Okay so I’m the first to admit that my kids are somewhat naughty, somewhat spoiled and somewhat hard to handle.
And an ABC article outlining a report done by prominent Australian psychologist, Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg brought these concerns to the light as he reported that Australian parents are “raising a generation of spoilt brats, because their parents are “crap” and “never say no”.
Dr. Michael Carr-Gregg believes that there are five main parenting problems that are leading to our ‘crappy’ parenting, as demonstrated in schools, on the streets and in public areas.
Okay, so Dr. Michael may be right here. Or he may be wrong. He may be speaking the truth. Or he may be just being mean. After all, every parent is different and every parent uses a slightly different discipline method. But, in any case, Ouch!!!
What are we doing wrong?
So what exactly are we doing so badly? We’re not drinking and smoking drugs in front of the kids. We’re not leaving them in hot cars while we go to the pokies. We’re not hitting them. But this is what we are doing that could be leading to the rise of poorly-behaved children:
- We do not say “No” enough. Dr. Michael suggests that too many parents are being doormats for their kids and not saying “No” enough.
- We are smothering them. Dr. Michael also cites “helicopter parenting” as another problem with our parenting skills these days, suggesting that giving our kids too much love and attention, monitoring and supervision can result in the child’s inability to solve his own problems down the road.
- City living is another cause for concern for Dr. Michael as he writes “we’ve had people moving to these artificial villages called cities, primarily to get jobs and in doing so, a lot of the kinship networks have been destroyed.”
- Not relying on grandparents wisdom is the fourth slap on the wrist for modern parents as Dr Michael states that “a lot of the wisdom around parenting, which was derived from grandparents, for example, has no longer been so readily available.”
What is the damage?
So smothering, living in cities and talking to other parents rather than our grandparents are causing are children to suffer? But what are we doing to them exactly?
Dr. Michael suggests that this type of parenting results in spoiled brats that are out of control but that it also is “infantilising a lot of children into incompetence.” Without discipline and structure our children could grow up to be spoiled, selfish and self-conscious.
Dr. Michael writes,
“the short-term consequences you can see in restaurants and in waiting rooms and in airports throughout Australia, where you have these kids who are just completely feral, running out of control. Parents don’t do anything about it because they’re frightened of being seen as bad parents or frightened to say no.”
Oh shit…. was this the guy that was shaking his head at me the other day at the airport?
Is he talking directly to me? Surely I’m not the only parent that sometimes loses control…and sometimes in public? Apologies Dr. Michael and the rest of the people who watched that public tantrum occur but I promise you felt a lot more embarrassed and awful about the situation than you may have known, especially as we had been in transit for over 24 hours. And my kids did get some serious disciplining once we got home out of the view of 200 people who probably didn’t want to watch me turn into the Dragon Lady.
Yes, we all have ‘crap’ days where our parenting skills may suffer. And most of us know when we’ve had a bad day and maybe we haven’t been the best parent in the world. But I also assure you, we are doing the best we can. Every single day.
So what do you guys think? Do you agree that we could be raising a generation of brats or do you believe you are doing a pretty good job? Are we doing a “crap” job at parenting?
Find out what your parenting style is (could you be raising a brat?) – What Type of Mum Are You?