If you think about parenting it changed after the 1960’s. From the beginning of time, parents had children because there wasn’t any birth control but they also wanted children for economic reasons. Today’s parents generally have children so they have someone to love and someone to love them back.
Throughout history men wanted sons who could help them work (thus increase the family's living standards) and help them provide protection for their family. Women on the other hand wanted a girl who could help them with their chores. With this in mind, they trained their children so they could not only contribute at home but also contribute and take care of themselves when they someday left home.
Having a child for the sole purpose of giving and receiving love can be harmful to our society because when parents do this they focus on finding ways to make their child happy. Isn’t this exactly what we do when we want to show someone love? With this in mind, they’re less likely to discipline their children, make them do chores, withhold things they want, etc.
For those of you who are Christians, remember that even God didn’t give his perfect Son everything he wanted. Jesus pleaded with his Father to “let the cup pass me by” because he knew how much pain and suffering he was going to go through. He didn’t have any protection so the pain he was getting ready to experience was the same any man would endure. But the most loving Father of all didn’t give in to his Son’s request to be relieved of his misery because he knew the New Covenant had to be established to help save mankind.
The love I had for my parents increased dramatically when I left home because as I went through various stages in life, I realized why they did what they did. You can either have your child love you a lot now or love and respect you a lot later; I know which I’d prefer. This is why I believe the philosophy of parenting years ago was more effective long term than the philosophy of parenting today.
Parents often think their primary responsibility is to get their child into college so they work extremely hard to earn the money they need to make it happen. A college degree is certainly important but if a parent really wants their child to succeed then teach him or her good character. President Calvin Coolidge said it best:
“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not. Nothing is more
common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not. Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not. The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence, determination and hard work make the difference.”
In most cases people aren’t fired for lack of skills but for lack of good character. Not to overwhelm you with quotes but I can’t do any better in addressing this subject than what President Abraham Lincoln did when he said:
“Ability may get you to the top but it will take character to keep you there.” So ability may help a young person get in the door but lack of good character will get them pushed back out the door.
I believe character is more important than a college degree (I do have one) so I think parents are much better off putting a lot of effort into building great character in their children. These are some of the things I care about more than someone’s educational level:
Ø Do they show care and respect for all people not just those who can help them in any way? Malcolm Forbes said: “You can tell the true character of someone in how they treat people who can do nothing for them or to them.” I agree.
Ø Do they honor their word? The very first thing my company put on everyone’s job description was: “Do what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it.” It’s extremely important for us to ingrain this into our employees’ minds. Tell your children that keeping their “word” can make or break their lives.
Ø Do they have a positive attitude? This is so important because even though an employee might be a superstar in their work he would still be let go by most employers because of the negative impact he has on his co-workers.
Ø Do they have a great work ethic?
Ø Do they show up on time?
In reference to a work ethic, some parents want their children to have it easier than they did as a child; my question is just how bad was it? Bad is growing up during the depression! This philosophy of spoiling their children and not having them do household chores has detrimental consequences for their family as well as our community. When they do this their children end up with an entitlement mentality because they don’t have to earn anything. You’d be better off and so would your child if you pulled him or her out of one of their extra curriculums and have them at home helping out. It certainly wouldn’t be as much fun for them but their life will end up so much better.
Having been a business owner I can tell you that I did discriminate due to age but it was just the opposite of what you might think. I’d hire older people over younger ones because I appreciated their loyalty and work ethic. I would’ve loved to bring younger people into our company because they cost less to employ due to entry level salaries and lower medical insurance rates. But these things weren’t worth it because I’d rather have people with a great attitude and work ethic because these are things that made our company successful.
Another problem is there are some parents who involve their children in a lot of decision making around the house; like what they want for dinner, when they’d like to eat, where they want to go on vacation, etc. My parents told me when I had to be there for dinner and what I’d be eating; and I had to like it. They rarely asked me what I wanted and instead told me what I wanted. I’m kidding here but the point is that parents should make the decisions and children should obey them because they need this important life lesson.
Because of the above problem, many young people entering the job market don’t know how to take orders. They don’t have a healthy respect for superiors nor do they even try faking it by demonstrating respect. They don’t accept the fact they have a superior because they aren’t used to being given orders they’re required to obey. This is just one of several reasons why it’s our business regarding how children are raised because eventually older workers will retire and we need young people to step up and successfully take their place; if they don’t our nation will fall.