In My Eyes
By Edward B. Antonio
Youngsters nowadays are getting more and more difficult to deal with, fellas.
A teenage student was adamant on his decision to join his friends for a night of gallivanting. He told his parents about the incoming spree and when the father did not consent, he became angry and stormed out of the house.
“Ano na lang ang sasabihin ng mga kaibigan ko? Na ako’y bata pa na dapat laging binabantayan?” he said before banging the gate.
Then, he sped away with his motorcycle.
He came home the following morning drunk.
He went directly to his room, locked the door and slept. He woke up in the afternoon.
His father talked to him calmly and asked him why he was drinking.
“Sabi ng mga kaibigan ko, binata na ako, at puwede ng uminom at manigarilyo,” the son said.
“Tell me, what benefits you will get from drinking and smoking,” the father asked.
“Everyone in the neighborhood does. Kailangang makisama,” was the reply.
“You are pleasing your friends, but you don’t please us. Does that mean that your friends love you more than we do?”
“I’m no longer a child, I know what I do!”
To cut the story short, the son went on with his wayward habits, incurred incomplete and failures in his card and the father was called for several times in school.
The father was heartbroken.
He did not know what to do.
Finally, after scrolling online for some pieces of advice, he chanced upon the answer.
Rod Arters has these pieces of advice to parents who have wayward children:
You are their friend, not their parent. Many parents make the mistake of trading down the authority they have been given. Although none of us want to have our children mad at us, God requires us to parent them towards his standard – regardless of their response. Since foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child, we (as wiser ones) must remove the folly from their heart. Friendship will come but only after proper parenting.
You threaten but do not discipline. Parents prefer threats because threatening is easier. Discipline is just plain hard. Threats, though they may work occasionally or for a season, do not produce the “harvest of righteousness” that discipline does. Every time swift discipline does not follow your threat, the reliability of your word is questioned.
You are inconsistent. Consistency is critical to be an effective parent. When you parent inconsistently, you reveal to your child that you operate on a sliding scale. You might discipline them for one offense on one day but let them slide on the next offense the following day because you are distracted or tired. Nothing will frustrate a child faster than being inconsistent with him.
You let them make too many decisions too early. “What would you like to eat?” “What would you like to wear?” “What would you like to do?” Our intention in these questions is harmless. What parent does not want to make their child happy? The problem lies in that younger children are not emotionally mature enough to handle making their own decisions in such matters.
You over-indulge them. This should not need elaboration since we all know what this looks like. It is totally appropriate to bless your children. It becomes inappropriate when your children can no longer handle the blessing.
How can you tell if they have become over-indulged?
They are no longer grateful for what they receive.
They have developed an “entitled” attitude.
When you say “NO” (to test their heart) their reaction is a tantrum, manifested in a number of different ways; crying, whining, begging, complaining, anger or violence
You parent behaviors, not their heart. Parenting behaviors is easy. Reaching the heart is not. Simply changing behaviors, though good for the moment, only teaches your child to obey when they are governed. It does not teach them to govern themselves. Instead of addressing the heart, they simply learn to be more discreet with their sin. It is true that only God can change hearts; however, he loves to use parents as his primary tool.
You give suggestions instead of commands. Most people do not obey suggestions. Suggestions allow your children an option out of your desires. Commands do not. Suggestions place the ball in their court. Commands keep the ball in yours. Commands do not need to be harsh – just direct.
Governing children is easy; training them is different.
These kids will know better when they will become parents someday.#