Loading...
Bless our stormwater system's heart (does it have one?). Seemed to hold up pretty well to me, Calvin. Stormwater is...

Attempts to be 'friends' with children diminish adults' authority

JohnRosemondGDR_177.jpg

John Rosemond

Loading…

John Rosemond

Sunday, June 24, 2018

A column of mine that originally appeared in January 2017 has been circulating on the Internet ever since, accumulating over a million hits to date. In a nutshell, its message is simply that parents, not children, are the most important people in a family and the husband-wife relationship should greatly “trump” that between either parent and the kids. In other words, mom and dad are secondary roles. Spouse should rule, in both directions.

That is likely disorienting to most folks who are raising children today, but neither of those propositions is regarded as radical by people over age 60 – folks who were raised prior to the onset of the psychological parenting revolution that has throttled the functionality of the American Family since the early 1970s. Individuals in that demographic don’t need a college education to see that the primacy of the parent-child relationship in today’s typical family is what’s causing most if not all of any given family’s problems, and especially those involving child discipline.

How, pray tell, can one successfully discipline someone else — irrespective of that someone’s age — while at the same time be focused primarily on having a “wonderful relationship”? Answer: There is no “how.” It is an impossible proposition. Effective leadership is canceled by the attempt to have “wonderful relationship.” When relationship priorities are properly ordered in a family, the discipline (leadership) of children is relatively simple and painless for all concerned.

The column in question has generated lots of comment — pro and con (as usual, I am some variety of monster to parenting progressives) — and questions. One such question was recently posed to me by a single mom in the beautiful state of Kentucky: “How does your advice apply to the man I’m dating and my relationship with him?”

Given that my mother was single for most of my first seven years, I am eminently qualified to answer: to wit, as regards a single parent, the same principle and priorities apply, actually. Children of divorce should know that whereas they are loved and will always be adequately protected and provided for, both parents’ primary relationships are with other adults, not them. Likewise, children — regardless of their parents’ marital status — should be in primary relationship with other children.

Adult-child relationship boundaries are maintained for the benefit of all concerned. Adults are diminished, especially concerning their authority, when they strive to be friends with children (not friendly, mind you, but friends with). Children, furthermore, fail to develop proper respect for adults who are striving to be liked, and as I said in a recent column, child mental health is inextricably tied to respect for adults.

That respect should encompass any and all adults who are identified by a child’s parent or parents as responsible and morally upright, and with that respect should come obedience (because, in this context, the adult in question is not going to give inappropriate instructions to a child). So, to the question at hand, if a responsible, morally upright boyfriend gives a child an instruction, the child should obey.

It should, at this point, be somewhat needless to say, but the same applies to a stepparent. To be clear, a stepparent’s authority over children should be regarded as completely equal in all respects to a biological/adoptive parent’s authority. When a stepparent is a second-class citizen, there’s trouble in the future, for sure. “You’re not my mom/dad, so I don’t have to do what you say,” just doesn’t cut it.

One final word: Parents, you do not want your children thinking that it is somehow “cool” to have an adult friend. Adult-child friendships are always the result of adults who invite children into relationship with them. That renders a child vulnerable, and that vulnerability should not be fostered in the home, period.

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

September 16, 2018

It should come as no surprise that Pitt Community College found its new president, Lawrence Rouse, just 63 miles down the road in Kenansville.

Rouse is a native of Sumpter, South Carolina, but he spent 13 years in Duplin County as president and CEO of James Sprunt Community College.

That’s…

Bob Garner

September 16, 2018

How did Carrboro writer and teacher Georgann Eubanks become the leader of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association?

In a word, she earned a top role in our state’s cultural community by her diligent and unselfish community service that has made things better for all of us. For…

DGMartin

September 16, 2018

Q I am reading your book “The Well-Behaved Child” and have a question that it doesn’t address. I am a single mom with children from two different fathers. One of my ex-husbands (my son’s father) and I have arranged to do regular “child-exchanges.” One weekend,…

JohnRosemondGDR_177.jpg

September 16, 2018

Q I have been married to my second husband for 24 years. We have a 16-year-old and I have two adult children.

I have moved seven times in 17 years for his job. He didn’t have to quit and take another job, but they were opportunities for him to climb the ladder in his career. I have had to…

Carolyn Hax

September 16, 2018

DON’T LOOK BACK

Dear Short Answers:

I have a wonderful family with three kids, five grandkids and a terrific husband. I’m not sorry about any of the decisions that I made, but I am feeling more and more like I didn’t fully explore the alternatives that seem to be available to…

Short Answers

September 14, 2018

The 99th annual Pitt County American Legion Agricultural Fair is scheduled to be open Tuesday through Sept. 23 at the county fairgrounds, 3910 Martin Luther King Jr. Highway.

The event will feature a children’s barnyard, free shows and exhibits and nearly three dozen carnival rides from…

September 14, 2018

Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, especially during hurricane season.

Weather permitting, the Pitt County American Legion Agricultural Fair will open Tuesday. Canceled following Hurricane Floyd in 1999, the fair has managed to go on almost every year for nearly a century.

“I…

cacklereview1

September 14, 2018

Editor’s note: The aftermath of Hurricane Florence could cause events to be canceled or postponed. Call for more information.

TUESDAY

Pitt County Fair

The 99th annual Pitt County Fair will be held Tuesday-Sept. 23 at the Pitt County Fairgrounds, 3910 MLK Jr. Highway. The opening ceremony will…

September 14, 2018

Q During extended family get-togethers with my side of the family, there is one person who does 95 percent of the talking. When I ask someone else in the room a question about their lives, this person always jumps in and takes over the conversation again. This talker also never inquires about what…

Carolyn Hax

September 14, 2018

Emerge

Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge will exhibit “The Black Light Project” and “Black Peace” through Sept. 28 in the Don Edwards and Harvey Wooten galleries. “The Black Light Project” is photographic documentary designed to highlight positive images of…

266 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»