I DON’T think there has ever been a tougher time to be a parent than today.
Yes, I know many of us with grown-up children can look back and wonder how we survived those teen years – all that stroppiness, banging of doors, shouting and bad behaviour (theirs not ours).
Now, though, it’s difficult to parent children from them being quite small. Whereas not long ago children were relatively compliant until, say, nine, now they can start being assertive and opinionated from around six and it’s all downhill from there.
Technology makes a difference. Modern children are more knowledgeable about everything, or at least Google and Siri are. They come to arguments armed with surprising amount of knowledge – even if they don’t understand it properly. The result of this throws parents back onto the time-honoured “because I say so” which basically means “I’m losing this argument”.
Young teens are now so sophisticated it’s painful. This, sadly, can come without real understanding of life and little commonsense which is doubly worrying for parents trying to curb behaviour.
One of them main problems, though, is adults’ own stance on being parents. Rather than being the senior one in charge they want to be their children’s friend and this just doesn’t work. As a result, they may not enforce the kinds of boundaries that allow children to develop properly within a framework of discipline. It’s foolish from the adult side and unfair on the child.
However, the majority of parents simply do their best to bring up their children properly and love them as much as they can. This doesn’t have to mean spending large amounts on them, either, but is definitely about spending time with them.
And even when they get too big for a bedtime story, they may just want to talk.