Of late, a question I have kept asking fellow parents is, are we abandoning our parental authority and leaving our children to do as they please?
What is authority? According to the dictionary, it is the ability to lead or govern. Are we comfortable with the way we govern our homes? Just as with other types of authority, parental authority starts with leadership.
However, how seriously do parents take this role?
Leadership is also about influence. It is about convincing people to take a direction they would not have taken on their own.
Instead, good leadership has been replaced by a watereddown version that affords children excessive liberties.
Values are important for a leader to excel. Thus, as leaders in homes, parents need to have values, which they are mandated to pass on to their family members.
Yes, the current generation argues about everything, but that does not mean as parents we should regard them as enemies. Rather, these children are members of our family and they have to submit to our leadership even when they do not feel like doing so.
To be successful leaders, parents have to define the family values as well as our expectations of their character.
We must also clarify expectations in the home, so there are no grey areas. Once we have made this clear, we can take our children accountable for behaviour that does not align with what we have taught them.
We can then institute a worthy punishment or rebuke.
However, for the parent’s authority to be effective, they need to ask themselves whether their words are in line with their actions.
If parents do what they say then our children will adopt the values we have set for them.