Loading...
To the BYH still confused about why voter ID is discriminatory: here is one of many situations: you're 85, spouse and...

Proper parenting is an exercise in leadership

JohnRosemondGDR_177.jpg

John Rosemond

Loading…

John Rosemond

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Is a father owed respect from his children? Actually, the question, from a father, was rhetorical: Isn’t a father owed his children’s respect? The dad in question maintains that because he loves his children unconditionally, provides their standard of living (he is the sole breadwinner) and has made many sacrifices — financially and otherwise — on their behalf that he is owed their respect.

By the way, his children are 6, 10 and 14, and the disrespect at issue — sass, ignoring, demands, emotional outbursts and the nebulous but widespread “bad attitude” — is emanating primarily from the older two but the 6-year-old is beginning to follow her siblings’ footsteps.

No, a father is not owed respect from his children. Respect is not an entitlement. It is not really earned, either. It is claimed. An individual who occupies a leadership position — including the leadership of children — claims the respect of those he leads by consistently acting in a morally, ethically and authoritatively competent fashion. A leader who displays those qualities will be respected. That is true of leadership wherever it is found — in the business world, classroom, military, church and family.

Likewise, a leader who does not consistently act in a competent fashion may obtain obedience, however reluctantly, from the people he or she leads, but will not obtain their respect. The problem here, even when the people in question are children, is the leader, not the led (albeit the led are certainly behaving problematically). The fact is, leadership positions are sometimes occupied by individuals who are not effective leaders.

Parents fail to claim their children’s respect by yelling, giving into emotional outbursts, and trying to be liked (that’s the short list). Today’s parents are especially guilty of the latter. Today’s parents, by and large, do not seem to understand that proper parenting is an exercise in leadership. They seem to think that proper parenting is largely a matter of striving for and maintaining a wonderful relationship with one’s kids.

As anyone who understands the mechanics of proper leadership will attest, attempting to have wonderful relationships with one’s presumed followers — no matter the context — renders effective leadership impossible. In parenting, one of the signs of a parent who is prioritizing relationship — a parent who wants to be liked, in other words — is children who lack respect for said parent. They often act toward the parent as if he is a peer because unbeknownst to him, that is what he is trying to be.

The problem is his doing, but because the most overt misbehavior is coming from the kids, the parent thinks the kids are the problem. That’s an example of judging the book by the cover. It’s a mistake that leads to ramping up discipline, a response that not only fails but also usually makes the problem worse. Ironically, whereas striving for relationship undermines leadership, proper leadership eventually leads to proper relationship.

When a child’s disrespect is the issue, the person whose behavior needs to change is the parent (more often than not). The good news is that children possess an almost built-in respect-and-obedience-response to adults who act competently. Another way of saying the same thing: Proper child behavior is not obtained by using proper consequences (reward and punishment); it is obtained by delivering proper leadership. With any child, consequences will have to be occasionally used, but consequences that are not backed by competent leadership will fail.

The dad in question then asked, “But shouldn’t respect, like love, be unconditional?”

Again, no. The two are different issues. Love that isn’t unconditional isn’t love. It’s manipulation. But respect that isn’t unconditional is still respect.

I suddenly feel an Aretha Franklin flashback coming on.

Contact family psychologist John Rosemond at his websites, www.johnrosemond.com or www.parentguru.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

June 17, 2018

I recently sampled from the menus of 10 restaurants in Jacksonville, Snead’s Ferry and Swansboro, leaving the choice of dishes to the chefs and owners.

Not surprisingly, I was served shrimp and grits at eight of the 10 — at breakfast, lunch and dinner.

This has become a recurring theme…

Bob Garner

June 17, 2018

Q Our 15-year-old daughter has told us she’s in love with a 20-year-old guy who is in the Army and intending to make the Army his career. We’ve met him, and he is extremely respectful and well-mannered, and has told us he’s in love with her. We’ve made it clear to both of…

JohnRosemondGDR_177.jpg

June 17, 2018

Q Three of us ladies planned a trip to New York for two nights to see shows. We reserved a hotel room to share among us. Train and theater tickets were purchased ahead of time.

Several days before our planned departure, one person backed out because a relative was near death, and she needed to fly…

Carolyn Hax

June 17, 2018

FARMVILLE — Steve and Amber Dunn did not have a chance to hear their daughter’s first words. They never got to sit next to her crib at night and watch her sleep.

Mae was practically a teenager before they ever even heard her voice, a middle-schooler before she spent a single night…

061718fathersdayadopt-2.jpg

June 17, 2018

HABITS AND PRACTICES

Dear Short Answers: My soon-to-be wife converted to Catholicism when she married her second husband and he insisted that they raise their children in the Catholic church. Now that we are getting married, she is insisting that I convert. Since we are much too old to have…

Short Answers

June 16, 2018

If you have any cucurbits (squash, zucchini, pumpkins) in your garden, chances are you will be dealing with squash bugs this season. These stink bug relatives feed on the sap of squash and related plants throughout the summer and into fall. Squash bugs can cause reduced yields, wilting and plant…

061618squashbug

June 16, 2018

The Pitt County Extension Master Gardeners won the 50 members and over category for the Madeline Collier Landscape Garden Design Competition on June 9 at the North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Association Conference in Greenville. Their entry was “Herbs Gone Spiral,…

061618mastergardeners

June 15, 2018

TODAY

Movie in the Park 

The city’s Recreation and Parks Department will host Movie in the Park at 8:30 p.m. today at the Town Common, 105 E. First St. The featured film will be “Wonder,” rated PG, which is the story of a boy born with a facial deformity that prevented him…

wondermovie

June 15, 2018

Q I have a friend I have known since high school who has recently been in recovery for drinking. He is about six weeks into an outpatient system and has been doing well. A group of friends including my friend in recovery have been going on two camping trips a year. We have been doing this for more…

Carolyn Hax

June 15, 2018

It’s 1940 in Beaufort County at a small-town radio station.

Otis and Olive love each other — but it’s not that simple. Hardships, financial turmoil, war — will they live happily ever after?

To transport yourself to the eve of World War II to find out, you’ll have…

otis love olve 3.jpg
323 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 33
        Next Page»   Last Page»