--Original published at HuntersCollegeBlog
While many parents raise there kids many different ways, some people may argue that some ways are better than others. Some parents baby their kids until they go to college, and even after. Some parents give their kids no guidance at all, and send them out into the real world to fend for themselves. But what is a happy medium perhaps?
Growing up, my parents helped me through everything, whether it’d be making a tough decision, helping me with a homework problem, or getting me to and from places (since I was involved in EVERYTHING). Sometimes though, they felt I needed to be able to make my own decisions, and figure out the homework problem myself, in order to help me grow as a person. In my opinion, I believe the best way to parent is to help your kids when they need it, but also let them figure stuff out on their own. If they’re babied their whole life, they’ll never be ready for the real world.
To me, parents should not baby their children, especially when they start to reach the age of being a preteen. Of course there are going to be times where kids need guidance, and assistance, but kids need to figure stuff out on their own sometimes. For example, if your child keeps reaching for the cookie jar, and you repeatedly tell them to stop, next time they reach for it, the cookies fall out of the jar, onto the dirty floor, and they are unable to eat them. I like to refer to that as “discovery learning,” as my dad likes to put it. If they would’ve listened the first time, there would still be cookies left to eat. I also don’t agree with the whole “participation trophy” thing. In some cases, especially if the kids are young, it can make them believe that life is easy, simple, and theres no losing in life. To me, that’s giving them the wrong idea, a false sense of hope, which in a sense is going to hurt them more than help them in the future.
Now, when kids become older, like teenagers, they’ll want money to go to the mall, or the movies. I believe sometimes kids should get money (on occasion) just because, but often times kids should earn their money. It teaches them how to be responsible, and how to budget. If they realize that they don’t have enough money for two things, they’ll pick the one, and save the money they receive from doing chores to get the other thing later. I also think that when teens are able to get a job, they should. When I turned 16, I immediately got a job at a frozen yogurt shop. Receiving paychecks made me want to work more, and save more. Personally, I hate not having money, and I hate having to ask my parents for their money, and I’ve been like that for a while. Earning my own money also makes me more independent, since I can do whatever I want with that money.
When it comes to how strict parents are with their kids, I believe they should be strict to the point of making sure their kids don’t get in trouble, but also not too strict to the point where kids want to purposefully test the boundaries to see how far they can go. In my opinion, being strict on your kids is important. It can teach them right from wrong, and it can keep them out of danger. The whole point of being strict is to protect your kids from harm. What kid wouldn’t want that? Okay, I get that a 13 year old could get annoyed by always being told no, but let me tell you, it’s the best thing for you. I would always get mad at my parents when they wouldn’t let me walk around the mall with my friends in 6th grade, but now I appreciate that they didn’t, because in this day and age, anything can happen. My parents also wouldn’t let me have boys over to the house freshmen year, which I was always angry about, because my friends could. I’m glad they waited until I was older to let boys come over, because it just showed me that they loved me, and didn’t want me to get hurt.
On that note, I also think parents shouldn’t be so strict that the kids purposefully want to cross the boundaries to see how far they can get. In my opinion, that can sometimes hurt them more. The kids will test boundaries, and since they’re not familiar with what they may be doing, they could get hurt. If parents are so strict with them that they don’t let them do anything, once the kids get to the point where they’re on their own, they’ll want to do everything their parents told them they couldn’t, and that could hurt both the kids and even the parents.
Parents are always going to be there for us if we’re in a bind. They don’t want us to fail. They want us to succeed, and work to the best of our ability. They just want the best for us, and they want nothing more then to watch us grow.