It IS My Kid's Fault!
By Mary Simmons, M.A.
Author of Discipline Me Right, with Bert Simmons, M. Ed.
A few Teen Commandments from Discipline Me Right: "Discipline your child and show responsibility." "Thou shall give us consequences for our negligent or irresponsible behavior." "Hold me responsible for my actions."
We live in an enabling age.
That is not a good thing. Many parents make it easy for kids to side-step their responsibilities, but, surprisingly, that is not what kids want. It feels good to take responsibility for one's actions, good or bad. Something inherent in human nature wants what is good and right. As I note in my book,
kids want to be good
, which means taking responsibility for their failures and negative actions.
A mother allows her teenaged son to turn off his snooze alarm several times until he has only 15 minutes until the first bell at school. She finally cajoles him into a quick shower, and as she is driving him to school she phones the attendance office to say it is her fault her son will be late, and he will need a pass when he arrives. He walks into 1st period with no consequences and believes it is all right to inconvenience his mother and the school staff, and to disrupt 1st period, all because he wants to sleep in.
Enabling parenting: What does it look like?
Enabling parents make excuses for their children's academic failure and bad behavior. They accept marginal and failing grades without penalty. They ignore sloppy work, tardiness, and cheating. Sometimes they condone or encourage cheating. (Some even do their children's homework for them!) Enabling parents say their child failed, or cheated, or punched another kid in the hallway because he was having "family problems." They take the blame for their kid. The result is kids who can't see past their personal circumstances, blame others for their problems, and avoid challenges because they aren't familiar with the satisfaction of succeeding on their merits. Parents are enablers for a few reasons.
They feel guilty.
Stop feeling guilty.
Parents feel guilty for being hostile and angry, for divorce, for drinking too much -- any number of things. Parents often try to make up for something painful that happened earlier in their child's life. You cannot make your child's life perfect. You have to forgive yourself for not being perfect.
Your child is here on earth to learn; don't hinder that process
. Clean up your act, tell the truth, hold your child accountable, and encourage him or her to do better. Show your child you believe he or she can accomplish something.
They don't respect themselves.
Respect yourself and don't allow disrespect
. Enabling parents show appalling signs of disrespect toward themselves. They allow themselves to be manipulated by their children and political correctness ("everybody's equal and never at fault"), and they allow themselves to be deluded about what is true and false when it comes to their children's deeds. As a parent you must respect yourself. That means you
do not allow any disrespect toward yourself
. It does not mean that you are arrogant, conceited, or concerned about always being right with your child. It does means that you know you are basically a good person and deserve to be treated well.
Stop being afraid
. Your child isn't going to stop loving you. Loving you is hard-wired into their system. In fact, they will love and respect you more if you are a person of integrity and hold them accountable for their actions. That means dishing out consequences for destructive and disrespectful behavior. It means taking away privileges if their grades are low. If you're afraid of conflict, then you'll need to think ahead and formulate a plan, anticipate the conflict and know what you'll do if the argument escalates.
Not being afraid means taking charge and doing what you said you will do if your child misbehaves
Assertive, in-charge, self-respecting parents live by these words:
I cannot allow you to do anything that is not in your best interest - or mine.
is a teacher, parent, and author. Her father,
, is an educational consultant in the area of school discipline. Together, with the insights of Mary's teenaged students, they have put together a powerful, comprehensive guide to instilling and reinforcing positive, respectful behavior in children.
Discipline Me Right
is available through Amazon.com and your local bookstore. For more parenting tips and information about the book, visit
. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.
|Tags: 10 Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives, Adult Child-Parent, Behavior, Family/Relationships - Adult Child/Parent, Family/Relationships - Children, Family/Relationships - Family, Motherhood, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting, Relationships, Relatives, Ten Stupid Things Men Do to Mess Up Their Lives
EMAIL | PRINT | RSS
WHAT MATTERS MOST
By Cheryl Gochnauer
Like every Tuesday morning, little kids were tossing a football around our front yard, waiting for the school bus to rumble up the street. Like every Tuesday morning, I smiled at them from behind the glass storm door, then turned toward the TV, clicked the remote, and caught the news.
The second plane hit the World Trade Center.
"Carrie, come here!" I yelled out the front door to my 3rd grader, making her miss the pass.
"Wow!" she said, watching the instant replay. Then, "Can I go play?"
Man - I wish I could go play. Instead, I'm transfixed in front of the TV, watching the rescue efforts, praying for the missing. My girls seem to be okay. Carrie did ask to sleep with me that night, but since then has been busy planning her birthday party. Her 8th-grade sister, Karen, is studying American History. "That book will have a new cover next year," I remarked. "It'll be a picture of the World Trade Center imploding."
We lost more people Tuesday than from Pearl Harbor (2200), D-Day (1500) and the Titanic (1500), combined. It's staggering.
So is the response of Americans. I'm a political news junkie, and my stomach has been tied in knots more times than I can count over the past couple of years. Through impeachment, the election and the erosion of religious rights, I've shaken my head, convinced our country was headed for moral meltdown.
Then came Tuesday.
Amazingly, America leapt up, grabbed her flags and her Bibles and ran to help. Monday, we bickered about taxes and rebates. Tuesday, we flooded New York and Washington with volunteers, money and supplies. Politicians held hands and sang "God bless America" on the Capitol steps. There was an unexpected union of church and state, and our country was better for it.
A sad silver lining, I know. But a silver lining none the less.
Each of us are now making our way through the stages of grief (defined by Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross as denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance). We've all been jolted; we all understand how fragile life is, and how precious.
Those who read this newsletter every week and visit the website and message boards do so because you love your families, and want to spend as much time with them as possible. Tuesday's events sharpen our resolve to live our lives in such a way that there will be no regrets. As we help others through this tragedy, let's also take this as a universal wake-up call.
Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today. If your heart is calling you home, act. Pay off those bills; put away the charge cards. Bypass anything standing between you and your kids. Those who scoffed at your desire to be an at-home parent last Monday will support you today. As the phone calls from the towers reflected, family is what matters most.
. Or visit her website at
where you can post messages about the attacks on a special discussion board. Copyright2001 Homebodies.Org, LLC. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.)
|Tags: Adult Child-Parent, Character, Courage, Conscience, Character-Courage-Conscience, Family/Relationships - Adult Child/Parent, Morals, Ethics, Values, Read On-Air, Values
EMAIL | PRINT | RSS