Wednesday, September 17, 2008

growing pains

Once again, I was perusing for interesting articles affecting our world. While I browsed through endless articles praising/bashing Palin, slipped into a mild depression in the crime section, and got a little laugh from the entertainment tab, I stumbled upon the health section. Top headline was concerning parenting, Parents: When to back off, when to step in. Even though I have no children, I have plenty of views on parenting that stem from my person beliefs, the way I was raised, and how I see my brothers and sisters raising their little ones. Anyway, here we go… called upon 2 parenting experts to provide commentary on a number of situations that everyday parents face throughout their children’s lives all the way from the sandbox to their very first apartment. I found the article equal parts helpful/informative as well as repulsive. I mean some of the situations were great. If a 4-year-old is having problems with sharing playtime with his/her peers, intervene as a neutral parent and make everybody get along. Good advice, doctors. They also pointed out that this doesn’t quite work as well when your child is in 7th grade. Other than the obvious, duh, this was good advice. Now, time for my rant...

As the article progressed through the life stages of your child, so did the ludicrousness of the situations. A college student is having problems with his or her roommate’s messiness, partying, etc. The experts encouraged parents not to intervene and call the dorms. What child is so bound by their mother’s apron strings that they are not self sufficient enough to deal with problems of not even the real world yet? There was also a situation brought up stressing that if children receive bad grades in college to not intervene and contact the professor. What parent needs to be told not to do that? Unless there is some extraordinary circumstance that might require law enforcement and/or an ethics committee, chances are your child is either stupid or partied to hard to make it to class… I smell a trade school graduate Class of 2010!

The final nail in my back was the post-bachelor’s situation. It was about a situation where after 1 year in the real world, with a job, your child is unable to make rent month after month but constantly has new gadgets, clothes, etc. While you wouldn’t want your child living in a FIMA trailer or under an overpass, crack that whip and enforce a little thing called a budget. The pen to my parents’ check book apparently dried up, because they did just that. While I don’t kick my heals and sing a ditty every 1st of the month as I write that painful check, I am glad to be self sufficient in earning and budgeting my own money. It’s called growing up.

If reading this, you feel that any of these situations do require your mommy or daddy to hold your hand and wipe your butt, please drop out of college or quit your job and move into their basement, buy yourself a Nintendo Wii, and enjoy an infantilized (and may I mention, SINGLE) life.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John, I agree with you 100 %! Parents that form rules with their children create an atmosphere that foster the children’s independence while at the same time teaches that there is no freedom without responsibility.
Rules without consequences are less than worthless; they are confusing. Children will not respect parents who do not seek to lovingly, but firmly, enforce the rules by letting them suffer the consequences when rules are broken.

In my opinion, suffering consequences is an important reality in adult life and is the tool that helps shape our character. I know I would be a boring and non-contributing person of society if I had not suffered the consequences from the rules that I had broken.. - Melisa