The tragedy in Parental Influence

Greater parental responsibilities, now there's Brooklyn, for us is both exciting and unnerving. Because we know if we aren't careful, we'll mess it up. Especially me. I've been a personal witness to too many examples of parent/s being the primary reason why children end up dysfunctional. In their personal, social, and consumer lives.

This is true especially for those households where parents don't have the ability or the courage to 'let go' of their children, at the right time. And what makes the scene even more dangerous is the subtlety of it all. The 'controlling' parent is snug in feeling of being a 'guide'. The adolescent initially is all to happy to go along because it brings in a sense of false security. After all, if its my dad or mom who says it, how can it be wrong? Also, what if I were to decide and it turns out wrong? Too often I see this go to an extent from where there's no turning back. By that time, the grown up-child's decision making ability has been almost irreparably damaged. Now what's even more disturbing is the continuity of it all. The scene never changes. Parents despite having their kids marry, maybe even move away still try and retain and run 'remote control'. Soon you'll see a couple turn into a crowd with parents jostling for space. And it can only be disaster that follows.

Parental influence in children's lives must never be underestimated. It's potent and at play all the time. More often for the worse than for better. Its wise parents who know when to let go. I must also say the timing's the key. But then the sad reality around us is the opposite. Its more of parents who can't let go, who don't know they are a regressive influence in their kids' lives, and who pump up 'emotional blackmail' should kids try and break free.

Of course, this has marketing implications too. The consumer socialisation of 'controlled' children sees them making consumer choices similar to that of their parents. The decision process they undertake to make choices will eerily be a copy of their parents. The personalities they exhibit and the consumer choices it dictates, will mirror their dad or their mom's.

In contrast, children who've been set 'free' will make bolder and more 'individualistic' choices that may not mirror their parents. In fact their decision making will see them bringing in criteria that are solely personal. And they will in no way be consumer-clones of their parents.

What can I say, Amen to that.


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