upbringing of a child

Hi everybody.

A new baby is at home (2 months old) and I as his father begin to worried about a lot of things that before I have never thought about.
Recently in Spain we have been watching in the news how teenagers violence is increasing. They record hitting their schoolmates or fights with their mobile phones and then they upload them in youtube web page as an act to be proud of.
What kind of moral principles are the parents teaching to their children?
Nowdays both father and mother have to go to work and the upbringing of the child is left to the school teachers, TV, videogames etc…
The incredible thing here is when the reporters ask their parents about the behaviour of their children they confess that the didn’t know that their children were like that!!!

What!! You don’t know what your child is like!!

Both mother and father have to work but that doesn’t imply that they have to shirk their’s responsibility as parents.

And what about the teachers? The can’t do anything because children can
do everything they want. Teachers have everyday less authority.

What do you think about it?

That is a hard problem all around the world, I guess…
I personally had a nasty experience with my classmates when I was in school. They didn’t hit me fortunately, but the relations were awful (I used to be a real geek that time!). Finally I changed my school and went to another college where half of people were even geekier than me :slight_smile:
As a future psychologist :wink: I can say that the problem is particularly in lack of child’s abilities to understand other children, to accept someone who is different from you

That is the source of the problem! If parents don’t bother to understand their children, how do children learn to understand each other?
The only solution I see here is to talk more with children, especially about their and your feelings, pay their attention to other people’s personality… teach them by example rather than by precept.

Just surround them with loads of love.

And congratulations! On being a father.


Are they teaching them any moral principles at all? Some of them teach them a sort of situational ethics in which there are no moral absolutes. This is one thing that makes it easy for the kids to bend to whatever their peer group wants to do.

My father and mother taught us good moral principles, but the media, teachers and other teenagers led us away them (temporarily, in my case).

However, I can tell you something my father did that made life much better and easier for me when I was a teenager: When I was 12, and we were out walking the dog, he had a talk with me about kids who got into trouble, and he said, “If the police ever call me and tell me they’ve arrested you, I won’t come get you.” In other words, if I got into trouble, I had to get myself out! He was very serious!

This had a profound effect on my entire life. When my friends and I were on the verge of trouble, my friends would be saying, “What am I going to tell my parents?!” They knew that with the right story, they could get their parents to help them. Meanwhile, I was asking myself, "Is this worth it? Will I be able to get myself out of this situation if it goes bad?; My answer was usually “no”, so as my friends got into trouble, I either stood there watching them, or went somewhere else.

Very true about the upbringing, but why do both the father and mother have to work? I don’t know about your country, but in my country they usually only think they both have to work. It’s less about necessity and more about the lifestyle they think they need to maintain.

That’s because the children act just fine around their parents. It’s when they get into their own peer group that they go out of control. It’s mob psychology.

In most Western countries, the authority of teachers has been eroded to the point where they often don’t have control over the kids. This is caused by the legal system and by meddling parents.

On the other hand, a lot of teachers adhere to foolish psychological theories that result in a morally permissive attitude that does not serve the kids well.

Based on my observation throughout my life (and I’ve known some BAD KIDS in my life), here is how I think things should be handled:

Know who your child is, and respect it. A lot of parents who spend a lot of time with their kids, and who guide them a lot, still end up having bad kids. People ask, “How could that child have so many problems when his parents spend so much time with him?” The Answer: The parents have no idea who their child is. All the time they spend with him is devoted to trying to form him into whatever they plan for him to be. When parents do this, the kid ends up with no respect for himself, and he’s a prime candidate for drugs and other trouble his peers bring to him.

An example would be a boy I knew whose parents were very snobbish lawyers. They wanted him to have a similar profession, but it turned out that he was very gifted at mechanical things and loved that kind of activity. Good parents would have let him pursue that interest and seen where it led. Maybe he’d be a mechanic, maybe he’d be an engineer, or maybe he’d find out he had some other inclination. If it’s good honest work, who cares?

His parents cared! They did not know how to face their snobbish friends and tell them that their son was taking cars apart in the back yard. Every time he made a move to indulge his natural talents, his parents opposed it. When parents oppose kids in this way, and try to mold them unnaturally, the result is a kid who doesn’t respect his own ability to make decisions for himself. He does what his parents tell him to do, and when he’s away from them, he does what his peers tell him to do. That’s how he gets into trouble. (This particular boy got into a lot of drugs and fighting, and he never really straightened out until he got away from his parents and could follow his own path.)

The kid needs moral absolutes. Moral absolutes are very unfashionable these days, but the alternative to them is wishy-washy situational ethics and moral relativism. Flexibility is a good thing, but when a child grows up with only flexibility and no principles, he’ll get into trouble, because he can’t make moral decisions well.

I often get approached by young women after my classes, and they want advice from me about their personal lives. Why do they approach their linguistics professor for personal relationship advice? It didn’t make sense to me until I asked them what advice their parents and friends had given them. The advice they’d gotten from other people was very mushy, and so they were approaching me because I’m opinionated.

One girl had been living with, and sleeping with a boyfriend who would never give up drugs, and she was doing it in her parents’ house! Another one had a boyfriend who was a pornographer, who obviously (to me) was trying various techniques to get her into the sex industry. These were not stupid girls, so how did they get into these predicaments?

No one had taught them any moral absolutes! Besides not having been taught to respect themselves, they had never been taught any solid principles of right and wrong. Everything depended on the situation and especially on people’s “feelings”. They had no clear sense that it’s good to get away from a drug addict or a procurer, and instead of telling them to run from these boys, their friends and families simply asked them how they and their boyfriends “feel”. This is how their situations got so bad.

Another thing that really made my life easier was that my parents and siblings made sure I learned how to fight when I was a child. This sounds insane to people in 2007, but my father and brother taught me basic boxing moves, and my parents put me in martial arts classes. I never got good at those things, but I could knock over and beat the face of a bully who was much bigger than me, until he ran away. Once it was known that I could do this, I was picked on much less. Bullies found that provoking me was too much trouble. However, I should add that my family and neighbors taught me fighting at the same time they taught me ethics, and if I’d been starting fights for no reason, I would have been in serious trouble.

I’ve got more to say about this, but this post is already too long.