If Children Behave Badly Who’s to Blame Parents or Child – Parents

If children behave badly, who’s to blame?

Some children are born with mental and physical disabilities. Some have psychological imbalances. They may be affected by autism, ADD or ADHD, fetal alcohol syndrome, shaken baby syndrome or a host of other disorders. Some may suffer severe emotional trauma, nutritional deprivation or physical abuse that manifest in behavioral issues.

For the sake of this debate, I am not addressing the behavior of challenged children or their parents.

I am, however, sharing observations of parent-child dynamics within the general population. The vast majority of children’s personalities fall somewhere on the spectrum between sedate to rambunctious. Because their parents chose to have children, it falls on them to nurture and guide their offspring. It is their responsibility to model appropriate behavior. They must provide emotional support, instill values, and imprint upon their children a study and work ethic.

No child is perfect. Some are a handful! Regardless, the parent holds the future of their children in their hands. Being the primary caregivers, their efforts will ultimately shape a child into a successful human being. If their children behave badly, then they are to blame. If parents need help in dealing with the antics of a spirited child, they should get it. There is no excuse – there is a host of self-help resources available on-line, or in the library, or at a psychologist’s office. Whatever it takes, a parent must help their children be successful. Being successful equates to doing well in our society.

It is interesting to observe parent-child dynamics in the mall, grocery store, church, the zoo or anywhere else in the general public. I have watched sweaty, anxious, grouchy parents rush through a shop, snapping at their children. Rather than interact and use a shopping excursion as a teaching tool, these parents send their children terrible messages: It is OK to act out under pressure. Poor behavior in adults is OK. Shopping is a tension-filled nightmare for everyone.

I have also watched wonderful parents work their magic. They are kind to their children. They explain the excursion that awaits. They discuss appropriate behavior. They share their expectations with their children. If pertinent, they talk about boundaries, encourage their children to stick to a budget, and are clear about how the money will be spent. They make sure their child is not overly tired before the outing. For younger children, they take spare diapers or changes of clothes. They make sure their children have full bellies and pack snacks, just in case. In short, they discuss the event ahead of time and do their children a courtesy by preparing them for an enjoyable, meaningful outing.

Children who have been allowed to run wild their whole toddlerhood and very hard to discipline in elementary school. I pity their kindergarten teacher, who must then do the parent’s job by creating boundaries. Children who are “on their own” after school and weekends are vulnerable to temptations and mischief. Often, their shenanigans are the result of loneliness, boredom, fear and lack of guidance. They need their absent parents.

I have a real problem with parents who do not emotionally connect with their children, and who do not supervise their whereabouts, and who do not invest time and resources into a childhood that will pass all too soon. I have no respect for parents who curse at their children, swill alcohol in front of them, and focus on a social life rather than their family life.

The most successful children are raised to know right from wrong, good behavior and bad, and how to make good choices. Unfortunately, it is the parent’s fault when the child – born as an innocent blank slate – behaves badly.