Think about it.
“Son, go do your homework.”
“Honey, don’t stay out past ten.”
“I think this kid is a bad influence on you.”
Since as long as people can remember, parents have always been the disciplinary hand in a child’s life, differentiating between good and bad. But what is all that is wrong? What if that actually has an adverse effect?
Philosophers all the way back to the Enlightenment argued that children should be like a plant, left to grow on their own with parents only watering them and bringing them back from a decline. Does that mean that parents should let us do what we want? Here’s what I think: either option is possible.
Why Parents Should Leave Kids Alone:
Humanity is like a phoenix, always rising from it’s ashes. But unlike the phoenix, humanity learns from it’s mistakes. (This is a quote from a Ray Bradbury book.) Parents should let kids make their own mistakes and learn from them accordingly. Parents want their kids to avoid making the same mistakes they did, but in the end, aren’t their mistakes what shaped them to be who they are today? That doesn’t mean let them watch TV and fail repeatedly until they’re out of high school and at a dead end. No, they should guide them, teach them basic morality and principles, and let them act. Parent’s try to shove their kids towards the path they want them to go on, which only succeeds in rebellion against the perceived oppression. What we need is a listening ear, a helping hand, and unbiased advice.
Why Parent’s Shouldn’t Leave Kids Alone:
Simple. If you leave a fruit sitting outside, it’s going to blacken from the inside, right? It’ll take a while for you to realize that it’s blackened, cause the outside is always the last go (except for bananas, I suppose). Much as I’m sure I’m betraying my generation to say this, we NEED discipline. As I wrote in another post, lots of people can’t distinguish between love and sex anymore. Today’s media has a bad impact on teens, and a disastrous one on children. It’s like you have a blank piece of paper. The children still don’t know the correct morals, what’s right and wrong. So exposing them to something that’s violent, or inappropriate often, that blank piece of paper is going to start filling up. The more negative writing there is, the less room you have for the positive. My father always gave me long lectures that I thought were meaningless because shouldn’t everyone already know this stuff? But as I got older, I noticed how more and more teens my age have no idea what they’re doing. They’re throwing away their future, their self respect, and their life. I feel sorry for them, because they won’t wake up from it until it’s too late. A parents take on the responsibility of an entire life when they have a child. It’s their job to make sure we grow up right, and even if they try their hardest and the kid still goes bad, at least they now they will be justified.
So, in essence, children are easy to influence. Parents, make sure the right things are influencing them. Don’t wait until they’re sitting alone, sobbing their eyes out, with the craziest ideas going through their heads. Don’t wait until you wake up to a knock on the door telling you your child is gone. Don’t wait until your child finds support and comfort from the wrong people. Be the immovable column in your child’s life. Always there for them, but never at their heels, or watching over their shoulder. Just offer love, care, firmness, and above all, safety.
On a different note, tomorrow’s Monday. How awful.