“Dad, what you said offended me!” My eight year old said as I scolded her for a minor offense. “You have the right to be offended, but it doesn’t get you off the hook, you’re still going to your room.” This exchange though quite trivial, really got me thinking about this new idea some kids have that being offended by something somehow absolves them from guilt and lets them off the hook.
Instead of sheltering my children from reality, I expect them to embrace it, and this all starts at home. By excusing every single movement, children are growing up without a sense of responsibility or accountability for their actions. You can be offended, but it doesn’t make you any less responsible for your actions. Taking offense and expecting an absolution of guilt just isn’t the real world. Responsibility is waiting for you whether you acknowledge it or not.
Suddenly disciplining your children is out of vogue these days and as a result there are entitled brats who do not respect any authority and feel like the rules don’t apply to them in society. People who’d sooner grab a sign, paint it with slogans and protest their own family than respect them. There are children demanding that adults cater to their warped world view, trying to call the shots from the very kingdom their parents built for them and it’s laughable at best and heartbreaking at its worst.
Fortunately I am seeing a nod back to standards in parenting, with a modern twist. Both parents are realizing how vital their role is in their child’s development, and many realize that their family structure is important to the wellness of their child as they age. Parents are taking an active role, setting structures and defining their own familial code of morality that results in kids respecting (the right) authority, respecting their parents, and ultimately learning to respect themselves.