No More Hugs
Children want to look cool. By the time your child turns nine or ten, you will no longer be allowed to kiss him in public. The hugging will be brought to a screeching halt by the time he turns 11. These things can be forgiven because we all went through that stage. The affection will be there when he comes home. When his friends are around though, aloofness returns and he is a rebel.
Talk to Me
You have forgiven the “kissie face” thing because you understand, but when your child stops listening to you, it is maddening. For some reason, children embrace a kind of hatred for their parents and anything they have to say. The hate is not, of course, real. When your child tells you to “Shut up!”, however, it hurts. He looks at you like he would kill you if he could. This, too, will pass.
This Day and Age
The times have changed since you were little. Today’s children have so much pressure on them. As far as I can tell, the stress is self-inflicted. The children of the twenty-first century do not worry about much. They certainly are not worried about their grades. They are concerned with popularity and coolness and rap music.
Where Are the Parents?
It is understood that both parents have to work. Both of my parents worked but I do not recall any of my friends dropping out of school, killing their parents, or joining a gang. What has happened to this country? Where are the parents of the child who has an affair with his teacher and then fathers her baby? What have these children seen or heard throughout their lives which tell them that this kind of atrocious behavior is acceptable?
Get Involved Early
Even if you work, be a part of your child’s life from the very beginning. Nobody works all day and all night, so designate a time when you and the child get together and discuss the happenings of the day. Ask questions, in depth questions. “How was your day, dear?” is no longer affective. You need to know who he hangs out with, where they live, who his parents are, do they do drugs? These are harsh realities of life. You need to know. If you want your child to have any kind of a life, get involved. Your child’s life and happiness depend on it. Do not let your child become a statistic.
It may take a while, but if you talk to your kid and really be interested in what he has to say, he will eventually become your child again and listen to you. He may not always take your advice, but if he sits in front of you and looks at you, he is listening. Start listening today. It has to start with you.