Seems to me that there are consequences in place for being late in high school. Your grades get dinged, you have detention, and more. So why does a parent in Eugene, Oregon feel that he has to subject his son to public humiliation to make his point?
An 11-year old boy raided the family fridge. Big deal–I’d be amazed if an 11-year old didn’t raid the fridge. But for his parents, that simple act was so bad that they made him spend every night in a tiny jail-cell of a room–concrete walls and floor, no windows (the only one had been bricked up), a bare bulb for light, and a ratty mattress and sleeping bag for warmth.
Apparently there was a starvation element, too. Doctors who examined the boy after his rescue said he was underweight and anemic.
Remember the story a few months ago about the 15-year old girl who was forced to get up in front of the whole school and announce that she was pregnant? Or the 14-year old boy whose parents forced him to stand on the street with a sign declaring that he’d receive Fs on his report card?
New research is just now confirming what most sane parents already knew: humiliating punishments actually do more harm than good. And that’s certainly the case with the newest entries into the ”it-seemed-like-a-clever-idea-at-the-time” category of parental stupidity.
A new study done by The Century Council, a leading non-profit dedicated to fighting drunk driving and underage drinking found that, contrary to what you might think (and to what teens would admit to mom and pop), parents are are the leading influence on their children’s decision not to drink alcohol. Yep, you read that right. In fact, parental influence has increased substantially over the past ten years.
Dear Mr. Dad: My mom watches my 3-year-old son while I work part-time. I appreciate her help but it bothers me that she spanks him when he misbehaves or disobeys. I’ve been meaning to speak with her about this, but have been holding off because I can’t afford to hire a babysitter and I don’t want to antagonize my mom. What do you suggest?
A: Boy, that’s a tough one. On one hand, it’s comforting—not to mention more convenient and less expensive—to have your son cared for by a loving relative while you’re at work. On the other, if you and your mom can’t reach an agreement on how to discipline your child, you’ve got a real problem—regardless of the financial savings or the convenience factor.
Dear Mr. Dad: On weekends my buddy comes over with his 1-year old son. My boy just turned two and has started acting aggressively towards the baby, even hitting him. How can I help them get along?
A: Hopefully your friend isn’t taking your son’s inhospitality personally, because it has nothing to do with him or his baby. As unpleasant as it can be for the people around them, aggressive behavior is very common for toddlers. It’s a normal developmental stage. He’s learning about cause and effect (Hmm. If I poke that little kid, he cries. What would happen if I pulled his hair?) That, however, doesn’t make the aggressive behavior okay. And you need to do whatever you can to stop it.