I read an interesting article online earlier this week, and let me tell you – it spoke volumes to me. This article vocalized my thoughts and opinions that I had tried (unsuccessfully) to put into words.
This article was about why today’s parenting is in a crisis.
Below I will paraphrase the article, which details the top five reasons why parenting is in such serious trouble.
1. Parents fear their children
The author explains her “sippy cup test.” Here, she observes a parent getting her young child a cup of milk in the morning.
If the baby human says that she wants a different cup than the one being used, and the parent has already poured the milk into the cup, she watches to see how they react.
All too often, the parent hurries to get the “correct” cup before the child throws the fit of a lifetime.
Wrong-o! What are these parents scared of? Who is the boss?!
You let that teeny baby have a tantrum, and vacate yourself from the area you don’t have to hear it, if you feel the need. Don’t make extra work for yourself just to make that kiddo happy — even more importantly, consider the life lesson it teaches if they get what they want because they throw a fit.
2. Lower standards
When children misbehave, many of today’s parents are apt to pass it off as if to say, “That’s just the way it is with kids.” It doesn’t have to be!
Kids are much more capable than some parents typically expect from them – whether it’s in the form of manners, respect for others, chores, generosity, or self-control.
You don’t think a child can sit through dinner at a restaurant? You don’t think a child can clear the table without being asked? Wrong!
The only reason kids don’t behave is because their parents haven’t shown them how and haven’t expected it of them.
It’s that simple. Raise the bar and the child will rise with it.
3. Where’d the “village” go?
It used to be that bus drivers, teachers, and other adults and parents had the right (and expectation) to correct a misbehaving child.
They would act as the parent’s eyes and ears when their children were out of sight, and everyone worked towards the same shared interest: raising good boys and girls.
This village was one of support.
Now, when someone who is not the child’s parent dares to correct them, the parents get upset.
They want their child to appear perfect, so they often don’t accept teachers’ and others’ reports that he is not. They’ll storm in and blame a teacher rather than discipline their child for acting out in class.
These parents feel the need to portray a picture of the perfect child to the world and, unfortunately, their insecurity is reinforced because many parents do judge one another. If a child is having a tantrum, all eyes turn disapprovingly to the parents. Instead they should be supported - chances are the fit occurred because they aren’t giving in to one of the child’s demands. Those observers should instead be saying, “Hey, good work — I know setting limits is hard.”
4. Shortcuts are the go-to
It’s wonderful that today’s parents have all sorts of electronics and devices to help them through car rides and long waits at the doctor’s office.
Parents are busier than ever, and everyone is (or should be) all for taking the easy way when it’s necessary.
However, shortcuts can be a slippery slope.
Don’t be tempted to use them when you are at a restaurant or in other similar situations.
Children must still learn patience. They must still learn to entertain themselves. Babies have to learn to self-soothe instead of sitting in a vibrating chair or being rocked each time they’re fussy. Toddlers need to pick themselves up when they fall down instead of just raising their arms to Dad or Mom.
Teach children that these shortcuts can be helpful from time to time, but that there is great satisfaction in doing things the “slow way,” too.
5. Putting a child’s needs ahead of your own
It goes without saying that parents are wired to take care of their children first, and this is a good thing! Many experts are advocates of adhering to a schedule that suits a child’s needs and of practices like feeding and clothing the children first.
But parents today have taken it too far, completely bypassing their own needs and mental health for the sake of their children.
Quite often, parents get up from bed again and again to answer the whim of their child or drop whatever they’re doing to answer their child’s call.
There is nothing wrong with using the word “no” on occasion, nothing wrong with asking a child to entertain themselves for a few minutes because you would like to use the toilet in private or flick through a magazine, for that matter. You’re allowed to!
The idea scares me that if we don’t start to correct these parenting mistakes (and soon!), the children we are raising will grow up to be entitled, selfish, impatient, and rude adults.
The thing is, it won’t be their fault — it will be ours. If we never taught them any differently, we can’t expect any more of them.
So please, parents, ask more; expect more; share life’s struggles; give less. We can straighten these children out, together, and prepare them for what they need to be successful in the real world.
The original article was written by Emma Jenner and can be read at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-jenner/modern-day-parenting-in-c_b_5552527.html.