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The funny thing about youth...(a message to teens everywhere)

1-"Pursuit of happiness" is actually contained in the Declaration Of Independence, not the Constitution.
(And you wonder why your mom wouldn't let you have weed in the house.)
Nice cheap shot. Pretty childish considering your advocacy for mature acceptance of authority.
(and you wonder why your kids won't accept hypocritical standards for behavior)

2-We are not talking about a system of government, DESPITE my previous metaphors. We are talking about maintaining order within one's household. We are talking about teaching values and teaching someone the difference between rights and privileges. We are talking about preventing our kids from becoming lazy, insubordinate ingrates who think they can get their way at all times in all situations-THESE are NOT protected by the Constitution or any other document. Again, all that talk about rights & freedoms means absolutely nothing when you are living under someone else's roof. If you think for one second that you should be able to do whatever you want whenever you want regardless of who's paying the bills, try to look at it from the other side-something you & the Question seem absolutely completely unwilling to do. It's proving VERY difficult to explain to NON-parents where I'm comig from on this when all of the PARENTS on this thread seem to understand it perfectly, bringing me to another one on my list:
"You will understand when you have kids of your own."
My point is that entitlement is subjective. Some kids feel entitled to more freedom and space and they should. Why? Because they're more mature and responsible and therefore deserve it. Therefore, sometimes entitlement is justified.

If you work harder than someone else you feel entitled to more money. Who's to say you're right or wrong?

You can't always assume people have no justification to feel entitled to something. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Teenagers included.

There's a limit to what demands you make of kids regardless of who's paying the bills. There's a difference between chores and using your kids for slave labor just because they had the misfortune to being born from your seed. There's a balance between responsibilities and entitlements. If you're unreasonable don't expect your kids to grow into hard-working pillars of the community because you worked them to death. This has been known to backfire time and time again. A kid's workload and expectations need to be reasonable.

Not all parents feel the same about entitlements. This isn't invasion of the body snatchers were everyone agrees in unison.
 
Nice cheap shot. Pretty childish considering your advocacy for mature acceptance of authority.
(and you wonder why your kids won't accept hypocritical standards for behavior)

I want to point out that this is also a cheap shot. Which makes this statement itself hypocritical. And I think it's an example of irony.
 
I know guys who treat their wives like slaves because they pay the bills. Seems that attitude is used against kids as well.

"Lazy, insubordinate ingrates" has been used to describe housewives who don't have a hot meal ready everytime the man gets home.

Slave days are over. If someone in your house has the audacity to question you time to time and you can't tolerate it then maybe having a family wasn't the best idea for you. Just because you pay for everything doesn't mean you own them.
 
I want to point out that this is also a cheap shot. Which makes this statement itself hypocritical. And I think it's an example of irony.
I fought fire with fire. I never said I wouldn't.

It's not hypocritical in the sense that I didn't advocate against immaturity only to resort to childish comments.
 
I agree with the second part, for the most part. But I don't think the problem is a lack of discipline. I think the problem is a lack of communication and mutual respect. We're less strict in a lot of ways, which means that kids are less inclines to behave out of fear. But they're still talked at and talked down to and rarely listened to seriously, which means they still have an inclination to act out and have a hard time developing good social skills. Our schools perpetuate this more than parents do, really. Parents may loosen up a bit but kids still have to go to prison for six hours a day. I think a lot of the sense of entitlement doesn't come from giving them more freedom, it comes from not giving them the freedom to do things that it's fairly plain to see that they should have the freedom to do. I'm not advocating for a a state of anarchy. I'm advocating for a middle ground. The cultural attitude towards children is changing, but the problems aren't going to be solved by going backwards, they're just going to be less obvious. We need to keep moving forward.

I mean, really, having open and honest discourse with anyone, listening to them and in turn teaching them to listen, doesn't teach them that they're entitled to whatever they want whenever they want. It teaches them empathy and social skills.

I do understand what you're saying and where you're coming from. I just have not seen that to be completely true in my experiences with children and families and education. Granted, my experience is different from yours, so maybe that's why we don't see eye to eye.

I agree we don't see eye to eye. But I will note that nowhere did I state that parents need to rule through fear. I have said that there is time to explain things to kids and times not to. That you can be friendly with them...but don't try to get them to treat you as a freind....you are a parent above everything else.
 
I fought fire with fire. I never said I wouldn't.

It's not hypocritical in the sense that I didn't advocate against immaturity only to resort to childish comments.

I thought it was a little childish. Plus, you were advocating against cheap shots and using one yourself. Those have no place in discussion. Communication is about coming to a mutual understanding and promoting ideas, not being mean to each other.
 
You guys keep seeming to think a household can be run as a democracy and it CAN'T. You cannot allow your child to think that he/she is your equal. And it's not about having a complex about being questioned, it's not wanting to be defied or disobeyed. As for incentive, how about the fact that you live in my house rent-free, eat food that I don't charge you for, wear the clothes that I buy, watch TV that I pay the cable bill on-I can go on & on. This is where respect & appreciation come in. "Because I said so" actually means "No free rides". Plus, I don't answer questions that the person already knows the answer to. A kid who didn't do well on his grades knows he didn't do well on his grades, & we've already had this discussion. So there's no need to reiterate. Additionally, sometimes it would actually take longer to explain than for the kid to do what they're told. I have my reasons, and I do NOT have to explain myself to you. Your child is not your equal and you do not always owe them an explanation. Do we demand explanations every time they want something? And some of the responses I've seen to the "Sense of entitlement" lead me to think that those of you who haven't experienced what we're talking about, equate "sense of entitlement" with "sense of drive or ambition". That's not what we're talking about here, but rather the opposite. Kids by & large do not have a whole lot of responsibilities, but many want to piss & moan every time one comes their way.
Again, remember, they are not your enemies. They aren't imposing rules just to make your life miserable, and they don't give you tasks just to piss you off. But they would do you a GRAVE disservice if they just let you get your way.
I have a question.

Is there such thing as being too strict? If so, how is that possible?
 
I agree we don't see eye to eye. But I will note that nowhere did I state that parents need to rule through fear. I have said that there is time to explain things to kids and times not to. That you can be friendly with them...but don't try to get them to treat you as a freind....you are a parent above everything else.

Okay. My question is, what is the time not to explain? What are the circumstances under which explaining something to your children would be bad?

Also, why are the roles of parent and friend mutually exclusive? I think they're actually complimentary (but that kind of depends on your definition of the word friend).

Also, about the rule through fear thing... I wasn't trying to accuse you of anything. My point is, parents are less strict than they used to be in a a lot of ways, and I think that the reason kids may have been more well behaved back in the day (something I'm not sure is universally true) is because they wee probably afraid to misbehave. Which maintains order, but doesn't actually deal with emotional/psychological issues involved. I think the problem isn't that parents aren't strict enough, and becoming more strict would be moving backwards, not forwards.
 
I thought it was a little childish. Plus, you were advocating against cheap shots and using one yourself. Those have no place in discussion. Communication is about coming to a mutual understanding and promoting ideas, not being mean to each other.
I didn't advocate against a cheap shot I simply identified his comment as one. :oldrazz:

But I agree insults have no place here. That's the difference between a debate and an argument.
 
I didn't advocate against a cheap shot I simply identified his comment as one. :oldrazz:

But I agree insults have no place here. That's the difference between a debate and an argument.

The difference between a debate and an argument is that a debate is in a formal setting with rules and a moderator. The difference between a good argument and a lousy argument is wether or not you use cheap shots and/or lose your head about it.
 
For your sake, I'll make a compromise: We'll divide it up by paragraph. Easier for both of us.



For the household, and again I stress that this is a greater cultural trend, I'm not accusing any specific parents of being abusing or anything, I think it's a communication issue. I have no problem with parents having rules and expectations of their kids. Kids are hard to deal with. What I have a problem with is kids not being listened to. Kids being made to feel that they're somehow less than adults. I mean, in terms of years they are, but I'm talking in terms of worth as a human being. It's not intentional. It's not malicious. Hell, we love kids in this country. But they're talked down to. They're talked at. The idea that you can have a meaningful conversation with a fourteen year old, or even an eighteen year old, in this country is considered odd. And because of that, because kids are expected to be seen and not heard, to do things "because I say so," I think in a way they actually lack guidance. As I said before, a guide is not a dictator. You're not going to learn anything from someone who remains slightly distant and lays down the law, you're either going to start simply following orders without ever thinking about them (which is unamerican), or start resenting authority in general (which is far too painfully American). In a way, kids are left largely to their own devices because of this. They're given orders and expected to follow them and otherwise expected to take care of themselves, without actually having any freedom to learn how to do so (I will get to the freedom bin in a minute, bare with me). Adults need to be a guides. They need to teach kids, not simply boss them. They need to take the time to understand kids and help the kids understand them, themselves, and the world. That's what kids crave. That's the thing they really need. Sometimes that involves setting down rules and consequences. But there needs to be as much communication as possible every step of the way. Otherwise, kids won't develop good listening skills, which is bad.

As for the freedom piece... and this is even more of a societal thing because most of the parents I know give their kids relatively free reign... kids need to be allowed to try and take care of themselves. Now, I know I mentioned kids taking care of themselves as being a bad thing in the last paragraph, so let me explain: What I mean is, yes, as I said earlier, keeps need guidance. But they don't need to be micromanaged. They don't need to have every aspect of their day decided for them. Sometimes they need a push. Sometimes they need to be allowed to choose for themselves. I honestly think the pushing aspect is most important when their youngest, if only to help them understand what their options are. As they get older, and fairly quickly, forcing them to do day to day things against their will (other than, you know, bathe) seems like a little much. I think the biggest offender here is schools, but I get to that later. basically, kids are often micromanaged. Society tries to herd them and limit their options, we tell them where to be when to be there what to do when they get there and give them few options, because we're afraid they will run riot. When in fact if they don't have anything to riot against, they'll be less inclined to.

I feel like I'm being vague. I'm sorry. Let me try to be more clear... okay, yeah. The freedom that I think is curtailed is the freedom to decide what to do with their time. They get very little of that. Society tries to fill their time with things they don't want to do to "keep them out of trouble." I think this is wrong and unnecessary. They do need some kind of structure. They do need academic environments and rules both there and in the household. But it does not need to be anywhere near as restricted as it is.



I never said it was a fallacy for children of any age to respect adults. What I said was a fallacy was expecting the respect to come from the children from nothing. Saying "if kids want respect, they need to show some respect to the people who work hard to take care of them." Well, yes, that is true. But kids have to learn respect, and they won't learn it if they never receive it. Respect has to come from the parents first because they already grasp the concept. Once trust and respect have been established, then yes it's largely the kid's fault if he's being a jackass for no reason, but I also feel quite certain that it's less likely if they actually feel like they get respect and that their opinions matter. As for talking to the kids... I don't buy that. A parent's job is to guide children into adulthood. They're not doing the kid any favors if they don't actually explain things to them. Yes, you're right, a four year old is incredibly difficult to talk to, and they're not going to understand everything, and in several areas a parent has to have the final say. But it still never hurts to listen to them. Honestly. Even if you don't change your mind, the fact that you listened to them and actually took their point of view, even if it's an underdeveloped point of view, into account, will in the long run be very good for them. A parent does buy food and clothes and whatnot, but that fact absolutely does not invalidate how their child thinks and feels. Taking that attitude creates a gap between the parent and child that makes forming a real connection kind of difficult.



I disagree 100%. Pulling out the "because I say so" card is a complete cop out. It doesn't solve anything.It doesn't help anyone. I'm even going to go so far to say that the parent doesn't have that right. Yes, a kid may be resentful that their parent doesn't want them to play a lot of video games. But honestly, wouldn't they be more resentful if they can't play video games and they're not given a good reason as to why? There's no reason for "because I say so." It alienates the kid from their parent. Talk about it. Actually try to understand each other. Communication, like respect (which is a part of communication) is a two way street. Show someone that you're willing to listen and that you want to understand their point of view and they'll be more willing to do the same to you. Kids will learn positive communication skills if those skills are used on them. Now, if the kid in question actually has a serious problem with video games, then you might need to have an intervention of sorts. But if it's less serious than that, there's nothing wrong with talking it out. As for teaching kids "life's tough, deal with it" I'm not convinced that it gets them ready for a job. If someone has something they really want to do and are motivated to do it, they're going to find out what they have to do to achieve that. It's human nature. Your argument makes the assumption that it's a kid's natural state to be disrespectful and disruptive and be unable to do what is asked of them. I don't buy that. Kids are a result of their upbringing.



All levels of school. And again, I disagree. Yeah, maybe an elementary school aged kid won't choose to take math and science and english. So what? What is the benefit of a base curriculum. Why do we need one? What's wrong with a kid only ever taking math and science classes from elementary school to high school? If they decide they want to become a physicist, then they'll be fine. Yeah, they'll have to write papers and whatnot, but first of all, MLA formatting is really easy to learn, and as for basic reading and writing skills, the fact is that reading and writing are so important in our society, the only way someone who was given the opportunity to learn how to read and write wouldn't is if they decided it wasn't worth their time. Which they wouldn't, because it's difficult to get by without the written word in this society. Kids should be allowed to focus on the things they have interests and skills in. Education should be designed to activate a child's potential, not mold the child to a predetermined idea of what they should be. As for links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_model

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sudbury_schools

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csAiJgvajYo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7XNx5G0mPU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUl86pVLj4Q





Serious violent acts in well off middle class suburban schools are incredibly rare. They do get a lot more media coverage than ones in inner city schools, but they are much rarer.

Another link, in case you're curious:

http://aeroeducation.org/2009/09/13...aero-conference-keynote-video-free-two-hours/
 
I have a question.

Is there such thing as being too strict? If so, how is that possible?

First off, I meant the weed comment ironically. Didn't mean to offend so much as inject some humor, as things were getting a little intense. Besides, YOU brought up drugs in the first place. I'm surprised nobody cracked on you sooner.
In answer to your question, sure. Of course it's possible to be too strict, just like it's possible to be too lenient. There are plenty of ways to be too strict. Kids do actually need SOME freedom & SOME room to make their own mistakes. As I said before, I don't have 1,000 rules. I think if you impose too many restrictions you actually INCREASE the likelihood of rebellion, or you make a kid who can't function in the outside world at all. (Think "Precious"without the rape, or "Carrie" without the TK powers.)
My "dictatorship" remarks may have been a little misleading. I can see that. The Question said earlier that there's no black & white when it comes to parenting; that's largely true. To say that there's never a time for leniency is insane. There is a time for a loving hand & there's a time for an iron fist. There's a time for absolute rule & there's a time to be flexible. I said before as well, that I am by no means a Nazi. I am a benevolent dictator. There are actually times when I deem it necessary to explain my reasoning, but this is based on my perception of the "Why". It's often a matter of how you ask the question & how you mean the question. "Why do you want this done, at this time or in this way" merits an explanation, which I may deliver before, during or after depending on the situation. "Why do I have to do it" or "Why should I listen to you" gets you immediately shut down. Now I can't explain to you exactly how one knows which is which-that is something experience teaches you. And when you becaome a parent, you will see that there are times when it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to say "Sit your ass down and do what I said." SOmetimes it can't be open for debate.
Additionally, there may be times with every leader that the people may need to voice their side. Any reasonable argument/petition will be heard and given fair consideration, and a valid point may actually sway my decision. But know this; any validity your position has becomes completely null & void if you present it the wrong way. Come at me disrespectfully/combatively and you get nothing.
Another thing-from time to time, your parents WILL make the wrong call. Sometimes they'll deny you something to which you are truly entitled. Hell, sometimes' they'll grant you something which you're not. GOes with the territory. They're human. They don't know absolutely everything, but they do know more than you. And you can probably get somewhere-even learn to live comfortably underneath a dictatorship-if you're not always fighting them and trying to outmaneuver them. Learn the lessons that they're trying to teach you. The Question's posts come across largely as a plea on behalf of America's youth; a plea for understanding. I will reply on behalf of America's parents: Bring some understanding to the table. You just might find that Will Smith was wrong.
 
The Question's posts come across largely as a plea on behalf of America's youth; a plea for understanding. I will reply on behalf of America's parents: Bring some understanding to the table. You just might find that Will Smith was wrong.

This is my problem with that line of thinking: Understanding has to come from adults first. Kids have to learn understanding, and they'll have a hard time learning it from their parents or teachers if they never get any from their parents or teachers. It basically tells them "This is something we deserve and you don't." I know that's not the intention, but it's the impression it leaves. Kids will, for the most part, learn understanding and respect and all that eventually anyway. But it'll be a lot harder and take a lot longer and won't sink in quite as well. I know this from experience.

Also, you mentioned the situations under which a kid would get shut down. Why is that a good thing to do in the first place? What is there to be gained from the kid getting nothing from the adult when they approach them in a hostile manner. That seems really counter-productive to me.
 
I think parents are strict for one of three reasons.

1) Because they care about their kid and want them to be well-adjusted and prosperous.

2) Because they want to live a successful life through their children.

3) Because a successful kid is the ultimate trophy.

Deny it all you want. You know I'm right. :woot:
 
This, I agree with. I think my comments have made it sound like kids should never face consequences, which is not at all what I believe. I just think that our current idea of "all rules and consequences all the time" needs to be scaled back.

I also think priorities are an issue. Personally, I think our schools are a joke, and the idea that you need to do well in school to succeed later in life is flawed. I do think kids need an academic environment to nurture them and supply them with opportunities and tools to learn and grow into who they want to become, but I think our current school system runs counter to that. And I know and know of plenty of people who never went to college or dropped out of high school and got their GED (or both) who went on to be very successful. I think we have a lot of flawed ideas about what kids need, basically.

I think our school system is too unbalanced anyway. Some schools are much better than others, so youth going through this system aren't guaranteed to learn what they should. What's really sad is that managing money seems to never be taught, and that's one huge thing that leads to a healthier nation fiscally. Some schools teach it, but it's usually kids who already have a leg up due to their parents resources. That's why I'm aiming to come up with an organization that gives young people an idea on how to manage money.

As far as school being the end all to success, I don't think it is. I know you brought up that people with GED's go on to be successful, and I'm sure that you can bring up more examples to debunk the idea that school isn't necessarily the only way to success. With that being said, it still makes sense to take advantage of school while you can. Our school system may need work, but it's 13 years of free education that is backed by the state or parents. There are also tons of books that could be read while someone is in school. Hell I have learned more in my adult life than I did while in grade school, but I still wish that I studied independently to gain more knowledge at a young age. Kids need to know how to take advantage of things early, and school is probably the easiest.
And I feel that is because of many people raising their kids that way over the last couple of decades that we have a country full of kids that feel they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want.

A parent can be friendly with their kids....but they can't be their kids friends. One is the parent....the other is a child. Parents have to set and enforce rules. You can make your kid feel good about themselves without turning them into narcissistic spoiled brats.

I have no argument here, because I agree entirely. Wise words Mr. Lee.:yay:
 
I think our school system is too unbalanced anyway. Some schools are much better than others, so youth going through this system aren't guaranteed to learn what they should. What's really sad is that managing money seems to never be taught, and that's one huge thing that leads to a healthier nation fiscally. Some schools teach it, but it's usually kids who already have a leg up due to their parents resources. That's why I'm aiming to come up with an organization that gives young people an idea on how to manage money.

As far as school being the end all to success, I don't think it is. I know you brought up that people with GED's go on to be successful, and I'm sure that you can bring up more examples to debunk the idea that school isn't necessarily the only way to success. With that being said, it still makes sense to take advantage of school while you can. Our school system may need work, but it's 13 years of free education that is backed by the state or parents. There are also tons of books that could be read while someone is in school. Hell I have learned more in my adult life than I did while in grade school, but I still wish that I studied independently to gain more knowledge at a young age. Kids need to know how to take advantage of things early, and school is probably the easiest.

I agree. The problem is that schools tend to discourage that. You're supposed to follow a set curriculum and reach certain stages and certain ages, and the whole process just turns kids off to learning to the point where they don't want to self educate outside of class. I think one of the biggest problems with how we as a society deal with kids is the idea that play and socialization are less important than education and that education come first. Honestly I think that play and socialization are two of the most important parts of education.
 
Okay. My question is, what is the time not to explain? What are the circumstances under which explaining something to your children would be bad?
When you deal with someone a lot (such as a parent with a child does)....you tend to learn when they are really asking for information/clarification on an issue, and when they are just stalling or pushing your buttons. There can be moments when time is of the essence or because of a particular situation it wouldn't be prudent to discuss a certain thing in the company present. Your kids should know that if you say "I don't have time to discuss this now, just do it.", that they should do it not try to act like the Nazis are coming to take them away.

Also, why are the roles of parent and friend mutually exclusive? I think they're actually complimentary (but that kind of depends on your definition of the word friend).
Because you are a parent. You can have a friend that you disagree with or argue with at times. But can you have a friend that sends you to your room or takes away your playstation for a week because you didn't take out the garbage for your mother? Like I said. A parent and their kids can be friendly....but you you can't be best friends. There will be times when as a parent you will have to tell your kids to do something they don't want to do. That's life. You can tell a friend who tells you to do something you don't want to, to screw off.....but it would not be advisable to tell your parents that.
Also, about the rule through fear thing... I wasn't trying to accuse you of anything. My point is, parents are less strict than they used to be in a a lot of ways, and I think that the reason kids may have been more well behaved back in the day (something I'm not sure is universally true) is because they wee probably afraid to misbehave. Which maintains order, but doesn't actually deal with emotional/psychological issues involved. I think the problem isn't that parents aren't strict enough, and becoming more strict would be moving backwards, not forwards.
And I believe that being strict, but fair, is the way to go.
 
When you deal with someone a lot (such as a parent with a child does)....you tend to learn when they are really asking for information/clarification on an issue, and when they are just stalling or pushing your buttons. There can be moments when time is of the essence or because of a particular situation it wouldn't be prudent to discuss a certain thing in the company present. Your kids should know that if you say "I don't have time to discuss this now, just do it.", that they should do it not try to act like the Nazis are coming to take them away.

I suppose that if time is an issue, the yeah, that's pretty fair.

Because you are a parent. You can have a friend that you disagree with or argue with at times. But can you have a friend that sends you to your room or takes away your playstation for a week because you didn't take out the garbage for your mother? Like I said. A parent and their kids can be friendly....but you you can't be best friends. There will be times when as a parent you will have to tell your kids to do something they don't want to do. That's life. You can tell a friend who tells you to do something you don't want to, to screw off.....but it would not be advisable to tell your parents that.

I suppose this is heading dangerously close to an argument of semantics, but I don't see friendship and the parent/child relationship as mutually exclusive. I don't see why you can't have a friend who also holds the role of an elder and thus has certain abilities of command that you don't. There are people who were authority figures in my life who, at the time I still considered to be my friends and still do.

It's just... I was going to mention this in the first paragraph, but it feels more appropriate here. A lot of the language that's used in regards to this topic makes me uncomfortable. Parents as dictators. Taking away the playstation for a week over trash... not that doing that is wrong. As I said, there should be consequences.

I guess the issue I have is that a lot of the pictures being painted seem a little cold to me. Not in terms of actions, but in terms of general atmosphere. It's the language, like I said. Parents as dictators. You can't let your kids think that they are your equal. You live under my roof you live by my rules. It just seems like that sort of thinking represents a barrier between adult and child. It's like both parties are treating the other like something other than people, almost. It just seems to run counter to what's healthiest in a relationship.

And I believe that being strict, but fair, is the way to go.

What does being strict but fair mean?
 
I suppose that if time is an issue, the yeah, that's pretty fair.



I suppose this is heading dangerously close to an argument of semantics, but I don't see friendship and the parent/child relationship as mutually exclusive. I don't see why you can't have a friend who also holds the role of an elder and thus has certain abilities of command that you don't. There are people who were authority figures in my life who, at the time I still considered to be my friends and still do.

It's just... I was going to mention this in the first paragraph, but it feels more appropriate here. A lot of the language that's used in regards to this topic makes me uncomfortable. Parents as dictators. Taking away the playstation for a week over trash... not that doing that is wrong. As I said, there should be consequences.

I guess the issue I have is that a lot of the pictures being painted seem a little cold to me. Not in terms of actions, but in terms of general atmosphere. It's the language, like I said. Parents as dictators. You can't let your kids think that they are your equal. You live under my roof you live by my rules. It just seems like that sort of thinking represents a barrier between adult and child. It's like both parties are treating the other like something other than people, almost. It just seems to run counter to what's healthiest in a relationship.



What does being strict but fair mean?

No... hold on. This thought is... I'm not really sure what I'm saying here. I mean... I think I was using a lot more hyperbole here than I intended. It sounds kind of harsh. My basic point is that building barriers between adult and child based on roles doesn't seem particularly helpful to me. Relationships are about making a connection, and you'll be able to better teach and guide people if you form a strong, genuine connection with them. I just wanted to restate because I thought I sounded really harsh there.
 
I suppose this is heading dangerously close to an argument of semantics, but I don't see friendship and the parent/child relationship as mutually exclusive. I don't see why you can't have a friend who also holds the role of an elder and thus has certain abilities of command that you don't. There are people who were authority figures in my life who, at the time I still considered to be my friends and still do.

It's just... I was going to mention this in the first paragraph, but it feels more appropriate here. A lot of the language that's used in regards to this topic makes me uncomfortable. Parents as dictators. Taking away the playstation for a week over trash... not that doing that is wrong. As I said, there should be consequences.

I guess the issue I have is that a lot of the pictures being painted seem a little cold to me. Not in terms of actions, but in terms of general atmosphere. It's the language, like I said. Parents as dictators. You can't let your kids think that they are your equal. You live under my roof you live by my rules. It just seems like that sort of thinking represents a barrier between adult and child. It's like both parties are treating the other like something other than people, almost. It just seems to run counter to what's healthiest in a relationship.

What does being strict but fair mean?
I guess you can say this is an argument of semantics....because you have referenced dictatorship and hate and other things like that in responses to where I never said those things. I say that a parent should be strict....and you respond with you sound like a dictator. I say that there are times when a kid should just do what their parents say without throwing a tantrum....you say I am treating them as something other than people.

This is not meant to be condescending....you say you are 20 years old, aren't married, don't have kids, work part time because you go to school. I am more than twice your age, married, have a kid almost your age and another 3 years old, I worked at my last job for 22 years. We will see things differently on many issues. There is a chance that my life experiences have taught me a few things.

I will move on now, this conversation doesn't seem to be progressing.
 
I guess you can say this is an argument of semantics....because you have referenced dictatorship and hate and other things like that in responses to where I never said those things. I say that a parent should be strict....and you respond with you sound like a dictator. I say that there are times when a kid should just do what their parents say without throwing a tantrum....you say I am treating them as something other than people.

No, you misunderstood. The dictator thing, I was referencing something Chris Wallace said. I wasn't really talking about you, I was kind of addressing the conversation as a whole. And the treating your kids as something other than people, again, that wasn't directed at you specifically. I've never seen you and your kids interact so I don't really know what your relationship is like. And I know that sounded really harsh, I'm not really proofreading what I'm writing and making additions and retractions on the fly. I just keep my train of thought better like that. I didn't mean to make a statement that sounded that extreme.

I'm still curious to know what you mean by "strict but fair." Like, I hear that phrase a lot and I'm curious as to what exactly it means to you.

And, I'm really sorry if I offended you. It wasn't my intention.
 
For the household, and again I stress that this is a greater cultural trend, I'm not accusing any specific parents of being abusing or anything, I think it's a communication issue. I have no problem with parents having rules and expectations of their kids. Kids are hard to deal with. What I have a proble<<snip>>.

I get the sense that there is some personal experiences that are guiding your thoughts. Generally, this phrase and the like are going to be used for petty things. Chores, playtime, food, video games, tv, etc. And as much as you want to believe it, you can explain to a kid till you are blue in the face why they can't stay up late to watch TV or play video games, but they don't care. They just know they want to do it. That's generally when the "Because I said so!" comes in. Parents learn to recognize when a child is actually asking a valid question and when they are just stalling for time or pushing buttons. At that point, the parent needs to be the parent and lay down the law. You have this utopian view that if you just explain something to a kid once, they'll go "OK, I get it. I'll take the trash out now." And I'm sorry, but that's where your inexperience with being a parent is obvious. That simply isn't going to happen. Having my own children and often taking care of my niece and nephew, I can promise you that 9 times out of 10, no rational answer you give a kid who doesn't want to stop playing their video game and do their chores/homework/whatever is going to suffice.

As for the freedom piece... and this is even more of a societal thing because most of the parents I know give their kids relatively free reign... kids need to be allowed to try and take care of themselves. Now, I know I mentioned kids taking care of themselves as b<<snip>>

I agree kids don't need to be micromanaged. But lets face it, kids don't want to do chores. They don't always want to do homework. They don't always want to go to bed on time. They don't want to do a lot that is good for them (go outside and play, eat their dinner, share, etc.). These are things that may be "against their will" but still need to be done. It does teach them responsibility. You live here, you need to do your part to keep the house clean. Kids don't always see this, and no amount of explaining is usually going to be good enough for them to take the trash out, or vacuum the living room. So no, they shouldn't be micromanaged, but forcing them to do something they may not want to isn't slave labor, it's taking responsibility for yourself as well as respecting everyone else you live your life with.

I feel like I'm being vague. I'm sorry. Let me try to be more clear... okay, yeah. The freedom that I think is curtailed is the freedom to decide what to do with their time. They get very little of that. Society tries to fill their time with things they don't want to do to "keep them out of trouble." I think this is wrong and unnecessary. They do need some kind of structure. They do need academic environments and rules both there and in the household. But it does not need to be anywhere near as restricted as it is.

Again, examples?

I never said it was a fallacy for children of any age to respect adults. What I said was a fallacy was expecting the respect to come from the children from nothing. Saying "if kids want respect, they need to show some respect to the people who work hard to take care of them." Well, yes, that is true. But kids have to learn respect, and they won't learn it if they never rec<<snip>>

I don't understand this. For this situation to occur that would mean that the parents at no point, ever showed their child respect....zero. None of any kind. I just can't fathom a normal family being in that situation. Sure, there are some screwed up families that may have the worst Dad ever, but NO respect? I think that's reaching. Growing up from a little kid, they are going to be told NO alot. Don't put that in your mouth, don't touch that electrical socket, don't play with that knife. These are to keep a child that doesn't know any better from hurting themselves, and to teach them about what can hurt them. There's no middle ground here. No matter how much little timmy wants to play with that knife, he isn't going to get it. I don't care how much you think talking will help, but when you've got a screaming kid throwing a fit you could explain everything in perfect, logical detail and you might as well be speaking Klingon. It won't mean a damn thing. Sure, being the parent and providing everything for the child doesn't invalidate that kids feelings, but it may damn well make them irrelevant. Using the example given before about the hair in the bathtub, it IS teaching respect. Respect for the people who you live with, not just your parents. I'm sure that teen would throw a fit if they went in to use the bath and it was filled with kiddy toys, or Dads hair was all over the place. It would be "Ewww gross." But for them to have to clean up their own mess is, for some reason, below them. When in fact, it's just respectful to leave the bathroom in at least a reasonably clean state for the next person, just as that teen would likely want it to be when they use it.

I disagree 100%. Pulling out the "because I say so" card is a complete cop out. It doesn't solve anything.It doesn't help anyone. I'm even going to go so far to say that the parent doesn't have that right. Yes, a kid may be resentful that their parent doesn't want them to play a lot of video games. <<snip>>.

Again, I'm sorry, but you're living in a utopia and showing how inexperienced you are with children. This is pretty much the same thing as I said in my first response above. Most kids don't really care about why they should top playing their game, they already know why. They just don't want to. You can explain till you are blue in the face and all you'd do is get tired. It gets to the point where the only choice is to continue to argue in circles, or bring down the hammer. Period. And again, as parents grow with their children, they are better able to tell what is a valid "why" and what is a "I don't care why, I just want to do what I want." And when it come to the latter, no reason will be good enough. An explanation is irrelevant at that point.

All levels of school. And again, I disagree. Yeah, maybe an elementary school aged kid won't choose to take math and science and english. So what? What is the benefit of a base curriculum. Why do we need one? What's wrong with a kid only ever taking math and science classes from elementary school to high school? If they decide they want to become a physicist, then they'll be fine. Yeah, they'll have to write papers and whatnot, but first of all, MLA formatting is really easy to learn, and as for basic reading and writing skills, the fact is that reading and writing are so important in our society, the only way someone who was given the opportunity to learn how to read and write wouldn't is if they decided it wasn't worth their time. Which they wouldn't, because it's difficult to get by without the written word in this society. Kids should be allowed to focus on the things they have interests and skills in. Education should be designed to activate a child's potential, not mold the child to a predetermined idea of what they should be. As for links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_model

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Sudbury_schools

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=csAiJgvajYo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7XNx5G0mPU&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUl86pVLj4Q

I've never heard of this before. It's difficult for me to understand how a young child could successfully learn to read and learn basic math skills....stuff that you absolutely NEED to know to do anything in this world...if not structured to do so. I know damn well I would have stayed as far away from math as I could. English too for that matter. But, that's me, and without actually going through this type of schooling, it's hard for me to judge it. I'll have to research it more. This, would probably be one of those things where communication with your children would be most beneficial. If they think this type of schooling is better, or home schooling, or public school, or private. That is something that can be discussed as a family. As it turns out, if it is something you're concerned for your kids (when you have them) over, you certainly have that choice.

Serious violent acts in well off middle class suburban schools are incredibly rare. They do get a lot more media coverage than ones in inner city schools, but they are much rarer.

I live in suburbia. I have 4 schools within my district alone that are primarily "well off middle class" kids. I grew up in a district where that was not the case. I can tell you for a fact that there are just as many violent incidents as I saw going through an "inner city" school.

What's wrong with explaining to them why you want them to do something? You seem really offended by that idea, but what's the harm in that? If someone wants you to do something, and you honestly don't know why they want you to do it, it's really frustrating for them to simply say "because I said so."

Again, It's not that you don't know why you want them to do it, but that there's really no point in explaining it. This is what I've already covered above.

I'm sorry, I'm not trying to criticize here, but your reasoning just seems really flawed. You seem to be saying that respect has to initially come from the child, which doesn't make sense. Kids won't understand respect if they never get any. And simply saying "because I said so" is disrespectful. It's rude and condescending. And ultimately it doesn't accomplish anything. It doesn't teach kids respect. It doesn't teach them anything because it doesn't explain anything to them. If a kid goes to a school and asks the teacher "but why did the colonists revolt against the King?" or "why does language work how it does?" and the only answer they get is "because I say so," they haven't learned anything besides facts that hold no meaning to them. All that does is breed resentment.

"because I said so" CAN be rude and condescending, but generally it's used when all other attempts at reasoning have already failed. OR, when the child is already being disrespectful. If I tell my kids it's time to start getting ready for bed, turn off the games and let's go, and the immediate response I get is a whiny "I DON'T WANT TO!! WHY? THAT'S STUPID!" they're going to get some version of "Because I said so!" and that's it. One, they were immediately disrespectful. They've just lost any chance of negotiating 5 more minutes. Two, they absolutely know why. It's nothing more than an attempt to push buttons and aggravate me to the point that I might just give in. It teaches if you don't show respect, you won't get any back.

I mean, have you ever thought about where this sense of entitlement comes from? You said it yourself, it's self centered-ness and a lack of morals. I can't speak for every case, but I do know that an environment where kids aren't listened do and are talked down to, an environment that generates a feeling of "me against the world" will produce some very self centered people. Is it a reasonable response from the kids? Obviously not. It's not the intent of schools or parents or society to make kids feel like everything is in opposition to them. But it is what happens and that can't be ignored. In a kid's mind, school is the enemy. Parents who only lay down rules and never try to communicate with the kids or explain the why of things or really listen to them seriously are the enemy. It's people who've decided the bigger picture for them without ever consulting them who feel no need to consult them.

I think you're being a tad over-dramatic. You keep saying things about parents who "never communicate" or "never listen." I think if you have a parent or a teacher that never listens, never shows respect, never tries to be helpful, to a child....there is a bigger issue. Most normal families don't have a situation where they "NEVER" any of those things. My parents didn't always listen to me when I thought I had a good point. But very often they did. That doesn't mean that those times that they didn't I suddenly dropped back down to square one and didn't trust them, didn't respect them, and they were the enemy. You're drawing a sort of black and white line here and that's just not the way it is. I didn't like school, but I knew it was necessary for me to make it through life. I needed to learn to read, I needed to learn math, I needed to learn how to socialize, I needed to learn how to write and spell, etc. Were some classes and some assignments worthless in the long run, sure. But I never saw school as the enemy. And I NEVER saw my parents as the enemy. They ruined my fun a lot. Sometimes I understood why (but didn't like it), and sometimes I didn't get it (but later in life understood why). I also understood that getting all *****y immediately got me nowhere.
 
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(continued)

Again, I don't think households should be a dictatorship. They should be a family. Yes, there are elders in that family who are more or less in charge and guide the younger members, but they should do so by working with the family, not simply controlling it.

The problem is that in MOST cases, kids don't see the big picture. They're looking at what THEY want to do and what will benefit THEM. Not the family. It's the parent's job to balance the needs of the one with the needs of the family. And to do what's good for the kid, even if they don't think it is. IF we are discussing something that is a total family effecting situation, I think most parents do listen to what the kids have to say. They may not agree with it, but they do listen. But when the discussion is, "I'd like to make bedtime 1AM instead of 10PM," the parent has to become the parent and set the rules. Call it what you want, being a dictator, being a parent. I don't care, but it will happen, and it has to happen.

I really want to stress that I'm not trying to attack you personally. It's just that this is a line of thinking I absolutely do not understand, and on a larger scale I actually think it is harmful to society.

Respectfully, I disagree. Allowing kids to do whatever they want, whenever they want, and letting them get away with things when they do wrong.....is harmful to society.

I really don't agree with this line of logic. When you get a job, you do so by agreeing, usually in the form of a contract, to perform a specific set of tasks that are explained to you in advance. If you get a job as a box mover, you are aware that you will be moving boxes on a regular basis, and if you don't you will not get payed. If an employer asks you to do something that is not within your job description, then I would think that they would explain why they wanted you to do it. If the boss asks a computer analyst to move some boxes, it would be very strange for them not to explain why the box movers can't do it.

LOL. I laugh, because I've been in this situation before. I'm a systems engineer. But yet, I've had to help unload shipments of servers. I've had to load servers up in my truck and drive them across town. I've had to take a load of backup tapes to our offsite facility. I've had to give a tour of our facility before. This is what's called, "Other duties as assigned." And you'll see it on pretty much every job description. It means that your boss can basically say, "Hey, go do this." And you don't have much say in it. Oh sure, you can complain about it, and you might have a good point. And once or twice might not be bad. But if you do that on a consistent basis you become what's called "not a team player." And eventually you'll be canned for someone who doesn't mind a little out of the box work once in awhile. Fair or not, that's the facts of things. Try and argue with your employer on that one for too long and let me know how that works out for you. I'm pretty sure they have a phone there at the Unemployment Office.

I don't see where this idea that parents have to prepare kids for the workforce by making them to things and conditioning them to do those things without question comes from. A family is not a business. The dynamic and environment should be completely different.

Nobody is saying they can't question where things come from. And I guarantee in most cases they know why they have to do chores or go to bed at a certain time. They just don't want to. It teaches them that life isn't fair, and sometimes you just have to suck it up and do what you're told.

And really, I'm not talking about hours of explanations. What I'm talking about is (to borrow Chris Wallace's example): "Could you do X chores around the house while I'm at work?" "Why?" "Because you're going to be at home all day without anything to do, it won't take up too much of our time, and I'd rather it be done by the time everyone's home instead of me having to do it on top of my workday tonight." Simple. Takes five seconds, and is all the explanation there is. If the kid in question gives grief more than that, then I think there's probably some separate issue that needs to be worked through going on.

You again assume that your little speech even matters to the kid who would rather watch TV or talk to their friends on the phone. Sure, sometimes it may work. Often times it does not. More times than not the argument goes on from there. You can't have that same argument every time you ask your kid to do their chores. At some point you have to wake up to the fact that they know damn well why you want them to do the chores, and they just don't want to do them. No amount of explaining calmly is going to matter at that point.

I just don't see why the dictatorship idea is a good ay to go. From what I've seen, families as dictatorships only breed resentment, a lack of communication, emotional barriers between the parents and children, and in many cases self esteem issues for the kids. Yes, it does maintain order for the most part. But I've found that kids in those situations rarely learn anything. It's hard to learn from someone who only gives you orders and doesn't actually discuss issues with you on an equal level. It's hard to learn from someone for whom you have no respect and who you feel has no respect for you. Now, kids aren't especially rational thinking that way, but they think that way because of their upbringing. I just don't see why families should be dictatorships. Families should be families. Groups of people who care about and try to understand each other, with elders who try to guide and teach the younger members and give them an environment for them to figure out who they are, as well as maintaining order and settling disputes. Yes, there do have to be rules and consequences after a while, but the second you take the role of dictator, the second you start saying things like "because I said so," that creates a gap between the adult and the child. And there shouldn't be gaps like that in families. That's not what a family is.

as for the whole work thing... again, I don't think explaining to kids why you want them to do something will make them bad employees. You seem to think that not laying down the law and saying stuff like "because I said so" will breed kids who are lazy and selfish and expect to get something for nothing. I think it's the opposite. If it is never explained why have responsibilities, they'll never understand responsibilities. If they're put in a situation early on where demands are made of them and they're expected to follow them no matter what and their voice isn't heard, all that's going to do is make them resentful of the authority figures in their life. It's not going to put them in a place where they're going to apply that experience to the rest of the world. Teaching through conditioning like that... it doesn't help someone develop, it just gives them a bunch of reflexes that they don't understand. A kid is more likely to grow up resentful of authority and thinking that they deserve reward without work if they grow up in an environment where authority figures are disrespectful and ask of them things that they don't want or need to do without explanation or choice. They'll think "I've had enough of this ********, I deserve more than this."

As for the whole why/challenging authority thing... do you really think that, when the why in question is simply designed to challenge authority, that simply laying down the law solves the issue? I think that it would be much more productive to try and talk to the kid about why they're challenging your authority. If you have a truly open discourse, maybe you'll both learn that you're doing things that really upset the other and come to an understanding. I mean, yes, the kid may not want to talk about it. But communication is a two way street. This fact applies to both kids and parents. Relationships can only be healthy if both sides are open to each other and listen to each other. And both sides can only do that if one side gets the ball rolling. If the kid refuses to do it, then the parent waiting until they do it first doesn't solve anything. And is kind of immature.

The exact same thing applies to schooling and adult/child relationships in general, I think.

Asking Why isn't a bad thing. But what you don't seem to understand is that very often when a kid asks "why" when asked to do something they don't want to do, they don't really CARE why. Do you really honestly believe that a kid who has been told to take the trash out, which they have done hundreds of times before, really needs to be explained why one more time? Do you really think it would do any good? At what point do you draw the line?

In regards to the highlighted text, again, I think you're going black or white here. No parent is going to just say "because I said so" to everything. No parent is not going to listen to their kid from time to time, or most of the time. I'm not really sure how a person who gets denied explanation could get to "I deserve something for nothing?" That doesn't make sense to me. People get that way because they've grown up getting something for nothing. Their parents always let them have their way, they always get them what they want, they never discipline them when they are bad, etc. They've had everything they wanted without working for it. Of course they'll go through life feeling entitled...."Mommy and Daddy thought I was entitled to everything...why don't you!?" People like that have a hard time at jobs. They think alot of the little stuff in the job is above them. People resent them for their attitude and they are either driven out or they quit because they aren't being treated as they think they should be. Or as you say "I've had enough of this ********, I deserve more than this." That'll get them alot of jobs on their resume with short stays.

And I feel that is because of many people raising their kids that way over the last couple of decades that we have a country full of kids that feel they are entitled to whatever they want whenever they want.

A parent can be friendly with their kids....but they can't be their kids friends. One is the parent....the other is a child. Parents have to set and enforce rules. You can make your kid feel good about themselves without turning them into narcissistic spoiled brats.

Bingo!

Okay. My question is, what is the time not to explain? What are the circumstances under which explaining something to your children would be bad?

You're simplifying things. Nobody is saying that explaining to your kid anything is bad. It's usually good when it's warranted. The problem is, like I've said already, often times it's not. The kid doesn't care about the reasons. They've been given the reasons dozens of times before. Honestly, do you really think it's worth the time to explain to your kid why they need to take the trash out or do their chores EVERY TIME they ask why? Even after 10 times? 50? 100?

Also, why are the roles of parent and friend mutually exclusive? I think they're actually complimentary (but that kind of depends on your definition of the word friend).

You can be your kids friend, and you should be. But sometimes you have to put that aside and be the parent. Let's take for example a few years ago when one of my kids wanted to get a puppy. At the time, we didn't have the room for one. No fenced in yard. Trying to sell our house so a pet in the house would just cause more problems that good. Plus we just had a new baby, so having to deal with a newborn and a puppy at the same time was just too much. Now I LOVE dogs, and I really would have loved to have had one. As his friend, I was right there next to him....I had all the same thoughts of playing with a puppy and my childhood growing up with a puppy. But at that very moment, I couldn't be his "friend." I had to be the adult, I had to be a parent. I had to make the tough decision. I explained why it wasn't a good time, but he just bawled cause he wanted a puppy. Nothing I said could console him. Of course, he got over it and we eventually did get a couple puppies. But that's where you have to separate yourself from being your kid's friend, and their parent.

Sorry I had to snip some of your quotes, my post was too long. :p
 
My point is that entitlement is subjective. Some kids feel entitled to more freedom and space and they should. Why? Because they're more mature and responsible and therefore deserve it. Therefore, sometimes entitlement is justified.

If you work harder than someone else you feel entitled to more money. Who's to say you're right or wrong?

You can't always assume people have no justification to feel entitled to something. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Teenagers included.

There's a limit to what demands you make of kids regardless of who's paying the bills. There's a difference between chores and using your kids for slave labor just because they had the misfortune to being born from your seed. There's a balance between responsibilities and entitlements. If you're unreasonable don't expect your kids to grow into hard-working pillars of the community because you worked them to death. This has been known to backfire time and time again. A kid's workload and expectations need to be reasonable.

Not all parents feel the same about entitlements. This isn't invasion of the body snatchers were everyone agrees in unison.

This isn't even a valid argument. By that I mean in the context of this discussion. Sure there are plenty of kids who display maturity, discipline and responsibility and seek to be rewarded accordingly.
BUT I'M NOT TALKING ABOUT THEM.
I am talking about the ones who do the exact opposite-a point I have made clear NUMEROUS times. It seems like you're just being argumentative for the sake of being argumentative.
 

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