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Susan Venter
 
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Be the best parent you can be

30 May 2014, 12:28

I recently read the article  about “tiger parenting”.

Here is the thing… No parent is perfect.  We all make mistakes.  Of course there are certain things we all know qualifies as “bad parenting”, but opinions on how to raise your child differs from person to person.

I am not a fan of corporal punishment.  Though I was spanked as a child, and it didn’t traumatise me in the least, I don’t believe in solving violence with violence.  If your opinion differs (and you don’t beat your child like an animal) I can respect that.

I do have a problem with “care free parenting”.  Letting your child decide what they want to do, when they want to do it, how they want to do it.  Let me give an example:

I can’t remember the names, but I read an article in some magazine (it was quite a while ago) about parents refusing to reveal the gender of their child.  They wanted the child to decide on their own, which gender they would be.

How in the world can you expect a child, who cannot even feed, bathe or care for themselves decide what gender they want to be?!  This poor baby doesn’t even know what the hell gender is.  So now he/she is given the option of dolls or cars, pink or blue…  Vagina or penis?!?!

If there is one thing a child yearns for, and absolutely needs, it’s structure.  If your child is given 200 options every single day, you are successfully confusing the hell out of your child.  There is nothing wrong with telling your child that he is a boy or that she is a girl.  You don’t have to tell him that boys only play with cars or only wear blue, but when it comes to guiding that child and helping them realise what is reality it’s your responsibility.

Most transgender/gay people realize that they are different from a very young age, and if that is the case with your child, help them and support them, don’t reject them.  It’s a very complicated situation, and with children going through phases, it’s difficult to establish whether that child is just going through a phase or truly is different.  Seek the help of a professional.  Trying to force your child into a certain “society created box” will not help them.  If they truly are gay/transgender they will need all the love and support in world.

We are given the great responsibility and privilege of having children, so it is our responsibility to guide children, and by guide I mean gently helping them with their decisions and guiding them when they are wrong.  We should discipline them when they misbehave, and teach them that certain actions have certain consequences.  We should establish authority as parents, and teach our children to respect that.  You can’t expect a child to respect teachers or his/her boss one day if you never taught your child to respect authority.

As parents we should be exactly that… A parent, not a friend.

It’s due to this “relaxed” and carefree style that our children become so misbehaved and end up disrespectful little monsters.  I cringe when I see a child poking another with a stick, or slapping them or whatever, and the parents sit there… “oh, little Johnny is so cute, look he’s playing with his friends… Awe.” Get off your pathetic @ss and tell your child that they are misbehaving!

Another thing I can’t stand is parents who just don’t care.  Mostly young women (but not limited to) smoke and drink while pregnant.  Are you really that stupid?  Do you know what that smoke and alcohol is doing to your baby?  Or are you just too selfish to care?  There is NO and I mean NO excuse for smoking or drinking while pregnant.  Go ahead and smoke like a chimney before and after (after – just keep your child clear of second hand smoke please), and I also enjoy a drink every now and again.  There is nothing in this world wrong with that. 

Don’t get me started on car seats.

Look I know that there are worse things done to children, but those people should be sterilized and castrated, but people doing bad things to children don’t excuse lacklustre parenting.

If you have children you have to do your absolute best to provide the best and love that child with every inch of you being!  Materialistic things, don’t love and care.  Don’t try to be the perfect parent, try to be the best one you can be.

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