There are alot of things in life that are disappointing. Parenting is one of those areas in life where we really desire and expect to excell. I don’t know why we expect things to turn out well when there is no exact parenting plan to follow. When a child is full grown and turns out well; meaning that they are productive, respectful, well- educated, and, showing caring and concern for others…it is no small feat.
In today’s society, in America, it seems successful parenting is almost a rarity. If you can get a child through elementary school without being expelled for violence, sexual harrassment, bullying, profanity, drug/alcohol use; well then, you are considered a paragon of virtue.
You see we allow our kids to be exposed to violence on television 4 or 5 hours a day, we dont filter what they see in between shows regarding commercials with more skin than a newborn baby exposes, sexual innuendo’s on “family entertainment shows”, magazines with suggestive pictures and titles, we have lowered the bar on the level of respect that is reflected in their conversations, and their behaviors are over the top because consequences are not consistent.
Let me tell you, stepping into the schools today is a bit like stepping into another world…even children as young as elementary school aged children are not immune from these types of issues. The lack of discipline, manners, respect and appropriate behaviors is staggering. Teachers have a thankless job. Chaos reins in the classroom because the teachers have to spend so much time dealing with behaviors that educating the children often comes in second place to discipline.
Moving on to middle school is no less disallusioning. The negative attitudes and behaviors have only amplified into open contempt. By this age, many students have been led to believe that they are their own person and as such really do not have to listen to their parents. Rebellion has taken on a life of it’s own. Even students who wish to learn in school have trouble doing so because of the chaos going on around them in school.
Schools officials try to have more influence on the kids as many households have no control over their children whatsoever. When they can’t control the kids…they call in law enforcement. Some schools even hand out condoms and medical advice, refusing to inform the parents because of privacy issues!!! Say what? Who’s child is this? Who is legally responsible for providing for that child…not the school, surely.
When the troubles come…and they do…then the system pulls in the parents and expects them to correct the situation or control the child. The parental authority has been diminished by each and every person who trys to chip away at that God given authority….whether it be a school counselor, sports coach, the students very own peers, organizational leaders or whomever it may be. It can’t be both ways…others can’t be in control of the students and still expect the parents to have the same influential authority that they should have had from the beginning.
High School…now here is the real breakdown. Parents are a killjoy. They are always telling their children no. They are trying to control their teens. Rules are meant to be broken; right? Yet when it comes right down to it…who is left with the responsibility when the teens have crossed the line…and entered into something illegal, immoral, or something self-destructive? It is the parents. Is it any wonder that many families are broken beyond repair? We need to get back to having appropriate boundaries and expectations; so that our children know that they are loved and that they have someone close to them who cares what happens to them.
It should be the most natural thing in the world, to turn to your parents when a kid finds themselves in trouble. Often they are not the first person that a kid turns to. Many times, it is a misquided, ill-informed, or rebellious peer; or, another enabling adult who wants to befriend the teen in some ignorant attempt to feel better about themselves. This is the environment we are raising our children in today.
So, when a teen or preteen comes into your presence and complains about the evil parent they have at home…listen to the complaints carefully before you are pulled in. It could just be a venting session like every other teen in the history of time. If it is a genuine situation that needs intervention, such as real abuse or neglect, then by all means…recommend they talk to a professional.
Parenting isn’t easy; parenting when you are a teen is even more difficult. When people decide to have children…they don’t think of all of the problems to come their way in the future. When starting a family…you dream of the good things to come your way; and that is how it should be. Parenting shouldn’t be mainly about disappointments…it should be about successes.