Author Archives: charles bouchard

Father Knows Best?

Parenting isn’t easy.  It is one of the toughest jobs  I know.  But as parents, we must always remember that we ARE the parent.  Children naturally look to us to provide them with guidelines, set the rules, correct and discipline behavior, etc.  Too many times in today’s society I encounter parents who are reluctant to take their role as the parent.  Instead of asserting themselves in that position and telling the child what to do, I catch parents asking their child for “permission” to do something that we all know is good for them.   For example, a parent brings a child to church with the intent of attending Sunday School.  The parent approaches the child’s Sunday School room.  The child shows disapproval and suddenly the great debate begins.  The conversation goes something like this:

Parent: “Here’s your class, Johnny.  Go on in.”

Child: “No!  I don’t want to go!”

Parent: “Oh, what’s wrong, Johnny?”

Child:  “I don’t want to go!  I don’t like my class.”

Parent:  “Oh, well maybe just for a little while?”

Child: “No!”

Parent: “Ok, well let’s go.  I don’t want you upset.  Maybe next week.”

And every week it’s the same story.  The feelings of the child override what the parent knows is best for the child.  As parents, it is our job to not only know what is best for the child, but to enforce our parental authority.  Too many parents today are walking around doing what the child wants them to do and not what is best for the child.  Instead of “Father knows best!” it is “The child knows best!”   If this cycle continues as the child develops, it will manifest itself all the way through to adolescence.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?


Parenting: 101?

A recent post on Facebook reminded me that the parenting of today is not the same parenting that we practiced back in the day.   Let me explain:  A 5-year old child doesn’t get his or her own way and storms off from the parents in a rage, retreating to their bedroom, slamming the bedroom door and locking it.  The parents threaten the child with the promise that the next time that happens, the bedroom door will be removed.  Once again it happens and the parents are quickly applauded for making good on the promise and removing the bedroom door.   What happens next?

Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but back in the day, a child of that age wouldn’t have had the opportunity to turn his or her back on their parents and “storm off in a rage.”  That child would have been immediately snatched up by the shirttail and the correction process would have taken place right there before they took two steps back.  That child would never have made it to the bedroom, nor been given another opportunity to express their dissatisfaction with the parents decision.

Am I right?  Am I wrong?  Do we give the children of today a longer leash?  Were we too quick to correct back in the day?  Tell me what you think.

Walk a Mile in My Shoes!

Staying connected is one of the essential elements to maintaining a healthy relationship with your teen.  Staying connected means not only open communication, but also having sense enough to remember what it was like to face those adolescent years yourself.  It takes putting yourself in their shoes and remembering what it was like for you as an adolescent.

In today’s society, it is so easy to fall prey to the demands that are thrown at us as adults.  Sometimes, we fail to remember that our first priority is our children.  We need to get out of our own minds, our own thought processes and our own busy lives to actively pursue what our teens are facing every day.    If we don’t make a conscious effort to show them we care about what they are going through, we’ll find ourselves living in different worlds.

What are you doing today to stay connected with your teen?   Are you listening to what they are not saying?   Let me hear what you got.

Two’s Company, Three’s a Crowd!

Back in the day, any time one person wanted to be alone with somebody else, they would use the cliche, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd.”.  Today, you seldom hear it spoken, however, with the usage of cell phone texting, I’d like to bring it back.  I’d actually like to reword it to say, “Two’s company, texting not allowed!”

Nothing seems to frustrate me more than when I am engaged in conversation with my son or daughter and they are equally engaged in conversation with me . . . and several other friends at the same time.  I cherish the time spent with them and I find the texting to be an intrusion into our private moments.

They call it multitasking, but I’m curious, do any of you feel the same way?  Am  I old-fashion or just possessive?  What do you think?  Let me hear from you.

Growing Pains?

Over the years, Carol and I have seen a growing trend in the development of children as they move towards adolescence.  It seems that the level of maturity in a child today is much less than that of a child of the same age just a few years back.

I’d like to attribute it to two main things that I have witnessed in the realm of parenting.  In general, today’s parents seem to coddle or pamper their child much more and discipline a whole lot less.  What do you think?  I am interested in your feedback.  Is this the growing trend? Why do you think the level of maturity has decreased?  Give me your feedback.