Op-Ed: Modern Parenting Philosophy Is Missing The Point

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SPRING HILL, FL – Modern childrearing is focusing on ensuring the happiness of children from infancy to exiting the parent’s home as an independent person. Through the school years the child should be blissful. It is the responsibility of the parents to supply objects, positive experiences and most importantly the parent to have a bubbly, upbeat personality for the child to prosper. The modern childrearing message to today’s parents is that their duty is to create a happy environment which will ensure their child’s ability to succeed.

Today’s modern parents do everything to put their child in a positive mood. This includes trips to Disney World or Sea World, extravagant birthday parties and providing opportunities for their child to play with their friends. If the child demands anything, it is the parent’s responsibility to provide it. Even if the child has not earned it, especially when other respected adults are involved. The child must be appeased at all costs.

Parents have even resorted to getting down to the child’s level by becoming “buddies” to ease the child’s natural fear of grown males. It places the child and his father on the same level. This is a quantum shift for the father and mother to become part time playmates for the child, especially in single child families.

This shift in the parental roles away from preparing the child to become a future adult has altered our culture.  Many of the parents are consumed with ensuring their child’s happiness while living in their home. The emphasis on preparing the child to be a successful and independent adult is now an outdated concept. Most parents are working and have very little time or energy to dedicate to the mundane issues of children.

The history of ancient times is often accurately found in the Bible. The focus was not about a parent providing a cheerful environment, instead, the Bible emphasizes the parents’ responsibility to ingrain discipline in a child. Learning right from wrong was a major emphasis helping them arrive at the path of virtue. Too many children are left on their own to deal with interpersonal issues since the parents have their own issues to deal with. A child raising himself is a recipe for disaster.

  • Proverb 29:17, “Discipline your child and they will give you peace of mind and make your heart glad.”
  • Proverb 19-18, “Train a child the way he should go even if he is old, he will not depart from it.”
  • Proverb 29-15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.”

These Biblical proverbs are not about the emotional state of the child. It is not about the happiness of the child but training them to learn the work ethic and wisdom to live a strong, free, moral life. Keeping a child on the straight and narrow limits their exposure to events that could seduce them into performing harmful or destructive acts to self or others.

Our modern parenting is absolutely missing the point. It is not about raising a self-absorbed, reckless individual, but a mature adult who makes selfless, beneficial choices for themselves and others. The parent should require the child to learn to make the best decisions they can make.

Parents should not be afraid of shattering a child’s phony world of false esteem. Modern adults should not shield and protect their child from overcoming challenging times but show them how they can overcome the harsh realities of life. Encouraging our children to feel they have the mental toughness to face difficult situations is a wonderful gift to give.

  • Proverb 13:24, “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but who loves him is diligent to discipline him.”

Modern parents should stop listening to progressive, “brat enhancing parenting.” This rarely bears good fruit. Our children should be taught that overcoming their mistakes is a great learning opportunity. It is necessary to give the child an important early lesson that “mistakes are our friend.” They show us what not to do allowing us to make better choices.

All modern parents should stop feeling sorry for their children when they punish them.

  • Proverb 23:13, “Do not withhold discipline from a child: if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.”

Modern parents should realize that life is unpredictable and often difficult when raising a child in a bubble of bliss. This approach is short sighted and mean leaving one’s child without the ability and knowledge to become a mature doer.

Remember Big Government’s promises of utopia are a mirage. Parents’ function is to prepare children to think and have the strength to do whatever is necessary to live the best life in whatever culture exists at any historical point.

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