Lesson 80: Befriend with Your Kids?

Looking back to the past one year, you may or may not be successful in achieving your goals in handling your child yet. How could we teach our kids in a more effective way? Most of the parents have always think that the kids nowadays are hard to teach, therefore they decided to be friend their kids. What is the meaning of “befriend”? In the point of view of most of the parents, “befriend” means mutual respect, zero interference and to be supportive. Hence, when their kids dislike doing something, these parents would not force them. However, there are some matters which requires some pressure towards the kids.

Quite some time ago I made a call to a father to know more about his child. That 10-year-old child had been absent for almost a month but the parents did not inform us. I was quite curious so i called the father.

“Well, I have no choice! Huh! He doesn’t listen to me! Oh dear...” I could hear him sighing on the other end. “He is just right beside me. Oh my God! He is scolding me! With vulgar language! Oh my! What should I do?” I could hear him smiling wryly.

Vulgar words? How could you do this to your own father?

Thus, I replied immediately, “Mr. Chan, you must stop him right now! How could a child be so rude?”

“Oh I... Look at him, he is scolding with all the vulgar words again! Oh my God! He is smirking!” The father continued to complained.

“Mr. Chan, then you must teach him! Regardless of the situation, one should not use vulgar words. He will listen because you are his father,” I was quite demented. Reinforcement and punishment must be done right after a certain behavior to be effective. If I were him, I would just tell the child off to stop it right away.

However, this father did not take any action. How could I take further action to help you then? It was upsetting. When your child has difficulties in differentiating the right and wrong or when he made a mistake, would you still afraid to teach him because you are afraid that you might hurt his feeling?
Sometimes, we must be strict to our child.

There were a few teenagers who showed great reluctance when they attended our camp. They protested with silent throughout the camp. Before they were sent to the camp, they usually argued with their parents to show their objection. Why? Because they prefer to stay at home, doing nothing, playing games or their phones. However, their parents knew what was the thing that they needed so the parents dragged them to the camp.

Unfortunately, not every parent was strict enough. Most of the parents give a lot of freedom to their child, even some of the things may not be beneficial to their child. Problems would arise when the child grows up.

What are the problems?

Number one, lack of motivation a.k.a. lazy.
“My child scored well when he was younger so I allowed him to play anything that he wanted. However, after he attended secondary school, he became lazy.” Typical teenagers do not have dream so they would not want to do anything. These are what they always say when you ask them about their dream, “I don’t know. I don’t care. Never mind. Let it be.” They were doing quite well when they were young but lacking proper management from the parents had caused them to lose their drive.

Number two, addiction to computer games.
“He plays computer games every day. At least 4- 5 hours a day. No proper eating or sleeping time. Quite worrying!” These are what the parents would always say. Some kids who were more severe in addiction would play for 8- 10 hours per day.

Number three, problems in socializing.
“She was too introvert, quiet and doesn’t perform in front of others. She would stone if anyone would look at her.” Many teenagers encounter the same issue. They do not socialize with others except their computer games and phones, which created worries among the parents.

Number four, emotion management issue.
There was a 14-year-old teenager who uphold great anger towards his mother. One day his mother was late to pick him up. He called her and scolded her in the phone, “You forgot about me, didn’t you? Useless! You’re going to be regret!” Then he ran out from our center. I stopped him immediately but he pushed me away. I almost fell onto the ground. This was a serious case but most of the teenagers have issue in handling their temper and manner.

Based on my own experiences, it was quite impossible for the kids to change tremendously even after attending the class for half a year. Thus, what should parents do?

If you fail to do things at the proper time, they will go wrong. 

There will be always a starting point for anything.
The kids who are lazy were just lazy for a second in the beginning.
The kids who were addicted to games were just playing for a short moment in the beginning.
The kids who do not talk were just being quiet for a little moment.
The kids who have temper were just being a little rude when they talked.

Who made them this way?

It is the parents who did not teach them on time. We should correct our child when you notice even a minor deviation in their behaviors. Or else, you are helping them to instill bad habits. Mr. Chan whom I talked through the phone was an example. A father did not gain respect from his child because he did not correct and did not teach his child the right behavior. If you want to befriend your child, you must be a true friend who could lead him to the right path.

Do you think that the child is still young and it does not really matter to you? Please think twice. Correct, teach and start on time, would help to prevent the worsening of the issue. 
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