, but a kind of loathing that comes with the ‘what have you done for me lately’ mentality.

I beg you to wake up and give your children a heritage they can build on, rather than an indulgence that will crush them (and those in their rebellious path).

Recently, one of my Home & School Club members wrote me that her 7-year-old woke up one morning to proclaim, “I wish you had never talked to that guy!” That guy is me, and all that was happening is that mom was putting in place a system that started really training the kids to learn and work at a higher level than they had experienced up to that point. Challenging our children to stretch is the momentary pain, but honestly, children must learn that they are not in charge until being in charged is earned.

That’s the crux of the problem…and…the crux of the answer.

Wide awake,

Fred Lybrand

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