Today’s child seems to think that their parents or persons of a certain age are not authority figures. What a counter-intuitive development!   The adults/parents in the room have set up a society where children think they are our “equals.” Everything is owed to our children. All Julian has to say is, “sorry,” or show some degree of remorse, and the shuttle service resumes service.

Very often, the baseball field replicates the atmosphere at home.   Julian is known for swearing, verbally abusing both parents and hitting his mother.  This confuses his parents, as Julian is the “model child” around other children and their parents. As a result, his parents frequently “cave in” to his demands.   Since he is so good around others, they feel sorry for him and don’t want to deprive him of positive social situations. From the outside-in, it appears as if Julian is living a dual life.

On the baseball field, Julian presents in an angelic manner.   He is aware that leading up to arriving at the game, he has not spoken appropriately to his mother; however, no one would ever know. Julian shows up, takes his position and carries on with his game day preparations.   The inner Julian feels shame and embarrassment. The game commences.

The right to play is a privilege not a right. Parents need to get over the fact that they cannot ‘take away’ their child’s passion, what they are good at. The paradigm needs to shift to one of choices. This can only happen through the proper guidance.   The way a child like Julian gets what is expected is through learning that hard work pays off.

Parents must decide their philosophy of parenting together and then develop a united front.   Julian will get the message when the message transmitted is free of excuses and full of opportunity and empowerment. Parents must lift the veil of denial and see how they are damaging their children by not laying down the “law of the land.” Expectations must be clear and consistent.

Children understand internally that it is wrong to reward bad behaviour. Their actions clearly suggest to their parents that this approach is not working.