Environmental pressures

   It is often said that some parents tend to disengage from their children’s education. This translates into “giving up” or resigning the parent role.

   The exercise of a parent’s authority tends to encounter various difficulties, whether it is due to a parent’s personal education (e.g. lack of clear cut criteria, patience, firmness, or serenity), or due to their children’s education (e.g. lack of love and respect for elders). However, nowadays it is notably environmental pressures that tend to have a stronger influence.

   The following are examples of factors that influence a parent’s authority in a negative manner: the behavior of other parents; the lack of positive mass media; arbitrariness as the standard; the limited cultural content on television; the movies; Internet; confusion caused by doctrines; the rise of eroticism; the manipulation of advertisements; the confusion between tolerance and the abdication of rights and obligations; etc.

   Are all environmental influences negative? Of course not, the mass media can also contribute in building critical thinking and maturity in a person.

   On some occasions, environmental media do not seek to distort users, but neither to educate them. One example is advertising, since its main goal is to sell more than one product, and not to sell it in the best way possible. An educator, for example, seeks to spend better and not necessarily spend more. The goals of the consumerist society and those of the educational society are not the same. After watching television commercial ads, parents find it more difficult to create an austere family environment.

   On other occasions even, environmental pressures directly go against education. Eroticism and pornography, other than generating abundant income for its promoters, they consciously degrade human values.

   Due to these and other environmental pressures, nowadays the exercise of parental authority has become more difficult. This is why it is even more important to reflect upon the education of our children and collaborate with teachers of education centers to carry out the difficult task of educating (Translated by Gianna A. Sanchez Moretti).

   Arturo Ramo

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