Midnight Rantings

Tired rantings in a tired world.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Finally, It's Being Said

First a disclaimer: I am not a professional child expert. I do not get paid to do what I do. My wife and I have three great kids. We constantly struggle with letting our kids do the things their friends do versus not. We are in competition with TV, video games, computer games, peers, etc. Children today face challenges that I did not.
Rabbi Shmuley Boteach writes about what we all see all too often: parents being their kids friends. I have seen, first hand, what happens to children with parents for friends. The children have zero respect for their parents. When will people realize that respect is earned and not given? This New Age "touchy-feely" attitude with child-rearing cannot produce good fruit.

I am not saying one needs to be a total disciplinarian to raise children. However, children raised in an atmosphere of structure will be more respectful, polite and better behaved. Life is all about finding a balance. One can be loving and fun with his/her children, but one must be able to draw the line. This quote: the uncharitable position is that friendship is a posture adopted by lazy parents who find disciplining their children too much work. Much easier to give in rather than resist sums up today's parenting. The parent/child relationship cannot be about equals. Just like a boss/employee cannot. Children from these kinds of parents are no fun to be around.

People do not need to read books on how to raise a child. Child psychologists today are more interested in keeping children from failure. Life is all about failure. Learning from our failures is the best lesson. How does a child learn how to deal with failure? By failing. The hard times produce character not warm, fuzzy feelings.

These trends tend to swing like a pendulum. I hope it will swing the other way before a generation is lost.