Dr Joyce Willard Teal

Happy african american boy with father and grandfather sitting on sofa at home

No parent wants to describe him or herself as a bad parent. ‘Bad parenting’ is used to describe people who are not parenting in a way that will help their child or children become fulfilled, successful adult(s). They aren’t keeping the necessary focus. Of course reasons vary: too busy with other responsibilities to take the time needed to learn about being an active, effective parent; parenting too much of a chore; aren’t up to the task, or in the worst case scenario, simply don’t care enough to parent well. While we like to think that all parents give at least a good faith effort towards effectively parenting their young children and teens, this, unfortunately, is just not the case.

If we admit it, most of us know parents who just don’t do the job of parenting well. But regardless of the reasons, parents are responsible for assuring that their sons are aware of things they should avoid as they negotiate the journey from boyhood to manhood. And good parents do, but when parents fail to do this job adequately, their sons often fail to avoid many of the pitfalls that land them in trouble in life, including in serious trouble with the law.

As parents it’s our responsibility to teach, guide and encourage our kids. If we do our job right, they generally go on to become responsible, contributing members of society. And this is certainly the desire of most parents for their children.

Teach your son to avoid the appearance of slothfulness. He needs to know that no matter what the current fashion is at the time, when it comes to an interview, job/work, or special occasions, he should grab an iron. Walking around all wrinkled and creased sends a message of slothfulness.
Teach your son to avoid inappropriate internet sites. Talk with your son from time to time about what you mean by the phrase inappropriate internet sites. Your son should also be encouraged to avoid other boys who exert peer pressure to get him to access these inappropriate sites. In fact, teach him to avoid peers who try to persuade him to do things that he knows his parents would not approve, things that are potentially trouble-making for him and others.
Another thing your son should avoid is speaking and/or behaving disrespectfully. And while some would say that he should avoid speaking or behaving disrespectfully in the presence of adults, it is appropriate that he should avoid speaking and/or behaving disrespectfully period! If he does avoid this, he will form a good habit for a lifetime: speaking and behaving respectfully, and he won’t have to be concerned about accidentally saying something inappropriate when he is in the presence of adults. Additionally, he will set a good example for the younger family members with whom he has frequent contact.
Your son should avoid cutting school. Make it clear to your son that when you send him to school, you have the expectation that he will go there. Make it clear to him that should he go elsewhere, his safety is at risk for hours before you are even aware that his safety is at risk. Have ongoing conversations with your son on this subject during his formative years, so that he internalizes the importance of going to school and staying at school during the hours when school is in session.

Joyce W. Teal

Joyce W. Teal

Dr. Teal began writing professionally in 1995 and has had several award-winning poems published. Her first book, It’s O.K. To Be Different, was written for boys and girls between the ages of nine and fifteen, but has universal appeal, has since been published in a New Millennium Edition. It is currently being read by children as well as adults.