By Trace Embry
Today’s culture bombards parents with misleading parenting advice.
This week is the continuation of a set of posts I began last week. We will continue debunking some common parenting myths.
Myth #5: My Kids Entertainment Habits are Harmless
This is a big mistake if parents follow this line of thinking. Parents certainly have the responsibility to monitor their child’s entertainment habits! If you want to fuel the trouble in your teen’s life, let him constantly entertain himself with subject matter that justifies his ungodly, rebellious, debauched, and otherwise sinful desires.
If your teen’s anger, hurt, and rebellion is the fire, then much of his entertainment (music in particular) is the rocket fuel to launch it to a greater level. Take it from someone who sees it every day. Nobody can be entertained by things that grieve the heart of God and expect God’s blessing.
Myth #6: Parents Should Have No Say in Their Teen’s Friends
You do at your house. Have kids over to your house? Then you should carefully monitor the visits.
The “Eddie Haskels” shouldn’t have a chance if you play your cards right.
Someone will inevitably say, “You sound like a C.I.A. agent or a policeman!” I’ll accept that. It’s better than sounding like a bail bondsman!
The culture we have created as a result of decades of demanding our unbridled and warped ideas of freedom has demanded it of me.
Myth #7: Parents Should Never Force Teens Against Their Will
Only if it’s sinful, unwise, or illegal. The Bible is clear about provoking our kids to anger. If he hasn’t already learned that life forces things on you all the time–like school, clothing, and a social security card—then, as an adult, traffic laws, deadlines, and taxes are going to be a bugger for him.
I hear people all the time talking about how coercive it is to make your teenager do chores or work around the house before he can exercise certain privileges. What a joke! Everything we make our kids do could be called coercion! Isn’t discipline just a different term for coercion?
Coercion; however, is thought of in terms of forcing someone to do evil. Discipline is usually thought of as forcing someone to do “good.” I suppose the only real difference is motive. However, when you use the term “good” it assumes that there actually is an objective and absolute good; but that’s another discussion for another time.
Myth #8: My Teens Appearance is Not A Battle Worth Fighting
If these aren’t big deals, then why do kids spend so much time, money, and energy to look that way?
Many parents of the baby boomers in the 60’s and 70’s didn’t think their kids’ innocent form of “self expression” was a problem either. I’m certainly not blaming it on dress alone, of course; but, America isn’t a greater nation today as a result of the cultural and sexual revolution of that era. It’s quite the opposite.
When you let teenagers dress like a gang banger, Dracula, a whore, or a pimp, you are telling them what you think of them. You have unconsciously told him you are fine with him or her identifying with those “types.”
How we adorn ourselves tells us a lot about what is going on inside ourselves. It’s an outside indicator of how we see ourselves, and who, or what, we want to align ourselves with. It’s about identity. It should also be a cue to parents that Junior is crying out to be noticed by you.
Any attention is better than no attention in the eyes of some teens.
Sometimes it’s a cry for help. “Somebody tell me this is not what I really am!!!!!!!” Unfortunately, our silence is interpreted as just another way of saying “I don’t really care about you enough to talk to you about it.”
Parents mistakenly think they are being hip, cool, or accepting by allowing bizarre colored and/or styled hair, piercings, tattoos, and crazy fashions in clothing.
It’s fine to be different and have different tastes in clothing, hair style, and fashion in general. But, when all the above are so far beyond community standards, biblical standards, or common decency, that it attracts a warped attention to self, then something is going on deep inside that individual that is crying for help, love, and acceptance.
So, where is the line of demarcation? I don’t know; but, I know it when I see it—and so do you if you are honest.
What are some other common parenting myths you may have encountered?