Being a parent in the twenty-first century is difficult. When it comes to raising a child, parents must not only love and provide for the child’s welfare, but also instill moral values, good manners, acknowledge positive reinforcement, and administer disciplinary measures when necessary. Parents are the fundamental role model in teaching children right from wrong, as well as teaching them to respect the adults around them.
Moral values are the fundamental elements children need in order to grow up into a happy, responsible, good-hearted individual. Schools cannot teach these. Only the parents are the perfect teachers in this lesson of life. Without these, psychological problems will result. Children need to be well-mannered in order to function successfully in society.
Since society, the media, and the entertainment industry provide nothing but materialistic wants over basic needs and manipulative tactics over basic self-control, children lack that one important element. They lack respect for themselves, their parents, and society in general. Let’s face it, society has drastically changed since the "Leave it To Beaver" days. So what’s a parent to do?
To raise a child to be a well-mannered, responsible adult, parents must concentrate on both the quantity and quality of time spent with them. Many parents lack the time or energy needed to devote to their children. Time is essential in establishing a solid, loving parent-child relationship. Once this bond is achieved, honesty and trust are then instilled.
Parents who spend little or not time with their child are unfortunately promoting ill-rooted feelings to develop, such as low self-esteem, withdrawal, rebellion, and perhaps, depression. It is no wonder that troubled youngsters will fight society and run away from home, join gangs, or even turn to a life of crime.
Every child deserves to be loved for the wonderful human being he/she is. Parents must demonstrate their love toward their children by serving as a positive role model, and by encouraging them to succeed in life. However, the society in which we live in today makes that quite difficult.
Yet what about parents who have no control over their children? For the parents of a teenage son who commits murder, or of a small child who purposely sets fire to his mobile home with his little sister still in it, is there any hope for them? Who is to blame for these children’s actions? Should the parents be held accountable? What about society, the media, or the entertainment industry?
What about when we see a young child running like a savage animal in a church or a store, and the parent standing idly by doing nothing, it makes us wonder how this child must behave at school or at home? At school, a child is seen teasing or fighting with a peer, and again we wonder why don’t the parents teach this child respect for themselves as well as for others?
At the earliest stage of a child’s development, children should be taught what is acceptable behavior and what is not. If parents allow unacceptable behavior to occur without punishment or restraints, they will lose control of the child.