Soft Parenting Won't Work In Today's Harsh World, Parents Should Prepare Kids For Real Life

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald February 22, 04:00 am
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It's instinctive for parents to shower their kids with love and attention. In doing so, however, some moms or dads forego a strong approach to discipline in favor of a friendlier approach called soft parenting or permissive parenting. In today's harsh world, is this parenting style still effective?

No parent would want to raise children who are rude and wayward troublemakers. Some believe they can prevent this if they pay more attention to their children's needs and feelings; to become the children's "friends."

Moms and dads who indulge their kids want to show that they can be reliable allies who shield their sons or daughters from negativity. They equate this technique to good parenting. Such an approach, however, could also limit the children's exposure to challenges, pressures and struggles.

Dr. Ciara Kelly of Independent, who is a mom to teens, points out the tendency of some parents to baby their children with a soft parenting approach. As a result, today's young generation is dubbed as the "snowflake generation" because many are unable to deal with life's stressors due to their parents' overprotection and coddling.

Kelly believes that it's wrong for parents to pretend that life is not tough and unfair because it is. Kids who are given boundaries, structure, rules and routines, which comes from a more authoritative parenting approach, become more aware that life can be rough. Thus, they learn to deal with it early on.

The coddled generation, whose feelings parents try not to offend, have not learned to grow up, per Michael Brown of Townhall. Some of today's college-age kids are unprepared for the realities of life that simple problems or disappointments make them anxious. Some have trouble keeping jobs or staying in relationships as adults because they cannot deal with disappointments well.

Experts say that good parenting should be a mix of tough love. Kids require a balance of firmness, especially in their younger years, and a loving or understanding approach, especially in their teenage years to prepare them for adulthood.

What are your thoughts on soft parenting? Do you believe this style does more harm than good for the kids?

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