Modern parents' desire to protect their children from the consequences of their own rotten behavior is more important than teaching their children major life lessons. This immature thinking leaves children unaccountable for destructive behavior that hurts themselves and others and leads them down a path to hell. This needs to be reversed for everyone's benefit.
Two boys, 8 and 10 years old, were vandalizing a man's home when he caught them in the act. He put them in a closet until the police arrived. Instead of the parents apologizing and ensuring that they would pay restitution to restore his property, the parents are suing him for child abuse.
It has become too commonplace in our upside-down society that the victim who stands up to protect himself and his property is the one punished. Unfortunately the perpetrator has been allowed to get away with horrendous behavior since early childhood. These out-of-control youngsters have developed a self-serving, anti-social mindset. They creatively use excuses and/or verbal or physical attacks on anyone who attempts to stop their destructive behavior.
Modern parents have lost their way. Rather than being responsible and embarrassed by their child's outrageous behavior, they attempt to play down the child's actions. They attempt to shift the blame from their children to anyone else. It is harmful to their child's development.
Embarrassment would be a much better emotional response than "I will cover for my child, even when I know he has done wrong." The parents' embarrassment would compel them to reprimand the child's nasty behavior. Family, friends and neighbors have to highlight the truth that the children are a reflection of them. Parents whose children are good kids should be given credit for their sacrifice and hard work. Parents with youngsters who look for and find trouble should receive the stares of disapproval from others.
With the parents taking responsibility for the children's behavior, the family unit is a stabilizing influence in the local community. When children in the neighborhood are viewed as good kids it elevates the family's status. The parents of these well-trained, responsible children are proud of their achievements and accomplishments.
Our society should encourage strong, law-abiding family units. We can partially accomplish this by acknowledging the many ways parents are being effective. The more ways people reinforce solid parenting, the stronger the family and the community will become.
Children acting destructively in the community should not be let off the hook. Parents who attempt to justify their children's inappropriate behavior are harming them. Authority figures should confront parents for not giving strong, appropriate consequences. We should no longer be silent when we see a child behaving badly.
These parental attempts to shelter their child from reasonable consequences is foolhardy. The child's misdeeds should not only earn a lecture but also follow-up consequences by the parents. The elders should explain to the parents they are hurting their children's future, not helping them in their attempt to bail them out of their negative actions.
Responsible parents should shun these neglectful parental accomplices to their children's crimes. As these shortsighted parents are themselves embarrassed by others they may see the light. When this blatant antisocial behavior occurs, hopefully the parents will be more conscious of their parental duties.
These less-than-responsible parents need to begin to experience embarrassment to motivate them into giving consequences for a child's inappropriate behavior. Parents who do their job in training their child to be civilized are the backbone of our society.
Anyone who does this will receive their just reward and be thankful of having raised good children.
Dr. Maglio is a columnist carried by various newspapers, an author of several books and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at www.drmaglio.blogspot .com.