Saturday, 7 March 2015

Parental Interference

One of the many jobs of a parent is to guide their children toward being a well-informed and responsible adult.  Unfortunately many parents take it to the extreme of trying to mould their children into versions of themselves, or into the kind of people they themselves wanted to be when they were younger.  Often this entails keeping the children ignorant of information that they will need, or steering them away from their dreams in favour of the "proper" way.

The following quotes speak for themselves:

"My parents would always do room searches where they'd go through my stuff and take anything they didn't agree with, and break any CD's that they didn't think were Christian. I tried to hide things behind bookshelves. I even tried to create a hole in my wall. But nothing worked. I remember getting in trouble for leaning up against my friend at church. The youth pastor said we were acting like lesbians, and my mom said I was ruining her reputation."

"Recently I've encountered a problem that I believe this is the solution to.  My little ones have been asking to read the Harry Potter books, and of course I'm happy for them to be reading, but I don't want them turning into witches!  Why not make some slight changes so these books are family friendly?  This story has all the adventure of JKR's books; but will not lead your children astray.  I may not be a professional writer but I think I am being given the talent to pull this off in service of a greater mission."

"When I was six I expressed a desire to go into nursing.  My grandmother was a nurse's aide and loved the job although she never glossed over how hard it was.  However my parents strenuously dissuaded me, saying that nursing offered insufficient pay for the amount of work, plus there was a chance of catching some disease.  My mother said I had to choose an acceptable profession because she didn't want me to end up scrubbing other people's floors."

When parents become too forceful in their attempts to mould their children (particularly teenagers) it only causes more rebellion.  In extreme cases, this can break up a family.  Sometimes people need to step back a bit and allow their young to make mistakes and learn from them.  Otherwise their lives will be full of resentment and painful experiences.

On the other hand, there are people who just make bad decisions no matter what, but that's another topic.


  1. Parents definitely give kids their first images of themselves!

  2. It can be a hard line to find - where does good parenting stop and overprotectiveness and meddling begin?

  3. I was raised in a strict household but I'm fortunate they never "brow beat me". I was encouraged in very positive ways to achieve everything I could. I am thankful for such supportive but protective parents.

  4. Parenting sure is hard! I think there is a nice middle ground that I like to live in. Not too strict that my kids feel smothered or will rebel behind my back, and not so loosey goosey that they do whatever they wish and run the show. I like to give them the tools they need to make their own decisions and spread their wings WHILE I am still able to guide and mold them.