RESPECT - The First Task of Parenting
Why is it so hard to be a parent today? For that matter, it is no easy task to work with children in any context today. I believe it is because we have neglected to teach our children what some may call an old-fashioned principle - RESPECT.
Maybe there was a time when parents were too authoritarian, when children were to be seen and not heard, and when parents were feared more than loved. I do not think that we need to return to such a time, but I do think the pendulem has swung too far.
Too many times I see parents who are tyrannized by their demanding child or children. They are routinely ignored, openly disobeyed, rudely addressed, and even threatened or physically attacked. This is definitely NOT the way it should be - not only for the sake of the parent, but for the sake of the child. Do these out-of-control children look happy to you? I think they are miserable - and we all know misery loves company. It is an unsafe environment when children are in charge beyond their capabilities, and happiness and love cannot thrive without safety.
The first lesson a child needs to know is HE IS THE CHILD AND YOU ARE THE PARENT. We could call this RESPECT. The child will test the validity of that lesson. Do not be discouraged. That is his job. He needs to understand the role of the parent is to love, protect, provide, and direct him toward successful adulthood. He needs to understand that the parent knows more than the child about almost everything, that it is not always possible for the child to understand the thinking process of the parent, and that obedience is necessary with or without his understanding. He needs to recognize the rewards of obedience and the costs of disobedience. How will he ever navigate toward successful adulthood without this understanding?
The earlier this lesson is learned, the easier the rest of the lives of both parent and child will be.