The Problem with Parents Today

“The problem with parents today is _____.”

Let’s stop right there and try a better statement:

The problem(s) with my parenting today is _____.”

The Problem with Parenting Today

There is no “parenting epidemic” in America. There is a personal responsibility epidemic. (Tweet That) | Share this Graphic on Pinterest | Share on Facebook

Before we go any further though, welcome to day one of Family Leadership Week. If you missed the announcement post two weeks ago, this week is inspired by the book, Parenting the QBQ Way: How to be an Outstanding Parent and Raise Great Kids Using the Power of Personal Accountability by John Miller.

Here is what the rest of the week looks like:

Tuesday, March 5: Book Review of Parenting the QBQ Way

Wednesday, March 6: QBQ Practice. This one should be fun.

Thursday, March 7: Interview with John Miller, Part One

Friday, March 8: Interview with John Miller, Part Two

Make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed or get posts via email (and get my free book as a bonus) so you don’t miss any of this week’s posts.

OK, so back to today’s topic…

The problem with parents…I mean my parenting today.

Family Leadership Week Matt McWilliamsI don’t know what your specific problems are. But you do. You can name every time you failed as a parent, every time you missed an important event, every time that you spoke harshly to your children (or spouse in front of them), and every time you swore you would never make the same mistakes your parents made…and then made them.

Yet we rarely miss an opportunity to criticize other parents.

We mentally berate the parent who gives in to her tantrum-throwing child in the line at the grocery store. He gets his chocolate bar and we shake our heads and remark about the entitlement mentality that the poor child is going to have when he grows up.

When the latest teenage celebrity is caught up in drugs, we rake their parents over the coals on Facebook.

We are quick to judge the parents of the school bully and quick to scold siblings whose children act up at Thanksgiving. We are secretly judgmental of the parents whose kids run rampant in the store…”Thank God my daughter is not like that. It must be because of my parental awesomeness.” (Or is that just me?)

All of that stops today.

And I mean all of it.

That includes the Christian “judgment in disguise” posts. “We need to pray for [insert celebrity parent],” we write. What we are really saying is, “Wow, that person is a horrible parent. Since we are so much better, let’s pray for them. Perhaps God can pass on some of my awesomeness to her.”

There is no “parenting epidemic” in America.

There is a personal accountability epidemic, of which I am the worst offender (you wouldn’t believe the levels at which I capable of blaming others for my mistakes). There is an epidemic of judging and finger pointing. And there is an epidemic of abdicating parental responsibility to the schools, churches, and television.

But the biggest problem with parents today is me. It’s my parenting.

Today, I take responsibility for our parenting of our daughter. Today, I resolve:

  1. To never again judge another’s parenting abilities or inabilities.
  2. To continually assess my parenting skills and fix what’s broken.
  3. To become a student of parenting and continue to educate myself about parenting at least as much as I educate myself about business.

What about you? Have you ever judged other parents? What do you resolve to do to become a better parent?

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  • Oh this is gonna be a good week here! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement.

    • Maybe this will stop Joel from blaming his son when the dishes don’t get done 😉 I, for one, know that my three month old is ALWAYS leaving his dishes laying around, not doing his share of the household chores, and just looks at you with a blank stare when you ask him to get up and do something around the house!! 😉

      • Wait until he gets older. My 12 year old son does the same thing. :) Actually, he’s a pretty good kid, but….

  • Wade_Thorson

    Thanks for doing this parenting week, should be very interesting. You are right, it is so much easier to judge others for thing they are doing that you don’t agree with. As a leader I spend a lot of time reading and listening to podcasts to become a better leader, but how many books or podcasts have I done over the last year to develop my kids. The raising of our kids should be way more important than our profession.

    • I am with you there Wade.

      To be perfectly honest, I almost didn’t put this in writing because I know I will fall short sometimes…but I also knew I needed to.

  • Amen. Great point. I completely agree, lack of personal responsibility is the problem today.
    I have definitely been there as well with judging other parents. However, I’m getting better about it after having someone that has no idea about parenting telling me how to parent my children :) Amazing the paradigm shift when you’re on the other side of it!
    The best thing we can do is be the best parent we can be to our kids, and then when other kids are around us and our kids, be great examples to them as well!
    Be the parents that all our kids’ friends think are awesome…not because they can do whatever they want or get whatever they want, but because we are loving, understanding, and we care.

    • Lack of personal responsibility and sense of entitlement. Do you think they go hand in hand?

  • Steve Pate

    “to be a better parent?”-Well I’ve been humbled by my awesome wife on this. She read a book a little while ago called “grace like parenting” and really practiced giving grace to our children when “we” think their not doing what we want them to do. A little ways into watching her really practice this, I had this thought,”If my father in heaven gives me TONS of grace and still loves me and does not get in my face and yells at me, I should be loving my kids the same way He loves me.”—what sucks about that thought, its so elementary almost to simple, but that’s the beauty about it.

    In just a short time, our 6 and 4 year old, responded with more respect to us because for one we give them respect but also their not afraid to respond to me because I’m willing to listen to what they are trying to express with out blowing up. –that’s grace.

    I’m telling ya, If you watch closely, a child can make you a better adult. Thanks Matt for taking time to focus on parenting this week. blessings on it.

    • I agree. I never used to think about the little things until we had our daughter. Now I am more conscious than ever.

    • I know my children are great at pointing out all of my flaws…not that they notice them or tell me about them…they just make them very obvious to me :)

  • You mean Skroppdidn’tbreakit?

    Thank you for writing this Matt. I need to improve my parenting in so many ways. And I feel blessed to have learned about this stuff and be able to teach my kids the power of personal accountability, starting with me.

    I intend to be less judgmental of other parents and start taking a look at my own flaws, because that’s the only thing I can work on.

    Looking forward to family leadership week!

    • nope, nothing broke here….yet…. mwaahahahaha!

    • Lily, based on this you are going to love John’s answer to your question.

  • Guilty as charged. My wife and I do take our parenting seriously though, and we’ve tried to help other parents along the way. A few years ago, we wrote a curriculum for parents based on the Supernanny TV series. Parenting isn’t a once and done deal. We don’t get it right and then get to coast. It takes constant work. There are no perfect parents out there and that includes me.

    Here’s the link to our curriculum recap: http://www.jonstolpe.com/2010/12/22/supernanny-parenting-discussion-guide-recap/

  • This is a constant struggle – there is a huge temptation to see the faults in others parenting. I need to resolve to not lose my temper in front of my son – and realize I’m accountable and not the thing that made me mad!

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