Parenting problems...are we really in a crisis?
- A fear of our children
Are we really afraid of our children?
Do we as parents and grandparents do anything to avoid a meltdown in our parenting efforts?
Perhaps, at times we are and do...because at the moment, we just cannot "deal" with an emotional breakdown over what color sippy cup our child wants in the morning especially when there are other siblings asking for things at the exact same moment. More than likely, we, ourselves, are afraid of having a meltdown.
If we always acquiesce to our child's demands out of shear tantrum fear then this will lead to an expectation...if they make a fuss, we will give in
As parents and grandparents, we do not want this condition-response behavior.
Grandparents are frequently the most guilty ones...they cave in more often than not, to their grandchild's demands.
It is the privilege of being a nana and a papa. Right?
As grandparents,, we must realize a fact, too much giving-in behavior on our part will serve to undermine what a child's parents are trying to do. We know this is not a good thing, so why do we continue to undermine?
Is it fear of our grandchild?
Respecting a child's wants is okay. But giving in to all of his/her requests is not a good thing, as it sets a precedent and then everyone who cares for your child is in quite a fix when they say "no" to your child's demands.
Children need to respect the word "no" without having a tantrum, otherwise there will always be chaos even when they are told "no" for safety reasons.
- A lowered bar
"Raise the bar and your children will rise to the occasion."
In general, I agree.
Again, this is a case of teaching a child at an early age to help. Most little ones are more than anxious to lend their tiny hands to help with laundry, dusting and many other "chores". We need to be patient and encouraging, this sets the stage for a raised bar in the future. Problematic here, we don't always want to share these duties because it takes longer and we get it done faster and better ourselves.
- We've lost the village
Oh, I think we still have the village.
However, we as parents and grandparents are distrusting of "strangers" helping out with their comments of support or criticism, especially when it comes to our kids and grandkids. Stranger danger has penetrated our psyche. Many folks just do not feel comfortable giving praise or help to a mom or grand mum, who is dealing with a tantruming child in public.
Funny thing too, the "mommy wars" have also added to parents ignoring the parent village. Simply said, parents are way too critical of other parents.
I say, "walk a mile in my shoes" and then give me your opinion.
- A reliance on shortcuts
Do we rely on shortcuts to our parenting and grandparenting, thus not allowing our kids time to learn patience and the ability to self-soothe? Perhaps, we are all guilty of this one.
Maybe, because we don't have patience ourselves, we find it hard to model this virtue for our children and grandchildren.
Restaurants and traveling are very often teaching moments.
It takes time and planning to be able to travel with a child. We all know what it is like in a restaurant waiting for our food. Crayons are fun, playing tic tac toe can wile away a few minutes on the plane and in a restaurant. Books are great too!
Quiet time is a good thing as well and helps develop the ability to self soothe in kids. A little one minute or 30 second meditation for a pre-schooler can help them learn patience and self soothing. Try it sometime yourself!
- Parents put their children's needs ahead of their own
Most parents will put their child's needs before their own. In fact, when you are instructed on an airplane, to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting your children, initially, it seems weird, yet it makes sense. Take care of yourself, so you are better able to care for your children especially in an emergency.
Mostly, it is a balance between our needs and our children's needs. Grandparents know this in hindsight, parents are learning it in realtime.
Learning to take care of yourself and your kids, meeting your needs and theirs in a balanced way is not easy and takes patience from both sides of this parent-child relationship.
Would that it were so simple, "Five Reasons for the Modern Day Parenting Crisis".
The parent-child relationship is so much more complicated than it looks. The five reasons that the British nanny discusses are just part of what goes into raising children.
She has managed to simplify what she sees as the problems with "modern families".
I do not fault her for not being a mom, she has much experience with families and children. What I wanted to see was more depth in her discussion and some approaches to dealing with these five problems.
She has started a discussion and for that I am grateful.
That's why when I say that modern parenting is in serious trouble -- crisis, even -- I hope you'll listen, and listen carefully. I've worked with children and their parents across two continents and two decades, and what I've seen in recent years alarms me. Here are the greatest problems, as I see them: