Modern parents are afraid to use their power. Many parents are under the illusion from the psycho-babble experts that their child will permanently reject them for their shortcomings. This nonsense has become an accepted fact in our pop culture persuading parents to believe the best policy in dealing with children is to be innocent bystanders.
These paralyzed parents do not use their power to set limits, expand frustration tolerance and encourage contributing to others, and they are producing unhealthy, unhappy and ungrateful people. The importance of personal responsibility and perseverance is not being instilled at an early age and for that matter any age. These values and many others do not develop on their own.
In our modern society, children "doing their own thing" means doing only what they want to do at a particular moment. This phenomenon is an abdication of parental responsibility. It borders on neglectful behavior in child rearing, as they have not been taught societal norms. The majority of them are allowed to do what they want.
These poorly trained children are ill prepared to be motivated students. They will have serious problems maturing into successful students or healthy adults as we all have to do many things we would rather not do. Cooking, organizing, cleaning, repairing, washing, painting or studying are often necessary hassles that have to be done before a person can move on to the things they would like to do. These everyday tasks have to be done to create an organized and pleasant environment to allow us to reach our goals.
A person who has low frustration tolerance to complete repetitive activities is handicapped in dealing with everyday obstacles in life. The simplest endeavors become overwhelming to the individual. A child who is finding a subject difficult in school instead of doing the drills and tasks to master it will just shut down, losing any chance to overcome the difficulty. Then they fall behind.
Instead of being indulgent friends, parents need to prepare their children to learn the skills needed to deal with the real world. Parents have to demand the children do things especially if they do not want to do them. The parents' "will power" can be transferred to the child to motivate him to finish unappealing activities. This is a wonderful gift to give one's child.
Parents have a short time to train their child before he reaches adulthood at age 18. By using the external power of their position as heads of the family, parents can and should motivate the child to complete an activity. For the occasions where encouragement fails, demands should be used.
As the child completes and succeeds in the task, he learns he can concentrate his energies to accomplish tasks. He experiences a sense of accomplishment in doing a good job, becoming more independent and competent. This self-competence learned by mastering chores propels the student to apply himself to difficult academic subjects until achieving success.
With tremendous effort teachers can correct student laziness and apathy. However, it is easier and more efficient for parents to use their parental power to establish the need for their child to give back to the family.
Throughout history there has been no substitute for the family as the most effective social unit in creating a stable and prosperous society. A child in a high functioning family normally develops a strong work ethic. He will not play ridiculous games to avoid his work. He will focus to complete the assignments sooner rather than later. There will not be an inclination to spend hours looking like he is busy when he is daydreaming, looking at the ceiling or out the window.
Parents' duty is to train their child to give back to the family. Being a straight-talking, high-expectation parent pays dividends as the child matures into a young adult. More often than not as a young adult, the child will appreciate his parents shaping him into a strong functioning person, able to be a productive member of the family and society.
Dr. Maglio is an author and owner/director of Wider Horizons School, a college prep program. You can visit Dr. Maglio at www.drmaglio.blogspot.com.