Parenting or Friending? Setting kids up for success

By Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA

im_not_your_friend_im_your_parent_napkins-r9be4e9f6db2b4fc4b4778a9677bbe7d9_2cfjc_8byvr_324Recently in the Wall Street Journal in the Opinion section, an article concerning parenting caught my eye. “Parenting in the Age of Awfulness Children are immersed in a culture that stokes disrespect.” This information discusses how to instill some civility.

The article by Leonard Sax, M.D. begins with “Kyle was absorbed in a video game on his cell phone, so I asked his mom, “How long has Kyle had a stomach ache?” Mom said, “I’m thinking it’s been about two days”. Then Kyle replied, “Shut up, mom. You don’t know what you’re talking about.” And he gave a snorty laugh, without looking up from his videogame. Kyle is 10 years old”.

I would never have dreamt of talking back because I knew the consequences.  Here is the problem for business.  This child will be looking for a job in a few years and you will be making decisions to hire or not to hire. Setting up success for a youngster’s future IS the parent’s responsibility.

If you are a parent, guardian or grandparent, you make choices every day on the type of adult you will spawn. My houseguest, Bob, and his daughter, Mary (12 years old), were recently visiting and I noticed a pattern being established.  Mary would go to bed at a reasonable hour, but with her tablet.  When I woke a few hours later, I noticed that she was still playing on her ‘machine’. Then she slept until 1:00 PM. Is this the best habit for a youngster?

Dr. Sax has a great solution. Let them have their smart phone or whatever, but take the charger. Or in my opinion, time for bed? . . . time for me to take the equipment away. Period. I am the adult, they are the child.

Dr. Charles A. Czeisler, M.D., Ph.D., a professor of sleep medicine at Harvard Medical School, makes the case that “electric lighting can seriously affect our natural sleep cycles. He explained  that just like our ears are important for both hearing and balance, our eyes also have two purposes — vision and influence over our circadian clocks. When our eyes are exposed to artificial light, it stops sleep promoting neurons and activates arousing neurons, leading us to feel less sleepy”, he explained.

8572385“Here’s some of what those parents have taught me” says Dr. Sax. “Require respectful behavior at all times. It’s OK to disagree. It’s never OK to be disrespectful. Prioritize the family. The family meal at home is more important than piling on after-school extracurricular activities. Instead of boosting self-esteem, teach humility. Fight the cultural imperative to be “awesome”.

Now this is the kind of person I will hire. Why are sound habits and personal responsibility so illusive today?

What is your take on this topic?  Would love to hear from you!

Cheers, Marsha

PS: My fabulous friend and assistant, Jan Olsen, sent me this:


Good article, Marsha!  I’ve been accused by other parents for being too strict. I can live with that. Here is some great information about the health hazards of those electronics on young kids.11 Reasons Why Children under the Age of 12 Should Not Use Handheld Devices. Scary. Lazy parents are ruining their kids. By the way, here’s the envelope from Christian’s Christmas card to me. He’s 18, towers over me, and still fears me. I can live with that, too. 🙂  Thanks.  Jan.

For more information on working with Marsha, please contact Marcia Snow, MPS Business Manager
Marsha Petrie Sue, MBA is the Muhammad Ali of personal development, leadership, communications and managing change. As a former corporate executive, her business knowledge, experience as an executive coach, professional speaker and best selling author delivers messages that are memorable, entertaining and content heavy. She dares people to take personal responsibility for their choices, success and life. Marsha is an original and one-of-a-kind professional speaker and author.

Be Sociable, Share!

One Comment

  1. As parents our kids is our 1st priority. To make sure that they’ll succeed and have the best resources they need.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *