Sorry Parents, It Is All Your Fault

helicopter-parent-1024x768It sucks that no matter where we turn we are being judged on our skills as parents.  We get called everything from too soft to too hard by those who appoint themselves judge, jury and executioners.  We all want to point to society, other kids, and TV as co-conspirators in the behavior of our little darlings, but the reality is that the buck starts and stops with what we practice and allow at home.  As much as I hate to admit it, and to point out the obvious,  if your kid is turning into an obnoxious brat you are to blame.  Hmmm

Society calls you a “Helicopter Parent” destined to raise a “fragile” child:

  • If your entire life revolves around your children and their activities;
  • If you shield them from every disappointment, every slight, injury or conflict;
  • If you hover around them 24/7; and
  • If you swoop in to rescue them, fight their battles with teachers, coaches, friends, co-workers/bosses (yeah it happens), and solve every problem for them.

What this is creating in the real world is a segment of this generation of up and coming workers and leaders who:

  • Demonstrate stunted maturity and social growth;
  • Lack confidence;
  • Fear failure;
  • Experience higher anxiety – often leading to more use of prescription drugs; and
  • Show more anger and resentment than their more well-adjusted peers

Some other ways that we, as a society of parents, are creating bratty kids are:

  • Making excuses for our kids’ bad behaviors (hitting/biting/etc.) by referring to them as a temporary stage and letting them go without consequence.
  • Not establishing expected behaviors from the beginning and not following through with age appropriate discipline for inappropriate or dangerous behaviors;
  • Being afraid of others judging us as “too harsh” or ruining our child’s self-esteem by disciplining them.
  • Failing to remove a misbehaving or melting down child from the situation so that others aren’t annoyed, instead teaching them they can act anyway they please and you just don’t care….
  • Not letting kids grow up/assume age-appropriate responsibility/accepting their maturity; instead attempting to keep them “innocent.”
  • Not restricting what kids watch on TV, not talking to kids about what they’re seeing in society as well as the media and not making clear how they are expected to behave.
  • Giving in to the whining when we tell our kids “No.”  Rewarding that behavior only makes them into more entitled brats….
  • Letting our children have a vote in how our households and/or lives are run.  Newsflash!  You are the parent!  You don’t need to negotiate or explain anything to get your child to agree to it. You need to take the reins and establish who is in charge so that the problem below does not occur.
  • Letting your child call you names, act disrespectfully toward you in front of other adults or their friends, or demand things without saying please or thank you – can we all say it together? “Out of control, disrespectful, entitled, spoiled brat!

The good news is that it is never too late to undo the damage ignoring the behavior, or chalking it up to a “stage that will pass” has already done.  As parents it IS our responsibility to fix the behaviors we helped instill.  Your kids will hate the changes (maybe) but their friends, teachers, coaches, future spouses, and bosses will thank you.  Start today!

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