Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Lack Of Parenting Is A Crime

Is it just me, or are other's confused by the lack of parenting out there?

I am not referring to the "mistakes" many of us makes as parents. G-d knows I am not perfect and I can only guess as to what my children will resent me for when they are older. But the majority of my energy goes into raising kind, compassionate, considerate and all inclusive children.

And it certainly does take energy. Especially since each kid comes hard wired with their own specific personality, and some times their "nature" has to be altered with some positive nurturing.

My oldest was born with a very kind and considerate personality. With her, we work on patience and the ability to be content with what you have.

My second child was born, how can I say this gently, a complete kvetch, as mentioned here:

Here Comes Trouble and We Call Her Ro

We had to work on her, and she is still a work in progress, but she has come a loooooooooooooong way. She was also a born "hitter". I mean that literally. It amazed me how a child who did not yet go to school - so she did not pick it up from another child and did not pick it up from So, because So never hit, knew how to swing her hand so well. It is nature at it's best. But I am a zero tolerance Mommy, so she learned quickly.

Ate, by nature is mostly a marshmallow, so sweet. But he is also a typical, curious boy who gets into a lot of trouble. He is a born spitter. You heard me correctly. He learned early, that spit can be utilized as a weapon. He starts up with his sisters, the way most boys do. He pulls their hair and sticks his feet in their face and sits on them. But if you say the word "gate" to him, he will quickly behave. His time out takes place behind a gate that I put up in the threshold of my kitchen. He sees us (he is not isolated) but he can not join his sisters in the family room, and this makes him realize he needs to change his behavior. Which he does, until his next bout of misbehavior, of course.

Interestingly, by the way, Ro and Ate have never (I have never been informed) hit or spit on any child, other than a sibling. They have never been a problem at school or in other social gatherings. I imagine they take their frustration out at home.

I personally, never hit my kids. I use time -outs and a whole lot of talking, which takes patience and energy. And trust me - I do not retain a whole lot of energy, but this is where I am willing to muster up all I have, because it is extremely important to me.

I also appreciate, and welcome other parents to call me, if my child has done something to upset their child. A friend did call me to let me know that So was excluding her daughter. I had a talk with So about this and it has not been a problem since. However, it is hard to teach your kids to behave one way, when their peers are behaving the complete opposite to them.

It is hard for me to blog about specifics, because I imagine that someone reading my blog who knows me, may figure out who it is I am referring to, but I feel the need to bring this to the surface.

I do not completely blame a six year old for her or his bad behavior, but rather the parents.

As I mentioned, I am fully aware that some children are born with less than perfect natures, and if they misbehave, here and there, it can be chalked up to age and the fact that they are still learning and growing. If they are constantly misbehaving, then one of the following may need to be assessed...

A) The child has "behavioral problems" and needs to be assessed by professionals.
B) The parents are oblivious, and no one has mentioned, to them, the ill behavior of their child.
C) The parents are oblivious, the ill behavior has been mentioned, and they choose to ignore it.
D) The parents are not only, not oblivious, but actually influence the child's behavior with their own views and behavior.

In the case of one particular girl I know, who has leadership qualities, "D" is at play here. Leadership qualities can be a positive thing, however, this child is being molded into someone who cares more about superficial things and less about feelings.

How do I know this?

I know the school has spoken to this parent on more than one occasion, so they are not oblivious.
I know other parents who have mentioned the less than appreciated behavior of this child to the parents, so they are certainly not oblivious.
I have personally heard the following come out of the mother's mouth:
"Don't wear it like that, it looks nerdy..."
This will encourage their child to judge another on how she/he is dressed.

Also, after the child complained to the mother about, another child who was NOT acting unpleasant in any way, but just getting in the way by "intruding" in a game that she and two best friends were playing, Mom said, "So don't play with that child if you don't want to."
This explains why her child continues to exclude many children and furthermore, encourages her following of about three or four kids to do the same.

She also gets physical from time to time, and the behavior has not let up one bit.

Sometimes we make mistakes, when we try to encourage our own child's capabilities, just by the way we worded something.

I did this a couple of months back with So. She was feeling bad about something that happened at school, and I tried to appease her by telling her that, sometimes kids will point out the one thing you DID NOT know because they realize how smart you really are, and feel threatened by it. To which she responded, "so I am smarter than everyone?"

I realized my mistake immediately, and corrected it. I do want my kid to have a healthy self-esteem but I do not want her to have a sense of superiority.

Raising our kids takes a lot of balance. It is not easy. We will make mistakes along the way.

But not raising our kids at all, is not just a mistake. It is a crime.

0 have shown Orah a little love: