Parenting is hard; maybe it’s so hard that you’ve given up. Well, if you’re going to fail at raising kids, make it epic with these 5 ways to absolutely ruin your relationship with your kids:
1. Encourage the Chasm
Kids and parents divide every morning and go their separate ways. We divide in the church parking lot and each go our own direction; we divide at the mall, some of us even divide in our own homes, as kids retreat to their rooms alone, surrounded by a digital social world on their mobile devices.
If you want your relationship with your kids to suffer, just encourage this cultural divide. Never provide opportunities to hang out as a family, don’t eat meals together, and by all means don’t be proactive and plan anything creative or fun with your kids.
2. Just Hope for the Best
In a recent survey, 69% of young people admitted they take measures to hide their online behavior from their parents. Sadly, the same study revealed “74% of parents say they don’t have the time or the energy to keep up with everything their child is doing online,” and “72% of parents say they are overwhelmed by modern technology and just hope for the best.”
Don’t bother with parenting hassles like keeping up with our kids’ online behavior. Three-quarters of parents have just given up on this front, so you might as well join them. Let your kids figure it all out on their own.
3. Stay Silent About Sex and Porn
It’s a sad reality, but the people who should be talking with their kids about important subjects are quiet, while people who only see our kids in terms of ratings or dollars are extremely loud.
In a world full of explicit lies, our kids need parents who aren’t afraid to tell them the explicit truth. So how do most parents respond? They stay quiet and hope their kids don’t ask any questions.
That’s okay. They’ll go elsewhere with their questions. After all, there’s a whole internet full of answers.
4. Freak Out
When your kid does open up and share something vulnerable with you, make sure you do what most parents instinctively do: freak out!
In author Shaunti Feldhahn’s book For Parents Only, she asked teenagers about their communication with their parents. Three out of four kids in her survey said they would like to share things with their parents—as long as they were sure they wouldn’t overreact. In others words, “I’d like to ask Mom this question, but I’m pretty sure she’d flip out.”
So if you’re tired of your kids asking you questions and engaging in dialogue with you, just go with your gut and overreact.
5. Parent Like a Parole Officer
If you really want to ruin your relationship with your kids, forget bonding altogether and swing that parenting practice pendulum toward extreme boundaries. In fact, make sure whenever you do engage in conversations with your kids, you ask them questions as if you were their parole officer::
Why do you ask?
Where did you hear that?
Was it from that boy Chris? I knew I shouldn’t let you hang out with that boy!!!
It’s never too late to put effort into bonding with your kid. As you glance over these 5 Ways to Ruin Your Relationship with Your Kid, which one hits home?
What can you do to begin to remedy the situation this week?