- Family and Parenting
Parenting: More Difficult for Some than for Others
Parenting... it's a difficult task. Children don't come with manuals or handbooks, telling parents what to do. Most of the time, we parent based on how we were raised. On the other hand, if we were raised in a less than ideal environment, then some of us try not to repeat the same mistakes our parents made. Some parents just seem to know, automatically, what to do with kids... exhibiting copious amounts of patience, love and understanding. For all parents, though, raising children is a job... a 24-hour-a-day commitment.
Some parents, though, seem to be so out of tune with their children, that before they know it their kids are grown and out the door. The bad part about that, is... it is very likely that the child/children have grown up with much negativity, anger, animosity and resentment, and are just waiting to break free from their parent's authority. Those children will go out into the world and be full of anger and hatred toward their parents and how they were raised. This can create numerous problema for these adult children, and for society.
What if one day, you are at the local library. You turn around and happen to notice a little boy no more than 2 years old. He's just standing there, in the corner, not saying or doing a thing. He is alone. What do you do? This very senario took place today at our local library. I happened to be in line, checking my books out. That is when one of the library employees said something to me. "Do you happen to know who that little boy belongs to?" I turned and looked, and he was definitely not a little boy I'd seen before. The conversation between us went on. "I can't believe someone is not missing their child right now." Within a minute, another employee was dispatched and an announcement was made on the loud speaker. For sure, someone would come and claim the little boy now. It was about 5 minutes or so later that the parent came up from the basement (another part of the library is located there), along with two or three other children. Immediately, the mother yelled at the little boy, asking him why HE ran away! Then, she jerked him by his arm and drug him to the front door, crying.
So, I ask, "What is wrong with (some) parents these days?" Needless to say, the scene above left us feeling helpless and angry.
The way I see it, is... parents are the sole providers in charge of guiding and teaching their children to be loving, caring, responsible adults. Now, I'm not saying it's an easy task by any means. It's not! However, each and every one of us parents willingly took on the role of parent. No one forced us to do it, and, surely, our children, like us, didn't have a choice in whether or not to be here. We owe it to our children to be there for them physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually... every way we can. Not when we feel like it or when it's convenient, but when they need us!
I think of all the children around the world who are in less than ideal family situations. I know people who don't behave as though they want this privilege. Some parents you can talk to rationally about these things. Others may never get it. The sad part, is... the children are always the ones who suffer. We as a society wonder where all these "terrible teens," young adults and adults come from. I'm telling you... they have come from homes where the parents have not been available in many, different ways. Those children grow up to be our domestic violence cases, arsonists, people who commit assults and so forth... none of which benefits the child or his/her community.
Can you, for a moment, just imagine what the world would be like if all children grew up with loving, attentive and kind parents?! How much better life would be for everyone!
I think of mothers, especially, who I see hitting their kids in the grocery store, simply for being a kids do. They might start crying out of basic fatigue or boredom. Instead of stopping for a moment and picking the child up or talking gently to the child, the mother threatens her child and when the child fails to obey her words, she hits the child in the head! Is that loving? No.
What about the over-worked, inattentive parents who, while out with their children at a local fair, become unreasonably angry. Perhaps one of the children cannot keep up with everyone else? Is it okay if the father yells at the child, right in his face, and then slaps him because he doesn't answer as quick as the father would like? No.
What can we as a society, or as an individual, do when we witness something like this? Do you attempt to say something to the parent? If the situation is so out of control, you may be risking your own safety. If that's the case, you can alert a manager or someone else in charge wherever you happen to be. The rest is up to them. If, however, you notice that the parent is just losing patience, you could kindly offer to talk to the child, just to lighten the mood and distract the child from acting up or whatever is going on. You could show the child a toy or a bright display nearby. You could talk to the parent, telling them you know how they feel and that it will be o.k. Oftentimes, this is all that is needed to quickly rectify the situation.
What is the solution to this dilemma? I don't believe there is any one solution, however... I do believe, if parents would take a moment to spend time with their children, to laugh and play and talk with them and veer away from all negativity, then the children of today will become the heros of tomorrow.