Humour with a bite
That’s what I would call the labels that are being assigned to parents. It started with “Tiger Moms”, moved into a more general “Helicopter Parents”, and then morphed into a very specific “Snowplow parents with Snowflake children”. This summer I read about the next level label described as “Lawnmower parents”
Why all these labels? Parents have changed the phrase “helping my child” into “ doing it for my child” as they wrongly assumed that by doing so much for their child that this was the best for them. It was supposed to show their child ( and all their peers) how much they cared about their child’s safety and well being. Each new label has taken a potshot at what parents are doing and how it is actually creating an undesirable set of values and attitudes in the next generation. The fact that it has reached the media and even been written about in numerous books and articles indicates that it has grown into a cultural aberration of past values and expectations of our youth. It’s not that some of these undesirable behaviours have never been present in past generations.It’s the magnitude of the mindset that is troubling our current social community. If you want a humorous break take a moment to watch this video on “millenials”
After over thirty years of home daycare, my wife has firmly asserted that “ Children become what you allow them to be” So in that vein of thought do I transpose the fact that this growing group of young individuals who are apathetic, disinterested, self-centred, unappreciative and over expectant are a product of radically poor parenting?
Maybe this accusation is a bit severe but it puts the owness back on the parents.
While reading an article by the Love and Logic Institute, It brought to mind a new label, “Thieves”. In the article it was talking about how parents are creating financial issues with children and how they should be trained in understanding the value of money. It was about stealing the joy of earning their own way through life. That term “stealing” stuck in my mind. I want to push it into a larger arena. What opportunities have parents stolen from their children by trying to remove all hardships, growth pains, maturing experiences and the proper understanding that you don’t always get what you want?
If parents truly want to show their children that they love them, what should they be doing for them?
- First is that they should start with the attitude that the perfect parent has… our heavenly Father! He loves his children,(Jn. 3:16) forgives them,(1Jn.1:9) disciplines them (Heb 12:6) and requires their obedience (Jn 14:15). (Two great family books to read are listed at the bottom of this blog.)
- Secondly, I believe parents must be giving their children “a multitude of activities and opportunities to experience all that life has to throw at them, in its best and worst moments, that won’t cause permanent damage or injury”. Allowing them to scrape their knees, work through hurt feelings, understand frustration and loss and how to stand up for themselves are all important lessons to be learned not always avoided. The story is told of a parent calling their daughter’s college professor to ask for an extension for a deadline. The professor asked why the girl hadn’t called herself? The mom replied that her daughter didn’t feel comfortable with confrontation!
Give children back their right to fight through life. Every conflict and every problem is an opportunity for you to teach your child. Through their endurance, they will reap the benefit of a life that can persevere.
I pray that no parent will be labelled a “Thief”.
The Fulfilled Family by John MacArthur
Parenting - 14 Gospel Principles by Paul David Tripp