Writers Name: Rosey Denise White
Title: Lead Kids as Parents, not as Friends.
Old school, community parenting is what I am accustomed to. Back in the day, parents not only assumed the title of “parent,” but also wore the crown of ownership willingly. During previous times, parents served in multiple capacities. They were leaders, teachers, and stewards for their children and those around them. Kids were expected to treat every adult with the same respect they displayed to mom dad. Teachers and other relatives were included. Even the neighbors were indirectly involved with the oversight of kids in the neighborhood.
These days are quite different times, as the roles seem completely reversed. No longer is the community involved with parenting duties and the parents themselves seem disinterested. For some, parenting is no longer viewed as a responsibility; it has become a leisure activity. We cannot expect learning to be the schools responsibility. Parents are equal partners and are charged with the duty of teaching their children, instead of being their friends. The average age of parents in urban communities is getting younger and younger. This means the younger parents likely do not have the skill set to properly train their children in the first place. Since they can’t teach them, many join their kids by behaving as their kid’s friends.
The lack of respect that kids show their parents is disturbing. I’ve witnessed children throwing temper tantrums in grocery stores, having to be restrained by child-like leashes as if they were animals. I know kids who physically abuse their parents and teenagers who talk back without retribution. Adult children even find it acceptable to live in the parent’s home with their lover of choice. None of this was allowed in my household. For the casual observer, these trends are over-the-top. These issues occur because no boundaries have been established. Kids don’t know how to behave in the parent child relationship because no guidelines were communicated for them to follow.
Some Parents don’t see the harm in being friends with their kids. These friendly parents suggest this type of relationship enables them to better communicate with their children. They believe kids are more apt to discuss their problems if they have an understanding adult to confide in where the least amount of structure is in place. Others insist they would rather bad behavior be done at home so that they can protect their kids, rather than being done out in the streets. No matter which perspective you side with, all are fruitless examples of poor parenting. Followers are not effective leaders just like friendship is not a prudent form of parenting.
Personally, my friendship with my parents began during my adult life. My parents were strict, demanding that my focus remain child-like as appropriate. For years, even after I turned 21, it was still taboo for me to order a drink while dinning out with my father. He deemed this “disrespectful” behavior. “Children should not drink with parents,” he would often tell me. Oddly enough, parents these days not only drink with their kids but use drugs and engage in sexual activities. Not long ago, a Detroit mother was arrested for hosting a “sex party” with her teenage children and others as invited guest. Something is terribly wrong with this picture. We wonder as people, why the world has become the way it is. We seemingly forget that people can only behave as best as the tools they were given. In the course of a child’s life, it is every parent’s duty to teach their kids how to become adults as well as effective contributors to society. This cannot be achieved unless the foundation is put in place early in a child’s life. Take time to teach children which way they should go, instead of wasting so much time being their friend.