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Updated on October 24, 2012


We get up early here now 3 days a week ! Let me explain. My stepson and his wife had a baby boy 7 months ago and Mum has now gone back to work for 3 days each week at the Insurance Company she has worked for since a long time ago. As a result, the 2 Grandmothers have been pressed into service to look after Baby Thomas. I say "pressed" but in all truth the pair of them would have needed an Army to prevent them taking up the reins. That is Grandmothers for you, they cannot wait to get involved with nappies once more !

Anyway, my wife, being nearest to the young family, has the morning shift. This is from 7.30am till midday. In truth it is more than that, for it seems that the " job" also entails waking me up at 1pm, 3pm, 5 pm to ask what time it is and if it is 6am and time for my wife to get up, to be on parade for 7.15am. To do this, after night long time checks, my role is to rise in time to drive her to "work" for 7.15am to enable Thomas"s Mum to catch her bus. After that, peace descends here, but being now wide awake, I just plough on, hoping not to fall asleep from staged exhaustion brought on by the interminable time checks through the night.

All the above is not relevant to this Hub at all, but I feel better for the rant anyway. Actually, because I was awake from 5am this morning, I heard something on the radio which has sparked this missive from me to you, the reader.

Regular readers of my Hubs will be aware that from time to time, I bemoan the appalling lack of parenting skills we have seen over the past 25 years and the ever increasing downward path they are taking with further and even more disastrous results to come if I am any judge. Let me say at once, that Baby Thomas, in his first 7 months has been fortunate in receiving exemplary parenting from his Mum and Dad, and long may he continue so to receive. However, they are ,sadly, not typical of what we can observe generally and it is not unfair, to my view to consider a lot of modern parenting to be in a state of crisis. Everywhere it seems, on the streets, in supermarkets, on public transport etc are to be found example after example of useless parenting. It is not uncommon to see children as young as 3 years or so behaving in a feral manner whilst their incompetent parents stand by doing nothing to correct the behaviour, maybe because they were just like that 20/30 years ago and brought up by incompetent parents themselves.

Later on, in the teenage years, the fruits of such labour reach new lows with behaviour on full view that can only be termed yobbish, perpetrated by members of both sexes who often look as if they could do with a good shower and a comb through their hair at the very least. In far too many cases parents, it seems, have given up, or maybe never started.


Returning to my early morning radio subject, I was intrigued to hear a Canadian lady explaining how, having failed, in her eyes, to inculcate decent social behaviour in her children, she decided, with her Husband, to go on an official, but unannounced strike !

She explained that she had simply become fed up of seeing her children treat their home like a dosshouse and failing to discharge the family responsibilities that had been vested upon them. Essentially, the kids had grown up in a situation where they expected their parents to do everything for them even to the extent of following them around to pick up and clear up the things and mess they left behind them. Now you may feel, as I do, that the parents have a responsibility for allowing things to get so far. The main complaint was that the children did not fulfill their "chores" .This is an interesting word which seems to have been taken over by North Americans chiefly, to identify jobs around the home that children are charged with executing. Years ago, it related to tasks required to be done to sustain basic, but decent living. Maybe to the young "chores" sounds too close to "bores " and if they can wriggle out of the tasks they will.

Apparently, in the Canadian household in question, the penny dropped pretty quickly once the accumulating detritus was observed as parents, like the youngsters ignored it. EVENTUALLY A COUNCIL AT FAMILY LEVEL DETERMINED THE WAY FORWARD AND, AS FAR AS WE KNOW NOW, THE YOUNG PEOPLE ARE COMPLYING TO MAINTAIN THE STANDARDS ACCEPTABLE TO THEIR PARENTS.


So peace and harmony returned to that Canadian homestead, after what, some may say was pretty drastic action. As we all know "drastic action" is to be invoked when things are seen to be going badly wrong or about to do so. In parenting, as with many other aspects of life action taken long before that point is reached need not be drastic but may preclude the need for it.

TV programmes these days can figure ways to better parenting, often focusing on children of very early years seemingly refusing to obey parental edicts and only being saved by the intervention of so called "Super Nannies". I have yet to see any of these formidable ladies use anything other than basic commonsense in bringing the badly behaved kids to heel. Thus, the question is "Why do the parents not have common sense?"

Essentially, to my mind this can often be traced to the upbringing of the parents themselves. If they were brought up not to understand boundaries and acceptable behavior it is unlikely they will offer a better start to their own children. Too many it seems think that discipline can be instilled by bawling at the young to force them into submission. That, as anyone with only half a brain knows, is but a very temporary solution that will not solve the problem. In medical terms, too many parents treat the symptom and not the cause. The real cause is the fact that from the earliest days, too many parents fail to establish the firm foundations to enable the development of self discipline and an understanding of what is acceptable social behaviour and what is not.

Sadly, too many are simply lazy parents, who either know not, nor care not about sound principles with which to help a child develop. If there were a "Test " to determine the fitness of the parents to bring a child into the world, for sure, the birth rate would fall dramatically. There is ,and cannot ever be, no such test and thus, we have to deal with what we have. There never has been ,nor never will be, any substitute for good parents. Consider the children in first school. Those who have parents who read to them each day are clearly more advanced in many ways than those mites who have parents who cannot be bothered. It is not rocket science, but when all is said and done and sadly, the lazy parents outnumber now, the caring ones in too many cases. Abetter start for those children, somehow, someway, I contend, is the only way we shall develop a better and more disciplined society than we have had in the past, have now and look set for in the future. Not a happy prospect I fear.


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