Sat, 27 Jul 1996

'Parents losing control of kids'

JAKARTA (JP): Parents' control over their children is declining, a mental health expert has said.

"Children talk back more often, criticize and express their views freely, some even rebel when they disagree with their parents," Jusni Ichsan Solichin said in Mataram, Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, earlier this week.

Jusni is the head of the mental health sub-directorate of the Ministry of Health. She said that parents believe that parenting is something that can be done by instinct -- this is not entirely true, and parents should actively seek to create an environment which will help children grow, she argued.

Addressing a seminar entitled Increasing the Quality of Children's Education in the Family, Jusni pointed out that parents are often blamed for their children's brawling, drug use or burglary.

Jusni identified childrearing practices which are overly protective, or overly strict and critical, as well as inconsistency, as some of the "mistakes" many parents are guilty of.

She suggested remedies including giving the children enough of the parent's time, and instilling the values of respect, love and discipline in the children.

"Just because a child has a family does not mean that he or she knows how to face life and the future. Parents need to guide them until they enter adulthood," Jusni was quoted by Antara as saying. (14)