They Just Don’t Listen

It’s amazing.  You tell them something and it’s like they’re deaf; like they haven’t heard a word you said. They just keep going over the same points as if you didn’t hear them the first time.  You know who I’m talking about: parents of course.

Surprised?  Did you think we were referring to someone else?

The fact is, parents have a tendency to share important information in a very prescriptive manner. As defined, prescriptive is ‘the imposition or enforcement of a rule or method.’

While this prescriptive approach worked in what we’ll call the old days, it doesn’t appear to be working now. And for numerous reasons.  Parents and other adult figures in the lives of young people used to be prime sources of information simply because there were not a whole lot of options. They were a captive audience.

Fast forward and we live in a world where information abounds, but here’s the kicker. The information is generally not being shared with young people by their parents or other adults. They are getting it from their peers or discovering it on their own online.

While the influence of adults may not be what it was in terms of dominance, it is needed now as much as ever.  Maybe more.  Especially in the context of workplace safety.

One of the downsides of appearing worldly as so many young people do, given their extensive world view, is that they can find themselves in circumstances that see them in over their heads.

As knowledgeable as they are, there is often a huge gap between their knowledge- the know; and experience – the how;  how to properly and safely operate a piece of equipment;  how to deal with a harassment issue.

This is where they can really use your help.  And support.  But it won’t happen if we as parents continuously offer the same advice about working safely. We need to listen.  To identify if they are under stress or if something might be bothering them at work.  And ask the right questions.

For information on how you can be a more effective resource for your young working child visit

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