Sunday, June 24, 2012

Being a Parent, Not a Friend

Eli is almost 4 months old- that in no way, shape, or form makes me a parenting expert. I do however know what I think is acceptable behavior for MY son. I know what I expect of him as he grows and what I will and will not allow him to do. I know some of that will change as he grows (and I am actually faced with the situation) but I do know some things will not.

That being said I do not understand how parents think it is okay for their small children (ages 3-6ish) to be complete and total punks. They think their child back-talking, cussing, acting like they are drinking alcohol, giving attitude (a lot of attitude), ect. is cute or funny. IT IS NOT. While you may think it is cute now what you allow a child to do a teenager will think is acceptable and it will not be cute as a teenager. When a child has been allowed to backtalk all their life you cannot expect them to magically respect you when they turn 13.

We as parents need to set clear boundaries for our children. The kids I teach have no boundaries at home and they crave them- every year I see them first fight, then learn to crave and love the boundaries and predictability that come with them. When kids are allowed to act however they wish as small children we end up with teenagers like those in the news lately who bullied a grandmother to tears. We MUST raise  generation better than this. It is our responsibility as parents and citizens of the world. We must teach our children that there is an acceptable way to behave, that kindness, courtesy, and respect for our fellow humans are NOT optional. We have to stop trying to be our children's FRIEND and start being a PARENT.

Again, I know my son is an infant and I haven't had to deal with this situation yet; but I do know what my expectations are for him.

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