What happened to kids listening to their parents?
Bruce Sallan: It seems whatever I ask my boys to do, the response is always some sort of "no," whether it be questioning why I won't do it myself or saying "later." Am I missing something, or have I just become a total wimp of a dad?
When did it become OK to disobey our parents with relative impunity? I guess when we boomers became parents and began spoiling our kids by giving them everything they wanted.
A friend suggested a great response the next time I get questioned about something I ask them to do: say I won't pay for their things anymore. I won't take them to their friend's house next time they ask, and forget about ever getting to use my car or asking me to pay for gas or going to the movies. Good response. Why didn't I think of that?
I even thought of myself as somewhat strict until I got a bit of self-awareness and realized my 12-year-old rarely ever just said "yes." I was so inured to the "no"s that I either negotiated or did it myself. Yipes, how did I become such a doormat?
My excuse has been some guilt over my divorce and the absence of their mom in their lives (her choice). But, their step-mom is wonderful, and who doesn't have some hurdles to overcome in their lives? My boys are blessed in many, many ways.
So, the truth is, I have no excuse. I better start being the best parent I can be, vs. seeking to be my kids' best friend. But, what do I know; I'm just a guy.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|