Loading...
I see the 10th Street connector is nearing completion. Another three years to paint the lines and we will be on our way,...

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

July 18, 2018

I am the queen of rustic desserts, which is a nice way to label desserts that are rather imperfect. The good news is that there is plenty of room for rustic and, yes, imperfect desserts in anyone's repertoire. In fact, most cuisines tout their own homey version of bubbling, squidgy desserts cobbled…

LyndaBalslev

July 18, 2018

If you are looking for an unpretentious gathering place with tasty American and Irish pub food, plus karaoke, trivia and live music, then head over to A.J. McMurphy’s Irish Pub at 1914 Turnbury Drive. A.J. McMurphy’s is known for great domestic and imported beer, as well as an expansive…

071818hotdish

July 18, 2018

Q: I like to try new foods and heard that nut butters are better for you than peanut butter. Is that true? — J.K., Greenville

A: There are of choices of nut butters, and many are being marketed with what I would call exaggerated claims. Many of the butters will tout their micronutrient…

KathyKolasa

July 18, 2018

Q My husband’s daughter just announced she and her boyfriend are getting married, and we are very happy for them. They are planning a wedding that is not out of line with the kinds of weddings their friends have been having, but that we consider over the top. The cost will likely exceed her…

Carolyn Hax

July 15, 2018

 

A TV viewer who I’ll call “Joe” recently commented on Facebook about my review of The Prime Smokehouse in Rocky Mount.

“Thanks for the review, Bob, but while I live in Raleigh, I'm a native of Rocky Mount,” Joe said with pride. “It once called itself the…

Bob Garner

July 14, 2018

SERVICES

■ Browns Chapel Holiness Church, 2260 N.C. 33 West, will host a youth service at 6 p.m. today. Evangelist Talitha Stallings will speak.

■ Burney’s Chapel Free Will Baptist Church, 2628 VOA Site B Road, will host its annual men’s day service at 11 a.m. July 22.

■ Burning Bush…

July 14, 2018

Mint, sage, rosemary, thyme, horehound, catnip, bee-balm, marjoram, pennyroyal, lemon-balm, hyssop, lavender, dittany and basil (is it BAY-zil or BAAA-zil?): what an aromatic bunch of plants these are! All of these are fragrant members of the widely distributed “mint” family, one of the…

071418mysteryplant

July 11, 2018

The Leroy James Farmers Market vendor of the week is Yates and Bailey Bee Farm.

Yates and Bailey Bee Farm has been a vendor at the Leroy James Farmers Market for almost six years.

“I am a lifelong farmer,” said Bobby Yates, a Virginia native who got his first hive of bees at age 14.…

071118vendor

July 11, 2018

The smell and taste of food can catapult us back to our childhood, to a time when trips to family restaurants were weekly affairs, everyone knew our name, what our favorite drink was and how we liked our steak. The best part was the gleaming, rotating dessert wheel that was filled with every flavor…

071118hotdish

July 11, 2018

Q I am trying to get more vegetables into my meals but still am struggling to make my goal. Got any suggestions? W.L., Winterville

A Congratulations on your efforts to improve your vegetable intake. As it happens, Kara Massotti, a new Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with ECU Family Medicine, just…

KathyKolasa
292 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 30
        Next Page»   Last Page»