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November 18, 2011

The parent's responsibility

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Years ago bullying was done in person and a child could connect a face to their tormenters. Today children are sexting and cyber-bullying which can be more detrimental since it can be done by anyone. Parents vilify social networks, video games, and the internet as the source of this new outlet of violence. In the defense of these revolutionary developments in our world I blame the parents. As a volunteer at multiple Middle schools and High schools I have seen students call their parents TERRIBLE names when the parent is five minutes late.

In my day I would have been disowned if I said that to my family and I am only 21 now. I grew up with parents that were the perfect balance of loving and strict, and I am a better person because of it. Some parents these days forget that they are the adult, yes your child may act old but they are still a child. Kids are growing up way to fast these days so you have to be three steps ahead of them every minute. With the introduction of social media kids are expecting more and feel like they deserve it.

Kids are learning new things everyday from the internet some good some bad, but the one thing they aren't learning? Humility! Humility a basic element of personality, that back then was instilled really by parents being strict and making their kids understand why they were wrong.

When I was a kid if I was bad I got spanked it was simple as that. A lot of parents are afraid to lay a finger on their kids with CPS potentially being right around the corner but it is not ABUSE it is teaching your kid that if they do something wrong they get punished. Now I am not advocating that you abuse your child I am just saying be stricter trying to ground kids means nothing any more make the punishment real. Some examples; downgrade their phone, cancel their plan, change their computer password, remover parts of their desktop and make them earn them back, if you target what they love they will change. When I got spanked I once told my dad I was going to call CPS he used my comment to teach me about the foster care program and the worse situation I could end up in; this was a huge eye-opener for me!

Another thing you can do is teach them about how privileged they are. My mom made us help at soup kitchens for years and now I do it on my own seeing the poor state of others is the best humbling tool. Make you kids put down the screen and see the world for what it is even a hike through a state park can be a life changing experience. I know this may seem like a rant but please trust my message.

Parents, catch up with what is going on, your kid is a sparring partner and you have to be ready to counter any punch they throw at you. Be strict but loving teach them humility and they will thank you forever. That's all I can think of.

Best of luck out there, Obi

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