Raising children is tough. In the first Its Not As Tough As You
Think I suggested that this is one situation where it might even be
tougher than you think. Even if so, we should still try and find ways to
smooth out the bumps.
One of the most difficult problems parents confront is that children today are more defiant than in times past. The 1960s appear to have been a watershed. Respect for authority dwindled to imperceptibility. Why, when I was in grade school we trembled at the thought of being sent to the principals office. Todays children couldnt care less. Today
teachers tremble lest a student eludes the metal detectors and sneaks in with firearms.
All authority has suffered. Court orders are openly defied.
Religious leaders find that their flocks do pretty much what they please. Police are on the defensive. Given this cultural attitude, how can we get our children to listen to us?
I think the only chance we have is to show them how its done. Parents should be a model of deference to authority. Lets think a
moment. When is the last time we deferred to authority?
Whether or not you have a fuzz-buster, violating the speed limit and taking pride in how you got away with it is far from uncommon. One may boast about having gotten away with it while the kids are in the back seat. What do they hear? Dad broke the law and didnt get caught! Wow, thats great! If thats what we teach our kids, how can we expect
them to obey our rules? All they will try to do is avoid getting caught.
Suppose a child in the back seat says, Daddy, how come all those cars are passing you? You say, Billy, the speed limit here is 65. I dont care what others do. I obey the law. Youve given
Billy a powerful lesson in obeying the rules.
There are many other times when we can do this. Lets make it a point to obey rules even if we dont agree with them, even if we could get away with breaking them. Lets model for our kids by deferring to authority even when we disagree with authority. This doesnt guarantee
that our children will listen to us, but it does give us a fighting chance.