September 3, 2013
September 3, 2013

Children Need Guidance

I am hearing about a lack of guidance in many young people today. They are living home, not paying room or board. In some cases they have a significant other living with them In many situations those who are immature do not contribute even cleaning up after themselves, doing their own wash, or cooking their own food. It is also a lack of maturity for those who pay a nominal fee to live home, but do not contribute manpower as they would have to if they had their own place. It is not the fault of the person who has been fostered to live in this manner. It is the fault of the caretakers who have not determined boundaries and behavioural guide lines.

Without guidance instead of feeling secure as an adult, they often feel unsure of themselves. Instead of feeling confident, they feel as if they are incapable of accomplishing the normal duties that every person must do for themselves. Instead of feeling capable, they feel anxious and uncertain.

Children are not pets. They go through stages of development. As infants our presence is important 24/7. As youngsters they need us to direct them toward learning social,/educational/behaviour skills. As teenagers they need to --and usually do all by themselves--find other interests, and seek healthy friendships and activities. This is a difficult time for many parents as they feel abandoned and do not want to let go of their grown children. The teenager needs the parent figures to allow them to experience life unfettered by them. However, the adults need to step in from time to time to guide, if and when the novice needs help or direction. It is a trapeze balancing act for the parent, but a necessary one for the neophyte.

Children are not gifts. They are, instead, in need of supervision and guidance. The discipline should not be harsh physically. Discipline should be moderate, consistent and persevering. Discipline needs to be administered as often and as long as it takes to make the message stick that they are a member of a family and have a responsibility to perform certain duties.

The worst effect of allowing the child to follow through on its basic instincts without guidance is: devoloping a sense of entitlement.

Those younsters who become adults with a feeling that whatever they do is right regardless of other people’s rights eventually are shunned by others. Or worse yet, in extreme cases, may find prison-mates their only companion.

As an infant they might learn to play with one toy, put it away when bored with it, then get another toy out. As an adolescent they might do light chores, dusting, vacuuming, putting away their dirty dishes after eating. As a teenager, they might learn to obey the rules of the house as to what time is the cut off to return home from school or for the evening. They might learn time management skills, managing money, and patience.

Each family has its own set of rules for which they should comply. Not just the wage earners/bill payers who are already exhausted from a full days work.

Children need to learn good communication skills, but if the parents are devoid of them; how can the child learn? Children need to learn to be respectful. They need to learn how to focus.

How can anyone learn the skills needed to function in our society if the caregivers refuse, for whatever reason, to guide youth?