This is the [1/2] post of this series. This is the first insight.
“My son was the sweetest child ever. When he entered secondary school, I don’t know what came over him. He now smokes, uses vulgar language and mixes with bad company. He shouts at us and even threatens us. I don’t know what to do. He wasn’t like this in Primary school so what brought these changes in him?”
Someone once spoke to me of a teen blogger who fell on the wrong side of the law. He blogs and shoots videos where he openly disses the government and these actions landed him in hot soup. He is seen as bullying his parents. Naturally, most commentators would talk about his parents’ parenting style and his relatives shared that they have a very permissive style of parenting.
“How can you blame the parents? They are so lenient with him that he’s allowed to do anything he wants!”
That’s exactly the problem.
Every Child Needs Boundaries … Regardless of Age
When a child starts to bully his parents, it means they have become aggressive, hostile and mean. They use verbal assaults, physical aggression, putdowns, and unrelenting abuse – even against their own parents. When your child bullies you, they will threaten, blackmail, and terrorize you until you give in.They believe they are the victims and lack empathy for anyone else at this point. In short, they will do anything necessary to achieve what they want.
Every child needs a limit … regardless of their age. Boundaries actually force your child to learn to regulate their emotions and set limits for themselves. In secondary school, the ideal situation occurs when parents gradually release control so as to ease the transition to regulate their emotions. Yet, many parents start with helicopter parenting in primary schools and actually drop the control like a hot coal when the child enter secondary school. This results in conflicting confusion emotions within the child and that’s where they start to test authority.
What happened to my sweet, affectionate, obedient child?
Modelling is the best way to raise your child. If you have not been modelling or helping your child to release frustration constructively, your child will explode when they become older. As Sean Grover, a New York Psychotherapist puts it:
The child absorbs 10% of what you say and 90% of what you do. If you’re losing your patience, yelling, and threatening, you’re going to eventually be on the receiving end of that behavior from your kids. You may not see it when they are young, but as they get bigger and feel more powerful, it will resurface with a vengeance.
Even as your child becomes older, they will still find that they express feelings better than words. They will be defiant now and then but that’s how they learn to be assertive and establish a solid sense of self and identity. Otherwise, they are more likely to suffer from anxiety or depression as they become a target for bullies.
So what are the types of parenting styles may cause these rebellions? We will discuss them in the next post.