What do You Want for Your Child?

By Tehnish Paramiswaran


We’ve all seen it—the scream of an 8-year-old in the middle of the restaurant whose parents simply can’t control him; the kid who screams and berates his parents at a public park because he’s not ready to leave yet; the 3-year-old who throws a major tantrum in a grocery aisle just because he didn’t get his desired toy.

All of these experiences occur because children these days are entitled to immediate gratification. Always staying at home playing video games and not going out to find a job, yet they are already 26. Why? Because parents tried to be “nice” and let them do whatever they wanted as a teen.

The problem involves parents that remain lenient when it comes to child-rearing, and ultimately raise their child into a self entitled brat. Parents should lay down the law, tighten restrictions on their children, so that they learn the discipline needed in life.

In her book Raising America: Experts, Parents, and a Century of Advice About Children, Ann Hulbert recounts how there has always been a tension among the various recommended parenting styles, a pendulum swinging back and forth between them over the decades. Yet the underlying goal of good parenting has long been the same: to raise children who will grow into productive, happy adults.

I know of a kid who said that he didn’t like others riding in the same car as him, so instead of having their child learn to tolerate others, the parents wasted gas by driving their kids individually to school. By the time they’re teenagers, they have zero experience with hardship. Parents immediate reaction is to help, but life’s about adapting and overcoming difficult situations.  

Dan Kindlon, a child psychologist and lecturer at Harvard, warns against what he calls our “discomfort with discomfort” in his book Too Much of a Good Thing: Raising Children of Character in an Indulgent Age. Kindlon exclaims that,“If kids cannot experience painful feelings, they will not develop ‘psychological immunity’.”

“It is like the way our body’s immune system develops,” he elaborates. “You have to be exposed to pathogens, or your body will not know how to build a immune system to it. Kids also need exposure to discomfort, failure, and struggle.”

Every parent earnestly tries to do the best for their children, despite having faulty methods. Showering them with affection before they even fail, is not always the way to go. Parents should realize that instilling discipline will propel their kids to success.

My father once said, “Being disciplined creates the bridge between goals and accomplishments,” so I ask of us today to take some initiative to raise our kids the right way.


Works Cited

  1. Gottlieb, Lori. “Parents Should Allow Children to Experience Unhappiness and Pain.” Parenting, edited  by Roman Espejo, Greenhaven Press, 2013. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/EJ3010863211/OVIC?u=60iskl&xid=e86d034d.  Accessed 19 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “How to Land Your Children in Therapy,” Atlantic, July-Aug. 2011.
  2. Morefield, Scott. “Parents Should Have the Right to Properly Discipline their Children.” Opposing Viewpoints Online Collection, Gale, 2018. Opposing Viewpoints in Context, http://link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PGANII046900359/OVIC?u=60iskl&xid=30eec01b. Accessed 19 Mar. 2018. Originally published as “Who Owns Our Kids?” The Blaze, 20 Apr. 2015.

3 thoughts on “What do You Want for Your Child?

  1. Tim Farrow

    This was a great read. You mentioned the pendulum swinging back and forth between different parenting styles; I bet older generations would have opinions to share about that! Every generation gets to experience very different things.

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