12 Rules for Life
Jordan Peterson
Contributed by Nina Calhoun
Chapter 5

Some parents are not successful in training their children to have desirable behaviors. The development of undesirable behaviors among children occurs over a specific period of time pertinent to when they start to learning the norms for socialization. However, during this period, their parents may not be careful to correct them. Later on, parents can be full of regret only when the embarrassment of the child’s actions and behaviors sets in. Usually at this point, it is either too late or extremely difficult to implement change Parents play an integral role in the development of children and their role in society. As children grow up, they become a result of the parenting style that was used in the years spend at home. Peterson states that "Parents are the arbiters of society. They teach children how to behave so that other people will be able to interact meaningfully and productively with them.” One of the most striking statements in this chapter is that the devil in young adults and teenagers does not magically appear. Someone must have watered the tree of indiscipline, pruned it and provided it an environment to thrive in. When parents fail to do their job correctly, they are hindering the child’s success in the world.


The discussion on the influence of parents on their children spread to the foundations of the world. One might even argue on a religious basis by claiming that the Bible provides reasoning that it is the parents’ responsibility to provide direction to their children, using this as a pivot for an argument based on historical precedents. As children grow and start to demonstrate strange behaviors, parents start complaining. In some cases, parents fail to understand the techniques and styles they utilize with be reflected in their children. The most important gift that parents can give to their children is to prepare them to face the challenges in the world by instilling good morals and discipline in them.

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