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Are you letting your children run feral? Michael Carr-Gregg thinks so!

Posted by Meg Parkinson on 20 October 2014

Wowww! I personally have a lot of respect for Michael Carr Gregg. I always think his solutions to parent's dilemmas are very practical, sensible and effective. That is why I was VERY surprised to read this report. It sounds like he has just had enough! I have added some ideas to help you say no at the end.

Following is a report written by Sarah Sedghi
A prominent Australian psychologist has warned Australia is currently raising a generation of spoilt brats, because their parents are "crap" and "never say no".
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg believes today's parents have a lot to answer for, and there may be serious long-term consequences for Australia.
Dr Carr-Gregg attributes the rise of poorly-behaved children to five major parenting problems.

"The first [problem] is that there are too many parents being doormats for their kids. They have got what I call a vitamin N deficiency, which is a failure to say no.
"It's incredibly important that parents set limits and boundaries and I don't know that that's happening at the moment."
Dr Carr-Gregg identified the "helicopter parent" as another "model of crap parenting" he was targeting in his work.
"The high-strung, control-freak parents that want to smother their kids with so much love and attention and monitoring and supervision that they never, ever develop any self-reliance and can't solve their own problems later on."


The Australian psychologist said he has seen ample evidence of the consequences to these types of parenting, not just in his own clinic but in schools around Australia.
The short-term consequences you can see in restaurants, waiting rooms and airports, these kids who are just completely feral, running out of control.
"We've had people moving to these artificial villages called cities, primarily to get jobs and in doing so, a lot of the kinship networks have been destroyed.
"A lot of the wisdom around parenting, which was derived from grandparents, for example, has no longer been so readily available."
The consequences of bad parenting has both short- and long-term effects, warned Dr Carr-Gregg.
"The short-term consequences you can see in restaurants and in waiting rooms and in airports throughout Australia, where you have these kids who are just completely feral, running out of control.
"Parents don't do anything about it because they're frightened of being seen as bad parents or frightened to say no."
Dr Carr-Gregg said this style of parenting has major effects on the mental health of children and adolescents as they grow up.
"Long-term, I think what we're doing is infantilising a lot of children into incompetence."


I think, from speaking to the parents that I work with that the real difficulty is to KEEP saying no. I would like to outline a couple of reasons why it is so important to  persevere:

1. Children feel safe and supported when strong and fair boundaries are in place.
I always say to parents, imagine  being 2 or 4 or 6 or even 12 knowing that you always get to make the decisions and that you are in charge. It would be a bit scary wouldn't i? When children feel safe, knowing that a strong and fair adult is in charge, they can learn more, do more and are far more likely to develop at an age appropriate rate.

2. Saying no to your children will not harm their self-esteem.
In fact, research suggests that children with more freedom  have lower self-esteem,  whereas the clearer the rules and limits set by parents the higher the child's self esteem. Remember self esteem = feeling good + doing well. NOT just feeling good. Expect your child to follow your rules and meet your expectations and surprisingly, they will actually feel better about themselves!

What to do: Start small. Ask yourself some questions. What do you think your child needs to learn right now? What boundaries do you need to put in place to help them learn this?  Make this the area where you can be firm.

3. If  you feel as if you are saying no to everything, try this:. Find a way to 'yes'
On many occasions, children ask us for something, and we want to say no. Try using if . then or when .. then statements instead. For example, your child may ask, "May I watch T.V?"  Instead of saying no, you can reply, "When you finish your homework.. then you may watch T.V."

I hope you fing these ideas helpful as you continue to take a stand and say no.

Author:Meg Parkinson
Tags:being assertiveMichael Carr - GreggSaying no to childrenChildren not listening to instructionsparenting tips