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Dont Be A Friend to Your Teenager!
I am a 43 year old single dad with a 17 year old, highschool teenage boy. Overall, my son is a good kid, he does well in school and even works at Mcdonald's. I got him a job so he could learn the value and responsibility of saving money and also build a strong work ethic. I started this article because I wanted to get feedback from those who may have experienced what I am going through. My son seems to always have an attitude for no reason. I understand, at his age, this is common, I was a teenager once myself!!!! However, this new age of spoiled, tech-savvy, and selfie-entitled Millennials are something else. I'm seeing traditional values and morals, fading away by their sagging waysides! In this "social media" world that I call the "anti-social media"; people do not interact face to face anymore. The emphasis is communicating with people who have weaker bonds than the ones closest to them. This has a significant impact on not only their personal life, but also their behavior. Consequently, this causes a reduction in family bonds, disintegration of ancestry structure and foundation, enables laziness, and creates this "monkey see, monkey do" mentality.
The disadvantages of social media are affecting our youth like an epidemic. I try to implement my old southern values of always being honest, having strong character, and to be a leader not a follower. My JOB is to prepare my son for the realities of the world, not this fantasy that has blurred his vision through social media, rap music and videos, and reality (drama-filled) television. (Just to name a few). I'm not even touching the peer pressures of alcohol, drugs, and sex. Lord knows, that's a whole nother subject! Anyways, I read an article that said emotional intelligence is a learned skill. I believe that statement; which leads me to my point. Teenage children aren't mature enough to handle being a friend to a parent. Their minds are in a befuddled funnel of reward circuitry and gadgets.
Besides the numerous studies suggesting that social media plays a significant part in anxiety and depression in teenage children; discipline and limits must be set. The changes of behavior and their brain patterns from empathy to attention-seeking individuals is the issue. With this being said, the child/parent dynamics need to change immediately! I see parents who smoke weed with their kids and expect them to respect them. They won't. I see parents confiding in their children like a best friend. Bad mistake. I see parents asking teenagers to make adult decisions. Making your child a confidante is asking for disaster. Children should only offer opinions. The final decision should ALWAYS be left to the parent! Take back your ROLE and your RESPONSIBILITY. Stop being a friend and be a parent and take back your AUTHORITY and put a child in a child's place. They will thank us later! The father must be the leader and role model. Teaching the children to do as I do not just as I say. The example must be set by us men because as you noticed society can't be trusted to guide our kids or us. The Bible tells us that children are a reward from God. But God will not raise them, we must be the ones giving the commitment and love while teaching by example what is right and wrong.
Read the book "Point Man"by Steve Farrar it's a great read. I hope this article help others and get many parents to take the time to explore how they can take the lead in raising the leaders of the future. Peace Out!!!