To kick things off, let it be said that I am not the perfect mother; I have many flaws and much to learn about being a parent. I base a great deal of the way I raise my son on how I was raised and what I learn from parents who I think are on the right track with their children’s development.
There are a few situations that I have witnessed of late and they are concerning me though. My initial thought is that perhaps we, as parents, are forgetting the very foundation our parents and their parents used to mould us into who we are today, talking about the decent humans here (not the ones who potentially need to be stoned for being degenerates).
As a child and even now, in my thirties, my parents are held in very high regard and my respect for them has grown in leaps and bounds since having my own child. Things that I have learnt are
· My folks will always give me the best advice, even when I don’t want to hear it, so asking their opinion is well worth it.
· Disrespecting or talking back to my folks will result in a smack whether I am 30 or 69.
· Everything my parents did were with good intentions and done to see to their kids, whether I realised when rolling my eyes or not.
But appreciating ones parents and being a good person did not happen of my own accord. I did not teach myself to respect my elders or mind my manners, my parents taught me all the good values and I, alone, chose to make stupid mistakes and take the wrong path at times. Are we giving our children the same upbringing or are we slacking on what we should be doing?
Discipline and the community
When I was growing up in the 80’s, everyone was my parent. My mother gave my teachers, my neighbours and any adult they were familiar with the right to discipline me if I went astray. My mom’s friends would call if they saw me smoking. My neighbours kept an eye on my after school activities. Everyone played a role in raising me. And I know the same went for a lot of my peers.
Today, and I am guilty of this myself, we often turn our heads the other way when we see children doing the wrong thing. We seem to have lost our sense of community and responsibility to each other when it comes to our children. I would love for people to let me know when my son is being a reprobate so that I can set him straight.
A good smack every so often
Now, this is not a suggestion to beat your children, I never got beaten and my son hasn’t received a smack in about a year nor has he gotten a beating. What I got was a well-deserved smack and what he got was the same. The reason he has not gotten a smack of late is because he has now learnt to recognise the look on my face, which indicates that a smack might come next and because all those small smacks have actually gotten him to ‘well-behaved’ status.
I think a lot of you reading this, probably got a smack too and that’s why I have to ask why it is so taboo now. The deterioration in children’s general behaviour since corporal punishment was eradicated in schools is obvious, so why are we so quick as modern day parents to shun the idea of having it reinstated?
Perhaps we need to drop all the airy-fairy tactics and go back to old school methods in order to get things back to normal.
The excuses just keep coming
We’ve all heard the excuses made for badly behaved children. I for one have a friend whose child is going through what I like to call the f-ing fours but the excuse for every tantrum, every bite and every bit of atrociousness is ‘shame, she’s tired’. No she is not tired! The brat just woke up! The reason that she behaves like an idiot is because she is never disciplined, because her behaviour is always excused.
A new excuse floating around the Fourways area of late is, my child has ADD/ADHD. Now I respect that there are children who really suffer from these disorders and I have great respect for their parents, but Ritalin seems to be the new answer to everything including not teaching ones children manners. I guarantee you that my son would also have ‘ADD’ if I left him to his own devices
We need to relook our position as modern day parents and remind ourselves that we are not raising our children for ourselves but to be sent out into the world to make a difference. Have a think about how much you could get away with if you acted like some of todays children.
On that note, I’ve got to get back to being a mom. My most important function