Monday, March 10, 2014

I Know People Without Kids Shouldn't Talk About Parenting, But. . .

There's a radio ad that plays around here regularly, for some parenting thing called Total Transformation.It starts with a line about 'I'll never forget the day my son shouted he hated me and slammed the door in my face.' Then it goes on to talk about how their method can help you deal with problems with your kid. Those problems include disrespect, defiance, and back talk.

I really hate it. Everything about the ad suggests children aren't viewed as a person, who might have their own problems causing the offending outbursts. Instead, the kids are treated like some malfunctioning piece of property. No different from a clogged garbage disposal or bad transmission. Who cares why it's not working, just make it do what you want it to again. I'm surprised they don't say, "For when the back of your hand doesn't stop the sass!" There's a real undercurrent of it, in the fact they only list symptoms, not causes. Maybe they're depressed, maybe they're having trouble at school, or with a significant other. If this system cares about that, the radio ad fails completely to convey that impression.

I'm sure it's difficult to help your kids when they don't want to talk, and I'm sure a lot of times they don't want to talk. I know I pretty much shut down as far as verbal communication went in my teen years. But trying to force, or trick, or whatever the kid into behaving how you want doesn't help. Unless you can help deal with why they're being disrespectful, it's just going to find other outlets. Might be good, might be bad, but they'll be dealing with those outlets without their parents help, since their parents will have demonstrated they're more concerned with appearances.

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