I finally figured out the main problem with young people today: parents.
For at least one or two generations, parents have required little of their children while giving them everything.
One family I met with has a mom and dad who are wonderful people. However, the daughter, a pre-adolescent, had become the tyrant of the family. She was moody and had outbursts of rude, disrespectful, and mean behavior toward her 5-year-old brother. As a result, the little boy had become submissive and sullen.
I recommended the following to the mother: At the first sign of her daughter’s nasty behavior, eliminate whatever next activity she has scheduled with no warning. Surprise attacks always get everyone's attention. When she yells and tries to bully her way into getting the activity back, warn her that if she continues, the next activity will also be gone.
My conversation with the mother took place one hour before the daughter was to be driven to her basketball game. We stayed in text contact. The first text from Mom read: "basketball gone."
She then warned her daughter that any further acting up would be met with the loss of the next activity. Yup, that was lost also. Then, miraculously, the daughter contained herself.
I explained to mom that while it seemed wonderful to make so many activities available for her daughter, the girl took them for granted since she didn't have to earn them in any way. Children today are kept so busy with activities that they have come to see them as entitlements, and not privileges. This little girl will come to see that those fun activities come after they are earned with respectful, cooperative behavior.
Now let’s talk about her younger brother. Because he is picked on constantly by his sister, he speaks in a voice one can barely hear, doesn't make eye contact, and whines like a baby.
I made the following recommendations to his dad: First, do not respond to whining. Second, do not respond when the child speaks in a barely audible voice.
I later got a text from the happy mother who said he behaved more self-confidently and had his first sleepover without incident.
The moral of this story is children have to earn their perks and parents are in charge. Few words, a strong attitude, and plenty of hugs go a long way.
Dr. Laura (Laura Schlessinger) is a well-known radio personality and best-selling author. She appears regularly on many television shows and in many publications. Read more reports from Dr. Laura — Click Here Now.
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