TIPPING POINT: Phil Robertson Controversy is Backfiring on PC Culture


by Nancy Keaton

When talking to parents about how to address behaviors in their children, we always tell them to discuss the “behaviors” not the child as a person. “Running around in the restaurant is not appropriate behavior” tells the child specifically which behavior you think isn’t acceptable.

It leaves out the personality of a child, you aren’t telling them they’re a rotten kid because of what they are doing. You are not judging them, but you are instilling your values and telling them what is or isn’t acceptable. Other parents may not have a problem with their kids running around the restaurant but you do and you have every right to teach that value to your children.

Another thing we teach parents is that they should acknowledge their children’s emotions, as no emotions are wrong, but what they do with those emotions can be. We then tell parents it is not their job to “fix” their child’s emotions to make sure they are always happy. Kids can never learn to regulate their own emotions if every time they get upset the world grinds to a halt while everyone tries to please that kid. That only teaches a kid how to control and manipulate through hissy fits.

Discussing behavior you find unacceptable and teaching a child how to control their own emotions rather than allowing them to bully others into being responsible for their emotions – most parents want to practice these skills so that their children grow up to be responsible, mentally healthy adults. So how does this connect to Phil Robertson?

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