Our Children Our Future: Parenting in Modern Society
Kids living at home
It’s the age of expectation. Children today are being groomed to live at home and for us to continue to take care of them well into their adult lives. The concept of children living at home is not original but only used to apply to farming families to take care of the farm. The reason that this trend is growing is simple. We are allowing it to happen.
Internet, Reality TV, Video Games
2014 is over the horizon and it’s the information age. The Internet, Reality TV and Video Games dictate the actions of our youth today. Information is instantaneous as is our human need for gratification. ‘Stopping and smelling the roses’ is an archaic cliché that is begging for rediscovery. We want results just as fast as we get them online and I’m afraid that this is victimizing today’s youth. I place the blame on our decreased involvement with our children. We as a society are reactive to today’s youth instead of proactive. Commonsense is foreign to our youth and unless we step up, matters will only get worse.
Chipping our children
Specifically, I place blame on the parents who don’t take the time to monitor what their children are doing. We put leashes on our children instead of holding their hands. We give them cell phones as an electronic nanny instead of going with them or checking on them in person. We are even entertaining the thought of inserting subcutaneous chips in them at birth. There was a quote from a famous musician that I always thought was clever, “I take my kid hunting so I don’t have to hunt for my kid.” Setting aside animal rights and gun control, the point is ‘going with his kid’.
Asking a girl out
A recent commercial about using the internet where the young boy had to give a speech and later how to ask a girl out for a date is probably the best example of how our youth are being parented by technology. The message was that all he had to do was browse his problems online and they were instantly resolved. In reality these issues were best answered by his school teacher and his parents.
Consequences and limitations
Let’s take it a step further and talk about consequences and setting limitations. There are no consequences or limitations being taught to our children. Sons are not being made to go get a job and daughters are getting pregnant to force their parents’ hand. Talk with your children about what will happen if they have a baby. It’s not a new puppy! Talk to a friend who recently had a baby and ask to have your daughter stay over for a week. Let your daughter take care of the baby under the supervision of your friend. There are services that you can subscribe to and rent a simulated baby. Show your daughter what it will be like to raise a child. Point out to her that was only a week and ask them how they will deal with 18 years of raising a child?
Working at a young age
Explain to your children that they need to start looking for a job when they are 16. Part-time work never hurt anybody. Make them pay for the gas that they are burning for that new driver’s license they so desperately wanted. Explain to them that they need to start thinking about college and a vocation. Tell them to pick three vocations that they want to pursue and sit down and talk to them about each one and what they would like to do as a career. Help them with their tuition so that they can get a leg up. Reassure them and let them know that you have their back so that they won’t have to bear the brunt of tuition costs alone. It wasn’t their choice to be brought into this world. Help them by giving them the tools to survive.
Scholarships and Grants
Start talking to your kids about college. Today’s resources are geared to help your child get into college. A high school diploma or GED is nothing. It just says that you can read and write. An Associate’s degree is today’s new high school diploma. You need at minimum a Bachelor’s degree just to keep up with the curve. Graduate school is the only means of leading the pack. Explain to your child that a Master’s degree should be the minimum goal and to start applying for grants and scholarships now.
Disobedience and Rebellion
So we have talked about the ground work. What about the child who just flat refuses to work or go to school or gets pregnant? I have to take a Mulligan on this one for the simple reason that you are their parents. I can’t tell you how to raise your child. There are too many variables to consider and it will take a novel size how-to in order to answer all of the questions. All I can do is to tell you what I did and that isn’t necessarily what will work for you. Each situation is unique and has to be addressed according to your individual circumstances.
Strictly speaking telling anyone how to raise their child is opening a can of worms that I am simply not prepared to do. I have struggled with an editorial or how-to article for a while now and the outcome is always the same. I just don’t do it.
Resources for a rebellious child
A great place to start to help find a solution is for you to check with your local or state government agencies. There are usually resources available to you for your particular situation. Also don’t forget to check with your church. They usually have good ideas on what you can do about your situation. Other online resources include Focus on the Family, Parenting.com and for books on the subject visit Amazon.com or Halfbooks.com.