Kenneth Hordge Parenting Speech

by beagooddad on August 17, 2006

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Kenneth Hordge is motivational speaker who travels the country giving speeches to help people be a better parent. He recently stopped in Decatur, IL. The Herald & Review covered the speech.

He makes several good points like:

“Do you know where your children are at all times?” Hordge said. “You are in competition with the world. Your job is to be their main influence. Everything they do, it has to be (in their minds), ‘What did Mom say about this?’ “

Knowing what your kids are doing is hugely important. My parents always wanted to know where I was going. They very rarely complained about what I was doing, but if I was leaving one friend’s house for another, I had to call first. They would always want to know if there were adults around or not and what we were planning on doing. Again, they just wanted to know. They did not tell me no all that often. I am sure this kept me out of a ton of trouble as a kid. I rarely rebelled against it. I would make the quick phone call and be off to the next adventure.

I do have a problem with one of the quotations:

Another important job for a parent is to teach a child the difference between “friends” and “associates,” he said. A friend will help you and be a positive factor in your life; an associate is a negative influence.

The quotation is not really given a context, so maybe it just needs some more explanation. His definition of friends is fine. But, are all associates really negative influences? What that would tell a kid is that he has about 10 people in the world that are going to help him out in life, and the rest of the world is out to get him. That’s just not true.
Most people in the world do not care one way or another about you. They do not try to harm or help. They just give you coffee at the restaurant, give you homework in class, and build roads for you to drive on.

Teaching kids to look out for negative influences is an important job of being a parent. But, so is not making your child a nervous, twitchy fool afraid to talk to anybody that was not in his play group in grade school. There are billions of people in the world that your kids should be able to smile at, hold the door for, and say “Have a nice day” to.

That is how we meet new people that will someday be our friends.

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