I am by no means the 'perfect parent,' however I strive every day to be the best I possibly can. Now that I am both Mum and Dad to my two teens, I have a ton of responsibility on my back. No one teaches us the proper way to parent……is there even such a thing? We parents all have our own opinions and different parenting styles, so none of us are right! But some of us are way better at it than others. I know I don't parent the way I was parented, however I often ask myself ' just how did mum do it with 7 kids and working 2 jobs?' Back in those days women were generally barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, while the men went to work and brought home the bacon. That is if they weren't at the pub drinking it away or at the bookies gambling it away! My mum as we got older had cleaning jobs to earn extra money. She had no help from anyone with us, she did laundry, ironing, cleaned the whole house every day as well as grocery shopping, cooking and washing dishes. Our house was always spotless, as were our clothes which were hung outside on the line to dry no matter how cold it was, they needed that fresh air! Sometimes jeans were frozen when they were taken down from the line outside and could actually stand up on their own! That was the way things were way back then!
Nowadays we have high efficiency washers and dryers, dishwashers, we even have an automatic vacuum for goodness sake! So you would figure we as adults would have way more time to spend with our children, be less stressed, have more family time doing fun things together. Sadly that isn't the case! The introduction of technology has changed that. Now a days kids are babysat by the television, the video console, computer or phones. Even if kids are lucky enough to get an outing to the park, many times they play only with other children or alone as mum, dad or the caretaker are busy being entertained by technology. I have seen way too many times, children out with a parent, asking the parent a question, only to be totally ignored, I've seen the child ask the same question 20 times before getting a response and then the response is in an angry, annoyed or irritated tone!
Children did not request to come into this world, they are not an inconvenience who only require your attention when you feel like it. They are people, who need to be valued, listened to, disciplined – meaning taught right from wrong, respected and loved unconditionally. They do not need to be yelled at when ever they make a mistake or don't meet your expectations. They do not need to become what you want them to, but rather what they choose to become. They do not need to be humiliated or made to feel worthless. They do not need to be punished but rather shown and guided. They do not need to be bullied by you or treated as a lesser person just because they are smaller than you. They do not need to be poked fun at, laughed at when they fail at something. They do not illogical consequences because you list control of yourself. They do not need to be micromanaged or controlled to your way of thinking or doing. They do not need to be made to feel unimportant or that they are stupid or unworthy. They do not need to be neglected, hit or abused in any way! They are not pieces of property or your belongings…….they are humans, people with feelings and value, ideas and insights often times better than most adults. They are our future generations!
What they need is a safe, loving home, a place to belong, a place where they are free to be themselves, free to express themselves, free to make mistakes without judgement, free to try new opportunities, free to have a bad day, free to fail at something, free to be scared of something, free to be encouraged daily, free to be less than perfect, free to be loved unconditionally!