Every generation has had unique historical events that complicated the raising of one’s children. These include WWI, the advent of the radio, the Roaring 20s, the Depression, WWII, the Korean War, television, Elvis Presley, the 60s sexual revolution, peaceniks, drugs, feminism, homosexuality, and the transexual movement. This is a short list that continually expands with changes to our culture, making being a parent more difficult.
As society continues to adjust to past events, there will be new, unexpected social upheavals and devices that will capture the attention of youngsters, influencing their thinking and behavior. The parents’ position is to train their children to act as the parents require in various situations and not accept their defiant and obnoxious behavior. Cell phone monitoring is causing immense problems for parents as children are using their phones while they are supposed to be sleeping.
Cell phones have caused problems for parents around the globe. Many children at an early age now possess cell phones. They spend time on apps like TikTok without parental approval during all hours of the night. This has put many parents in a quandary as they have little power over what their children are doing. They feel powerless.
There are many causes why parents are not able to keep their children off their phones at night to prevent them from seeing things they should not see. Also, the children’s lack of sleep makes them irritable, short-tempered, and poor in their studies. Government schools are becoming more lax in expectations of academic work, ignoring violent behavior and accepting students not following teachers’ directions. Even school police officers are friends and not feared. Many young children rule inside and outside of the home. This permissiveness started with parents being frightened that their children will not love them if they have strict and old-fashioned demands.
Anytime the parent tries to put their foot down, the child rebels by not following the parental decrees. The parents speak to other adults and even professionals who tell them there is little they can do except to be their friend. This usually means the parents need to do something with their children that will make them happy. Appeasing the child, not confronting them, is easier in the short run but can lead to disaster in the long run.
Teenagers often do not listen as they were not trained earlier to do as they were asked to do. The untrained child does not know or care that they are ignoring the parents because they never received consequences for this behavior.
If the child was not trained early, the parent’s power can be asserted later, but it will be slower and harder to do it. If the child drives a car or motorcycle recklessly, the parent can take the vehicle away to establish the fact all liberties can be withdrawn. Once parents start on this course, they must be willing to remove the freedoms until the child learns who the boss is. When the child starts listening, then the parent knows they have gotten their attention. Only by the parent standing strong does the youngster learn the lessons necessary to make better mature, healthy decisions.
The problem with modern society is parents have forgotten the ultimate role of being the child’s teacher. Today’s parents have stepped down to the level of the child to be their equal instead of demonstrating to them how to reach a more mature level of thinking and behaving. They can reach the level of becoming a young, maturing adult when they realize their parents have the right and power to make their adolescent lives miserable.
Only by parents using their power to shut down their adolescent’s arrogant lifestyle will the child realize they have no way to win the battle with their parents. This will only take place when the youngster feels the pain of losing their privileges and freedom. The parents can give a child more freedom as they demonstrate mature decision-making. Then the family is on the right course.
The battle of who is boss is not won by the parents bribing their children with more positive experiences or more freedom. Giving too much to a child while they have not earned it is a bad idea. The parents have received too little, which is not a good bargaining position. Only when the parents assert their power by closing the “toy box” that their children assume will always be there will the child begin to listen. By parents beginning to cancel their child’s privileges and freedoms, the child will realize he has a lot to lose if they continue to be disobedient and disrespectful. Parental strength, not weakness, is the way to gain a child’s gratitude and ensure they take the right path in life.
Domenick Maglio, PhD. is a columnist carried by various newspapers and blogs, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. Dr. Maglio is an author of weekly newspaper articles, INVASION WITHIN and the latest book entitled, IN CHARGE PARENTING In a PC World. You can see many of Dr. Maglio’s articles at www.drmaglioblogspot.com.