Many critics have warned about how current parenting trends are shaping children into irresponsible adults with an elevated sense of self entitlement.
There is an outcry about the number of millennials who are failing to perform as adult members of the community. In fact, the problem is so bad that some universities now teach adulting courses.
An article on Fast Company.com says Adulting School was founded in 2016 in Portland, Maine, by therapist Rachel Weinstein, who often treated young adults, who were overwhelmed and unprepared for some of life’s everyday challenges.
Whether you want to learn conflict resolution, how to keep healthy boundaries, and nutrition stuff, how to host a dinner party, change a tyre, or balance a budget, there is an adulting class for you.
Commenting on adulting lessons, Leonora Wagobera, says those are things that parents taught their children during her generation.
“What a shame that a grown woman or man has to pay money to be taught live,” she says. She blames this situation on what she describes as permissive parents who just give and give their children with no end.
“There are children that have never heard a word from their parents. When they ask for something, the parent asks what size or quantity they want. This might look like they are being generous parents but they are denying their children the chance to face the realities of life,” says Wagobera, a mother of four adult children.
She says she taught her children to be responsible early in life and that is why they are thriving. “I taught them to work for what they earned, to help those who are less privileged and I held them accountable every time they broke the rules or failed. I made it clear to them that when they finished university they were on their own,” the proud mother says.
She says responsibility should be taught from when the children are still young. “Teach them to be self-supporting from the moment they are old enough to pick up their toys. Give them the responsibility of keeping their toys away and reward them for doing it. Children respond better to reward than punishment sometimes,” says Wagobera.
However, she cautions against giving children responsibilities that are beyond their developmental abilities because it will create anxiety. “Some parents go overboard with their expectations and are too strict.
Children aged 10 and below still need adult supervision when doing chores. While teenagers need independence and opportunities to make their own decisions.
When parents give children too many chores or spend too much time supervising older children, taking responsibility, ceases,” she says
Evelyne Kharono Lufafa, a child development expert, says personalities are set at a young age and parents should endeavour to shape their children at this stage instead of waiting to do it in adulthood. “The best time to talk to your children about religious beliefs, lifestyle choices, societal values and cultural norms is when they are young. Once they become teenagers, they are exposed to many competing influences and yours might be the least demanding,” she says.
She advises parents to be actively involved in the development of their children right from the time they are toddlers. “When a parent is involved, they will be able to choose the activities and people their children interact with and what experiences they are exposed to. Positive role models are likely to have a positive effect on the child,” Kharono says.
Kharono says it is very important for parents to explain to their children the values they want them to learn.
“Children learn from watching what their parents do, as opposed to what they tell them to do. If you are always running late for work and complaining how difficult work is, they might pick that attitude in their future work life,” she says.
Kharono says bad role models have physical, mental and emotional effects on the physical development and growth of children.
She warns that a child who is exposed to conflict between what their parents say and what they do, is likely to get involved in criminal behaviour or substance abuse.