3 Most Common Mistakes in Parenting – First Mistake

Surveys are handed out at the beginning of all seminars I do.  So I have a good idea what parents have been struggling with for the last 30 years.  No matter how they word it, it comes down to three issues: (1) Disrespect for parents, (2) Lack of discipline and (3) Poor choice of friends.  Limited space permits be to address only one of these per issue.

Disrespect for Parents

I recently interviewed a mother who told me about her son’s shocking disrespect for her, his father and all teachers.

The boy, a lanky, sullen thing slouching in the chair next to her, endured being talked about in this manner with a mixture of embarrassment and resentment in his eyes.

I do not know what else the mother told me for I drifted off thinking about what bodily harm I would do the woman were I in his position…

His position.  A young man, dependent for all he needs on this woman; obliged to her, legally attached to her, torn between wanting to love her and feeling that he must get away from her, biding his time; enduring.

I rejoined present company as she directed herself to her son with, “Well, SAY something, … have you nothing to say for yourself?”  He did not.  He did not trust himself to open with mouth.

Oh! Where did we get this idea that we can treat our children like dirt and from that they learn to treat us golden?

How would you like to be given a string of orders day in and day out” “Get in the car and put your seat belt on.  Keep it down back there.  No, we don’t stop here for fries.  As long as I pay for your food you will eat what I get you and get your fingers out of your mouth, filthy habit that… You do that one more time and I will take your Play Station away for a week.”

About six generations ago we fought a bloody war to outlaw slavery.  Some of us thought it was not right to order other people around, treat them like dirt.  A slave owns nothing that you cannot take away from him.  A slave gets no respect, is totally dependent for all her needs on the master, is legally attached to him and must not fight back.  But he can resent and he can feel embarrassed for her master.  He can endure.

You can never turn your back on a slave or a child whom you have treated this way.  His survival lies in fighting back, covertly at first and openly as he grows taller and stronger and the time nears when he can legally leave the plantation/family.

Hard words.  We mean well.  We work hard to provide the latest electronics and the expensive sneakers for our kids and we want some respect!  And you will have it, IF you take some time off to spend with your child and treat him as you would your dearest friend.  Think of someone you admire above all others and start treating your child exactly as you would that person.  You will be amazed how forgiving children are, how quickly they respond, how much they have wanted to love you and how they will treat you golden.

All that you saw in them in the beginning that was good and beautiful and true is still there.  Enjoy your kids!

Love, Joke