Monday, February 8, 2010

Rebellious Children Come from Bad Parents

Overly Nice or Overly Strict, You Created the Monster



Today I would like to discuss rebellion in children. We've all seen it in public. Either the child is saying an infinite loop of "No", or screaming bloody murder at the top of it's lungs. At its core though the child is trying to take control of the situation. Invariably the root cause of this stems from the parents themselves. The parents have created this monster. There exists in the cosmos a great measuring scale that balances out good parents with good children. If the parents stray either way from too light parenting to too strict parenting, the result at the other end of the scale is the same, a rebellious monster the rest of us will eventually have to deal with.

Oh go ahead and deny it. Surely an overly nice parent can't have a rebellious kid. Surely an overly strict parent can't have a rebellious kid. Deny if you want, the truth of the matter is, that as the child emerges from unintelligible gibbering idiot to a self identifying thinking being, he tries to stake his claim in the real world. Bad parents rush in to stop this transformation. This is where the problem comes from. As they rush in, they drive the child nearly insane. The child is trying to understand reality and the parents are upsetting the balance and presenting a skewed view of what reality is.



I am sure you have seen these parents.

  • Overreacting parents - these parents have extreme reactions to minor things. I had an uncle in-law that was like this. Let's say my little cousin dropped a paper he was trying to put on the table, my uncle in-law would scream my cousins name and cause him to drop crayons, paint, milk and soil himself. I was an adult at the time and it was all I could do not to choke the guy. My cousin would literally walk on pins and needles around him. [this person later went on to murder my aunt and shoot 2 of the kids who survived.]
  • Overly compliant parents - these parents are the ones that always have a "yes dear" on their lips. They never tell the child what they cannot or even can do. You can see this evidenced by fat children. The parent has indulged the child so much that the child metabolism has been completely overcome.
  • Overly strict parents - these are the most common. These parents rush in and tell the child they cannot do anything. And, it is never done out of love, it is done out of sheer over-parenting. The person doesn't know how to be a parent so they instead say no to any and everything. This is also true of overzealous religious nut cases. These people have made a life decision for themselves and then try to force everyone around them, especially their children, into it. God said give him 10%, not 110%. I feel so sorry for the children of these parents, because their reality is so skewed they don't know the sky is blue from lack of holding their head up.
The balance I speak of is inherent in us all. Inherently, even as children, we know that reality is factors from 1-10. The problem is all the 10 factors are shades of gray. The parents don't understand that gray is a color, they feel it is an absolute. So instead of letting the child experience reality, they try and step in to demonstrate the experience in their place or prevent the experience at all.

Don't get me wrong. These parents are not teaching the child what each factor of reality is, they are completely shutting the kid off from reality. The overly indulgent is just as guilty of this as the overly strict parent.

For example: the child asks what is hot and what is too hot

  • the overly indulgent parent rushes in and saves her child from ever experiencing too hot. In fact the child is left wondering what heat is all together.
  • the overly strict parent forbids the discussion of heat and cold and throws wet right out the window.
As you can see both parents have done the same exact thing. The reasonable, good parent either explains what heat is and goes into detail about what too hot is and how you can tell when something is too hot. In fact, the good parent might fire up the bunsen burner and have the child bring their hand closer and closer to the heat until it gets too hot for them, without burning themselves. Or, they might turn on the faucet and turn it steadily towards hot until it gets too hot for the child's hand.

I mentioned reality is shades of gray. Children perceive reality in shades of gray. In the example the good parent busted out the bunsen burner or turned on the hot water. For some children, they are doubting Thomases and they need an actual demonstration. For me, it was enough for my aunt to explain that heat will burn your hand, with not even so much as a demonstration of what heat was, and I got it.

Children are shades of gray. Where one child cannot perceive reality without seeing it, another can hear about reality and understand it completely.

As a parent we must understand what type of child we have. I see people abusing their children all the time. They are just the worst parents. They have it in their mind that if the child needs to see reality and feel it in their hands, to convince themselves of it, that the child MUST be stupid.

Let me rebuke you right here. Feeling and touching reality has nothing to do with how smart you are. A child feeling and touching something is merely their way of solidifying in their mind that reality even exists. Understand this, a child is coming from the view point of NO experiences at all. Children are literally starting with absolutely no concepts whatsoever. They cannot base some new experience on some past experience. If you are trying to determine if your child is intelligent or not based on how they need or don't need to see, touch and hear something, then you are the idiot.

If your child needs to see, touch and hear something, it is your duty to give it to them as safely as they possibly can withstand it. Do not take it upon yourself to frustrate the child in the process.

Calling a Child Stupid



My opinion: if you call a child stupid, you need to have your children taken away from you. End of story.

I don't think that even needs explaining.

Conclusion



People who continually frustrate their developing children are creating a monster that the rest of us will one day have to deal with. As a child is developing and growing, do not get in their way of learning. Yes, you are there to protect them, but you are not their to stand in their way of learning something.

Do not put your own moral judgments on something. You can explain why something would not be acceptable to you, but it should not stop you from explaining a situation or discussing something at all.

Once you recognize you have a rebellious child, you need to step back, take a deep breath and blame yourself. You caused it. It is all your fault. What are you doing that is causing this.

Understand also, that children have short attention spans. If you have a rebellious child today, it does not mean in the next 15 minutes that you won't have an angel. If you fix your own behavior, you can go from having this monster, to having a loving child that holds your hand and asks your opinion on things.

I also see that the sons and daughters forbid their own parents from giving them advice on parenting. They are convinced that their own parents have no clue about parenting. I have seen full on insulting matches where the son or daughter curses out the parent and tells them where they can stick their parenting advice.

If it were the case that the son or daughter all of a sudden became these great parents, where did they get the ideas? It is illogical, to say the least.

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