How to deal with bad behavior in your children?


A mother narrates:

He was sick when he came home, I just put him to bed and waited until later to ask him what happened. With his hands holding his throbbing head—like any other repentant morning-after drunk—he told me that he’d been down at the drive-in with his thirteen-year-old friends, and three older boys shared some beer with them.”

Not just a few mothers and fathers have had a similar experience with their youngsters.

However, excessive drinking is only one of the problems that parents often face today.

The modern-day emphasis on sex has also resulted in skyrocketing cases of rape, abortions, unwanted pregnancies and child abuse.

The adult world has adopted a “new morality” of sexual freedom, and youth copy it.

This unquestionably has resulted in a great increase of problems among young people.

Some have even needed a psychiatric treatment to cope with seriously undesirable behavior patterns.

Another frightening thing, is that the crimes are tending more and more toward violence and the average age of the offenders is getting younger.

How can you, as parents, successfully meet the behavior problems of your children?

Importance of communication

First, you must be convinced that they need your attention and help.

Do not assume that the wild parties, the drinking, reckless driving, and other escapades of youth cannot possibly involve your children.

They can, as the President of the Parents League, observed:

We have received so many calls from parents who want to know how to help children who have become involved in problems. We see this problems existing even in the most careful families and schools.”

There is no question about it; children vitally need understanding, loving parents.

A baby comes into the world helpless and ignorant, with little knowledge other than how to suck and to cry.

Therefore the parenting arrangement is important, so that the child can receive necessary guidance and instruction from ones who would truly love it.

However, to do so requires setting aside time to be with your.

This time together should be planned, so that it really does build up and strengthen family ties.

Make it fun, and yet instructive.

At mealtimes, for instance, experiences, ideas, activities, hopes and plans can be shared.

Keep in mind things heard during the day that are humorous or of common interest, and share them at the meal table.

This communication and interest can draw the family together, giving the children a sense of security, of belonging.

Parents should never underestimate the importance of communication with their youngsters.

The fundamental complaint of young adults is that they cannot talk with grown people and the very great majority of our kids never enjoy an intimate friendship with their parents.

Little wonder that social sites receive thousands of feedback from youth who say they want someone with whom to talk over their personal problems.

But how is it that parents and their children drift so far apart, making conversation on vital matters almost impossible?

Parents frequently push off their inquiring child.

‘Go away; can’t you see I’m busy?’

How much better if the parent, when really busy, would promise to discuss the matter later and, when free, ask the child what was on his mind.

In this way the child will sense that his parents are really interested in him and will more readily confide in them.

Youngsters need someone to talk with, a person who appreciates their problems and who will help them to meet them by providing needed counsel.

Illustrating how parents often fail to satisfy this need, one physicians narrates:

A mother came in with an uninformed thirteen-year-old pregnant daughter. When l asked if she had explained the ‘facts of life’ to her daughter, she replied, ‘Oh, no, I thought she was too young for that.’”
Too frequently, such parents send their ten to twelve-year-olds to unchaperoned parties with ‘dates’ wearing silk stockings, high heels, adult-style clothes and lipstick, and then wonder how they get into trouble at fifteen years of age.”

It is true that youngsters may at times pressure for freedom to do such things.

However, as parents you must stand firm and enforce necessary rules.

It is your responsibility to do so!

And, really, your children will be grateful if you do.

If you maintain healthy family ties so that your children feel free to talk with you, and if you anticipate the problems they will face and prepare them to meet them, the bond of love between you and your children is certain to grow.

At times they may resent what they consider undue restrictions.

But eventually they will undoubtedly voice the sentiments of one teenager:

Now I finally know what I can and can’t do—and it’s taken a terrific load off my mind.”