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What Makes a Bad Parent partII

The helicopter mom was made to do things as a child, what she didn’t want to do. Their attitude as an adult is “I’ll make sure that my child won’t have to face and experience the challenges that I had to face when I was a child.” That approach is diametrically opposed to healthy parenting.

In my own life I had to face the consequences of my behavior and actions as a child. I thank my parents for that!

  • If I didn’t do my homework, the consequences were that my parents wouldn’t let me go out and play until I finished my assignments.
  • If I didn’t practice the piano, the consequences werethat my parents wouldn’t let me go out to play until I did.
  • I had certain chores that I had to do around the house. If I didn’t do them, the consequences were that my parents wouldn’t let me go out and play until I finished them.
  • There were consequences to my actions or the lack thereof. These things developed the Work Ethic in me.

Until my little sister was old enough to clear the dishes from the table, I had to do it.

I had to make my bed every morning from the time that I was 5 years old until I moved out. When I was eight or nine years old other chores were added to me, many of which I didn’t like doing!

We had two pear trees that dropped tons of pears onto the ground. Thousands of yellow jackets and bees swarmed the pears, but I had to remove those pears. I was afraid of getting stung, but I had to remove the pears anyway. (I never did get stung though.)

I had to paint the picket fence that ran around our backyard. I was paid a paltry sum – but I had to do it! It took me all summer to paint that fence!

All of this gave me a work ethic. A desire and a drive to get things done. To do things right and do them now whether I want to do them or not.

In our practice, we encourage parents to have their children make their own bed as soon as they get up in the morning, to clear the dishes from the table after dinner and put the dishes in the dishwasher. Further, after the dishwasher has ran its cycle and the dishes have cooled off, the child should put the dishes away.

They should also learn to wash their own clothes. Why not? That means taking them to the washing machine, separating the colored clothes from the whites, putting detergent in the washer, turning on the washing machine and then putting the clothes in the dryer after they are clean.

After the clothes are dry, they must fold them and put them away in their room. Or if the parents are not parenting correctly, they child can sit and watch TV while their mother does these things after working all day!

Gen Zers generally aren’t able to do much of anything for themselves.  At the age of seven I got a very small allowance for doing some simple chores around the house. I pulled weeds, took out the trash and mowed the grass with a heavy cast iron push lawn mower. (No gasoline lawn mower at our house!)  

I even made a trailer that I could tow behind my bike. I put my cast iron lawn mower on it and mowed the neighbor’s grass in order to earn money to buy model airplanes.

There must be consequences to a child’s actions. In the course of an interview with a twelve year old child’s parents, the parents told me how out of control their son was. They related that their son on one afternoon threw his large screen TV, his stereo and his computer out through his bedroom window. The consequences for his actions? His mother took him to Best Buy and bought him replacements that very afternoon. 

A young man’s parents came to see me about their son. They told me that their 31 year old son refused to get a job,  go to college and instead stayed in bed until noon.        

These well to do parents were both self-made.  They had struggled to achieve what they had accomplished in life.  That struggle is what made them who they were. What arose out of my interview with them was that they were determined that THEIR son would not have to struggle as they did in life! What they failed to understand was that their hard work and STRUGGLES were what made them successful!

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