Parents get no respect from their children, writes therapist Patricia Dalton in the Washington Post. Instead of the parental look that commanded obedience, she sees the “feeble nod of parental acquiescence.”
In my office, I have seen small children call their parents names and tell them how stupid they are; I have heard adolescents use strings of expletives toward them; and I remember one 6-year-old whose parents told me he refused to obey, debated them ad nauseam and sometimes even lashed out. As if on cue, the boy kicked his father right there in the office. When I asked the father how he reacts at home, he told me that he runs to another room!
It came to me like a lightning bolt: Not only are the kids unafraid of their parents, parents are afraid of their kids!
Dalton tells parents to expect their children to do household chores, lighten up on “our frenetic investment in their academic, sporting and social achievements” and get a life.