WASHINGTON - Do you coddle your kids or do you tell them to “man up?” In this FOX 5 Unfiltered, we are taking a look at two differing parenting perspectives.
Tre Johnson, former offensive tackle for the Washington Redskins who is now a commentator, teacher and coach, and Nayada Cowherd, a parent coach and founder of Parents Stop, joined us on FOX 5 News to discuss this. (Watch the full segment in the video above)
Cowherd said she is concerned that the “man up” mantra encourages people to grow into non-caring and uncompassionate adults.
“As we're growing up, our parents did what they needed to do,” said Cowherd. “We were left home alone, we were left to fend for ourselves, we were left to man up and figure it out. But look what we've become now. So I don't think this is a society that we really want to live in and I am fearful of our next generation.”
Johnson has five children and said he has noticed differences between his childhood and his kids.
“I was a latchkey kid at seven,” said Johnson. “My mom said you need to learn to live as if I’m not going to be here anymore, so the values that I instill in you are to prepare you -- to not only be loved a lot, but to be loved well.
“I fear for my personal kids who we spoil to death and I see the differences when things don't go their way, how they react, and they're not necessarily ready to take on that confrontational role when need be because we're all supposed to be so nice.”
These days, it seems children who play sports all receive participation trophies. But in real life, not everybody gets to play. Both Johnson and Cowherd believe these kids are in for a harsh reality that life may not be like that.
“I think that you're going to have to learn to live with disappointment,” Johnson said. “Everybody in life doesn't get what they want, but they always get what they deserve. You deserve what you work for, what you earn, and when we start giving entitlement instead of accountability, I think it sends the wrong message. They’re limiting these kids. You're going to need stunt doubles for the kids on the playground.
“You can’t do anything. You can’t be a kid anymore. What are they going to be at as adults? How do you learn?”
“But I think that what we have to teach our children is to find it from within and not from without, so that entitlement, that participation trophy is ridiculous to be honest,” Cowherd said. “However, acknowledgement for their participation, certainly you should get that. But it has to come from within and I think children need to learn they are competing against themselves more than they are competing against everyone else. So yes, you have to push and you have to fight, but someone has to teach you how to find that from within yourself.”