Power To The Parents
Psychologist urges parents to be tougher with teens.
oday's parents have only themselves to
blame if their teens are sullen, domineer-
ing and disobedient, says psychologist
and syndicated columnist John
In a Jan. 16 talk co-sponsored by the Hillel Day
School of Metropolitan Detroit PTO and the
Detroit Country Day Middle School Parents
Association, Rosemond gave his recipe for "teen-
proofing" America's households. He advocates
throwing out the politically correct jargon of
parental involvement and empathy and substituting
the authoritarian and "consequentialist" child-rear-
ing techniques practiced by previous generations of
"Children were happier in the `50s than they are
today," he told an audience of about 250 at
Country Day's Seligman Family Performing Arts
Center in Beverly Hills. "The rate of child and teen
depression has soared. Since 1965, the suicide rate
for children and teens has increased by -a factor of
"The reason they are not as happy," he said, "is
that they are not being raised in as sane a way."
Rosemond is the author of nine books on parent-
ing, including Parent Power: A Common-Sense
Approach to Parenting in the `90s and Beyond
After his Jan. 16 talk, which he called 7politically and psychologically incorrect," parent advocate John Rosemond
(Andrews McMeel; $9.95) and Because I Said So!•
signed copies of his books.
366 Insighul and Thought-Provoking Reflections on
Parenting and Family Life (Andrews McMeel;
$14.95). He was a family psychologist for 20 years
before beginning the Center for Affirmative
Parenting, with locations in Indianapolis and
he said. "I feel our problems begin when we don't
ner party. A few weeks later, she asked to spend the
stand up to our children when they are 2 years old
night at a friend's house, but was told she had to
A frequent lecturer to parents and educators,
and say, 'Do what I tell you.'"
stay home — as a result of her earlier transgressions.
Rosemond publishes Traditional Parent magazine
Ideally, Rosemond said, this is when teen-proofing
From this type of experience, Rosemond said, his
and writes a column of parenting advice that appears begins. For parents who haven't begun effectively
children learned the life lesson that, while making
in more than 175 newspapers.
taking control by their children's pre-teen years, he
good decisions may not always be rewarded, bad
Chairing his local appearance were Nancy Adler
had specific hints on such trigger-points as setting
decisions are punished — eventually.
and Mindy Liebman of the Hillel PTO, and LeeAnn curfews, managing cash and handling conflict.
Audience members seemed to take Rosemond's
Mills and Debbie Partrich of the Country Day
In general, his advice for times of parenting uncer- message to heart.
Middle School Parent Association. It was the first
tainty centered on: "Ask yourself: 'What would your
"Parents need to stop being pushovers. Kids need
time the two schools have joined on a project.
parents have done?'"
boundaries," said Anne Rottman of West
And the answer: Discipline and the setting of limits.
Bloomfield, whose children are 10 and 13.
As the father of two children — both now in their
"Rosemond made you think about what you are
Back To Basics
20s and living independently — Rosemond was not
doing and what you can do differently," said Debi
Throughout his talk, Rosemond spoke fondly of the
one to engage in shouting matches with his
King of West Bloomfield, whose children are 9 and 12.
way his North Carolina parents — and, by implication,
teenagers. If they disobeyed either parent, their pun-
"If my father were at this meeting," said Erin
most parents of the 1950s — raised their children.
ishment came at the parent's convenience.
Stilman, "he would be saying, 'I told you so, I told
"In many of today's families, a child is being raised
At one point, he remembered, his daughter
you so." Stilman, who lives in Farmington Hills,
by a servant [the mother] and a buddy [the father],"
refused to help clean the house before an adult din-
has two children, ages 11 and 14.