(Disclaimer) I probably am stepping on a few toes with this post, but perhaps it needs to be said and perhaps it needs to be heard. Please read this post with objectivity and understand that I am generalising and if you don’t fit into the generalisation, then this post won’t offend you.
Do you remember the moment you discovered you were going to be a parent? The overwhelming feeling: you were bursting with such joy but scared as hell because you knew that this life was 100% dependant on you? Do you recall how the magnitude of this responsibility weighed so heavily on you? Do you recall making small promises to your unborn child to give them the best that you possibly could and ensure that they will be productive citizens of the world?
Then, nine months later hear comes this beautiful child and your love seems limitless and relentless. You promise to protect your child with every fibre of your being and all you wish to do is make sure your child will never understand how cruel this world can be?
Fast forward to the general terrible twos and the terrible threes and you don’t understand why all of a sardine your child is becoming a little demon spawn and you can’t handle this child? Let me give you context as to why you are struggling with your little offspring. The first time your little angel threw a tantrum, throwing themselves on the floor and kicked and was screaming like a banshee in a shopping centre because you said no, you quickly complied to avoid embarrassment. And perpetually you managed to convince your child that no can become yes, the moment your little darling threw themselves down and created an Oscar winning performance.
Cue a few more years when your kid turns 7 or 8 and now you’re dealing with a different level of asshole. Yes, I said it. Because the little asshole is so entitled, the demands for more expensive toys and gifts as well as what your household consumes now is at the mercy of the whims of a child who does not know what it is to earn a cent. But you comply. Because you don’t want to upset your little offspring. Nope, consequences, the concept of waiting, saving and working for what you want is foreign and you do nothing to ratify this behaviour.
Furthermore, you start realising that your decisions are purely based on the fact that you don’t want to cause emotional distress to your little baby. HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. No one died receiving NO occasionally. And no one has ever died because mommy felt like having fish instead of smileys for dinner. If a child is hungry a child will eat. That little future president can in the same breath learn to say thank you for that fish that is in front of them because you know what, you worked for it, you earned that money and you paid for it, so little royalty better be damn well grateful….
Nevertheless, fast forward to preteen years, and now your child demands the best smart phone and because you want the best for you child you go out and purchase the smartest phone for the kid. Hell, you go and get a better phone than the one you have, but as we said we want only the best is for your child and you won’t compromise. AAAAAND cue antisocial moody bastard. Why, because the grip on reality your little offspring is now ploughed into social media where FOMO and anxiety they experience from not living in the social media moment is not worth being an engaging individual in real company. Let’s not forget the fact that your little genius now can’t spell or read a simple exam question but can maintain 41 group chats at once.
Now, let’s fast forward another 3 or four years. Now you have a full-blown teenager that’s rude, disrespectful and a self-absorbed brat that’s ungrateful and pretending to adult better than you can. Further to that, your semi adult now becomes more demanding, behaves more entitled and you wonder how your little angel turned out to be the biggest pain in ass and you don’t know how to manage your own house hold. Honey, adulting means you can take care of yourself, have the emotional intelligence to make the right decisions for your future that doesn’t satisfy impulsive short-term satisfaction.
So, until a child can do any of the aforementioned things, and earn their own money, best believe you can’t semi-adult nothing!!! Don’t sit at a table with adults and contribute like you know anything. I will backhand you, I will slap you so hard that you will crap teeth for a week thereafter. Know your place!!! That’s what happened to me growing up, I turned out perfectly fine! (Sorry that was a rant I just had based on an experience I recently had with a teeny bopper that required every ounce of self-control… You can bet that was not my offspring)
Finally, your child exits the home and is left for the world to deal with. Your obnoxious irritant now should enter the workforce, never having understood rejection or respecting authority, expecting everything be handed over to them on a silver platter and assuming that their tantrums will move their potential employers. Your child has no concept of money, the value of earning money and can’t even spell. They have no understanding of working within a team and allowing themselves to sit back as an individual so the team can shine as a collective. They become depressed and dejected and are not even a glimmer of the productive citizen that you hoped to produce. Instead they become part of the ugly in the world you wanted to protect them from.
This the very future that will lead us, the citizens that we hope will lead the world into a better tomorrow. Children are being failed. Daily. Because the shift of power and balance has been handed over to a child that was never ready for that kind of control.
Endeavours to open opportunities for our children to be better and have better, we have subconsciously handed over the reins of power and we are doing an injustice to our youth. I blame the parents. I blame parents, kids are who they are, we can’t separate that a child represents the parents and what happens at home.
Remember before you had a child? You had an opinion, you were an individual. Parenting should not consume your being to the point where you lose sight of who and what you are. Parenting should not mean compromising your marriage and eventually diminishing the value of your partnership.
Remember when homes were built with parents being the ultimate authority and children subjected to that authority. We had less but we grew up stronger. Giving your child better, does not mean in quantity but rather quality. Children should know what a healthy relationship is through the relationship that you have with your partner. They need to see that things aren’t always immediately available to them but hearing no, and understand that sometimes working for something makes it so much more worth it and therefore appreciate things more.
Why have I written this message, well, I used to be a youth leader, I have four children that cross the spectrum of all age groups, I have also contributed to raising current young adults and occasionally still find myself counselling wayward kids. Just yesterday a found myself confronted with a rebellious 14-year-old who attempted to run away from home. Apart from counselling her, I was brought back to this one thing, “why was it so easy for this child to run away, attempt to manipulate her family with her behaviour and not give a flying hoot as to the impact this had on her family?” BECAUSE SHE GOT AWAY WITH IT BEFORE AND ENJOYED THE DRAMA AND ATTENTION.
Perhaps it is time for us to go back to the basics and swing the pendulum to the balance where parents can parent. A child can child and adulting happens when adulting should.