Why Won’t Parents Parent?

Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,

My granddaughter is a spoiled brat. She talks back to her mom. She demands and tells her mom what she’s going to do. She never gets consequences.

I had rules and consequences. I was good to my son and showed him love. However, I didn’t let him talk back to me or tell me what he was going to do. My daughter-in-law says things are different now.

My son had a star-chart and was rewarded for doing chores and obeying rules. He got special things, like a movie. When we stopped with the chart, we continued the practices.

I don’t understand why my son allows disrespect. He appreciates his wife being a “friend” to their daughter.

I love my daughter-in-law, but she coddles her girl too much, taking her shopping (allowing her to buy immodest clothes), to lunches, and spas.

My granddaughter also tries to manipulate me. It doesn’t work. Now she avoids me.

What can I do besides hanging her upside down by her toes?

Distressed Grandma

Dear Grandma,

You’re an amazing grandma. It seems you raised your son to be self-sufficient and responsible. You set boundaries and you are a good example for your son and his family. You’re a strong-willed person who can’t be bullied into changing your morals and ethics.

We need more parents who parent (which isn’t easy), and not parents who want to be friends with their kids. Parents are not there to do a friend’s job of being a confidant, a fun companion, or a sympathizer. They are there to protect, guide, and help their child to become a mature, good and responsible citizen in society.

Your son and daughter-in-law might have good intentions; however, they probably don’t realize they could be creating a narcissistic, entitled, and bullying daughter. Without boundaries, they inadvertently can contribute to their daughter’s conduct damaging herself and others.

Permissive parenting can produce the following behaviors in children:

• Difficulty in self-management and self-discipline, which causes low self-worth, masking pseudo-confidence;
• Future disappointing relationships when she doesn’t get her way;
• No long term satisfaction, which comes from hard work, ethics, manners, and healthy relationships;
• Inability to accept authority from anyone, including teachers, police, and other authorities;
• Permissive parents lose opportunities to help make important life decisions on vital issues with their children, like education and values.

Your granddaughter is in need of structure and limits. For all of your sakes, show this column to your son and daughter-in-law.

We applaud your concern for civility (but don’t use labels)!

Rhonda and Dr. Cheri

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