Is Love Enough ? - Toughest Job in the World
At this age every experience is new
Is Loving Them Enough?
Most parents love their children. But is loving them enough for the world’s most responsible job – bringing them up; raising them to become fine,well-adjusted adults? You might argue, “This, the most responsible job? I think it is. And in most cases it’s not referred to as a job at all. It’s called parenthood and one is expected to know how to go about it. No wonder we have such a variety of grown ups, people ranging from saints to sinners. Because babies learn by the role modelling provided by their parents, or those closest by. There’s no other way. And these role models learned from their role models, and they from theirs, and in the majority of cases those role models were their mothers and fathers. Yet nobody taught them, nobody said to them: “Son (or daughter) you have the most responsible job in the world. You are molding the character, the behaviour patterns of a human being who’s actions will have its effect on the world for the next seventy, eight or ninety years. You have the most responsible job in the world!”
Brother and sister along with a canine friend, enjoying their own private swimming pool
It's at home that most of the learning is done
Things have changed a bit. Young mothers – and the brunt of this falls to mothers in most instances – have in what we call ‘the civilized, Western world,” access to help. But it usually comes in the form of being able to drop off the kids to be minded by someone else for a few hours a day. Here those tiny tots might be taught something from how the world works, what they should do to become well-adjusted adults and, of course, have fun and enjoyment whilst learning these things. I speak of child-minding centres. However, the hours little kids spend in such places, unless the parent works full time and the child spends most of its waking hours in that environment, are generally minimal compared with their experiences in their own homes. It is at home, that most of the learning is done. Here is the crucible of learning.
Mum showing how it's done
The first five years of life are so important to molding character
It is said that the first five years of a child's life are critical in the molding of that child’s character. It is in those years before conscious recall, that is, being able to recall with a certain amount of detail, that the main interpretations of what is valued and what is not, are laid down. Qualities, values, the things which really matter in our lives, are set into patterns in our minds long before we are able to determine for ourselves whether they are helpful or harmful. A baby does not have the sort of analytical mind to be able to determine whether it has been fed a lot of mental balderdash, blarney and bullshit. It takes what has been given. Its virgin mind sucks it up like data being fed into a computer. This includes not only the words the baby has heard and interpreted – and remember, a baby can understand what is being said to it a long time before it can answer back – but how it has been treated, and how it has watched others being treated. It is able to pick up the vibes. It begins to fathom sincerity from falsity. It has yet, of course, to understand that grown ups often indulge in sarcasm.
Showing by example. If Daddy's not scared, neither am I
Is love enough - the toughest job in the world for getting it absolutely right
By the time a child is able to hold a reasonable conversation with an adult it has usually been ‘put down’ and told not to do this, and not to do that, so many times that most of its natural confidence has been whittled away. By the time it has adjusted to peer pressure, teacher pressure, and pressure from the world at large, most kids have taken one of two paths, it seems to me. Either they become rebels – if they have plenty of spirit – or shy introverts who almost bend over backwards not to be noticed. It then takes them the rest of their lives to work their way out their mindsets to something they can comfortably live with. All of this, I think, is mainly a reflection of how a youngster has been treated in those very important first five years.
We take our role models seriously, so seriously we model ourselve after them. Every little nuance is noted, everything emulated
We pick up an enormous amount of absolutely incorrect information in these formative years. For example, I was born in England in 1936, three years or so before Adolf Hitler decided to send his Luftwaffe aircraft to bomb London. I was a Londoner, and like countless thousands of others was sent away to a number of foster homes away from danger. Come war’s end I had no idea I had a hidden fear of Germans. Whilst in the navy I’d drunk beer and sung marshal songs with German ex-U-Boat sailors and thoroughly enjoyed doing so. But in a ‘rebirthing’ session some thirty years later I’d let out gasps of terror that “The Germans are coming and they’re going to eat me!” Who the hell had put that into my mind? Who, in their naiveté, or perhaps to threaten or cajole, had maybe said: “If you don’t eat your spinach up the Germans will come and eat you?” A child of three or four believes these things! The horror of such an idea is immediately repressed. And it can then stay and influence a person’s behaviour for the rest of their lives.
Our three children feeding the ducks in a Nelson NZ park in 1972
Loving your children is natural...but is love enough?
So you can see the need for education of all parents as to the importance of what to do and what not to do in the bringing up of small children. For it is the most responsible job in the world. If we were taught by educated example the way we should relate to the world in those very important formative years, we’d mostly turn out to be good citizens, free of unconscious trauma, hatreds, and phobias which play so much havoc with so many of us in later life. The world needs to ensure that every parent, or prospective parent, and that means everyone, really, be versed in how important those first years in all of our lives are.
I hope you enjoyed and got something out of little bit of information on The Toughest Job in the World.
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