As never before, a child indulgent culture permeates our society and threatens to produce a generation of narcissists.
If this phenomenon were merely an annoyance, most of us would accept it. However, the self-centered and disrespectful behaviors of youth are often symptomatic of how entitled many have come to feel. Adults are increasingly seen as older people with more means for supplying a child’s needs. Unfortunately, this is not an overstatement. Most of us have experienced the downside of children who have never learned to show respect.
But respect doesn’t happen by osmosis; many parents have unconsciously taught and/or allowed disrespectful behaviors to grow and become the “norm” in their homes.
Reasons range from completely child-centered parenting philosophies to hands-off parents who have little or no time to teach or model respectful behaviors. A recent article demonstrates one aspect of child-centered parenting. Please note: there are several aspects of RIE parenting guidelines with which we agree – but in our minds, asking permission to diaper an infant carries the concept of treating children with respect too far.
Teaching respect can reap benefits for both parents and child.
Studies show lack of discipline, direction and control creates insecurity in both young and older children.
Their malleable, impressionable psyches are seeking security in the authority figures closest to them, the parents. When that control is missing, children will take advantage of parents and situations and seek to exert their own power, to the detriment of the family and child.
For example, a recent study by Mary Lauren Neel demonstrated the toddlers with permissive parents were twice as likely to manifest internalizing (anxiety) and externalizing problems (disruptive behaviors).
Some key points to remember
For information on helping children of different ages develop respect for themselves, their parents and for other people in general, please visit our Parenting Resources page or click below.