This blog is a response to another college assignment to analyze and respond to the Frontline video “Growing Up Online”. “
To me, this video is more of a how to on bad parenting skills than a hymn of the downfall of children.
Granted, most of the children in this video are spoiled rotten butt-potatoes in need of a serious attitude adjustment but it leaves one to wonder how did they end up like that?
It is evident to me that the attitudes and actions of the parents shown is uninformed and they take an almost hands off approach to parenting their children.
For as long as they have existed children always test the boundaries of their parents. It is natural for children to see what they can get away with.
Before video games there were parties and lover’s lanes and every bit the same opportunities that there are now in a social media infiltrated world.
One could argue pretty effectively the case that the things we worry about our children doing were even more readily accessible back then since the things that could actually produce harm were at hand.
As bad as it is now, the computer isn’t going to sell your child a hit of coke. Meaning that though they could potentially find those things from someone somewhere at some point the “things” are not physically present as they would be at a high school weekend party.
The flip side to all of that is the emotional part. It is indisputably far easier for kids today to become victims of bullying and to get made fun of on a much wider scale than seen in the past and much more quickly.
Also, there is an element to social media interaction that is faceless. It promotes anonymity removing guilt that would normally hold some children in check.
It also has a way of diminishing the humanity associated with people that is there in traditional social interaction.
We need to step up as parents and quit being victims of society and our own children.
We need to regulate our children’s lives so that they can be as safe as possible and educate them as to what is appropriate behavior.
We can’t take the mindset that it’s a different world now and sit back and let our kids run all over us.
Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and rules for your children and for God sake don’t be afraid to punish children through chores or taking away privileges or the tried and true “You’re grounded!” when they cross those boundaries.
As the saying goes “kids will be kids”, well, if “kids will be kids than parents need to be parents.
They are our responsibility. They are not our friends, not our buddies or partners, they are our children and it falls on our shoulders to make sure we show them the ropes of being a decent person before they leave the nest and it is too late.