Parenting Problems OR Problem Parents?

Celebrity and TV news presenter Sophie Raworth...
Image via Wikipedia

For some time know I have had concerns about the quality of the parenting skills displayed by many people in our society. To my mind, either the acute lack of those skills or, the abject disinterest in the ultimate importance of doing the ‘job’ correctly; it’s actually having many and varied negative impacts upon the youth problems of today.

In many respects you can equate small children to pet animals; you don’t expect a puppy to behave like a fully house trained and obedient full-grown dog, so why do we expect babies and toddlers to have the social skills of an adult and treat them as such? In their formative years, children learn and mature in similar ways to a puppy.

They learn things by rote, they require boundaries to be set, they need to be taught about respect, the difference between right and wrong and what is / is not acceptable behaviour as they grow and mature. Sophie Raworth of the BBC has recently tried to address some of these issues… 

BBC – The Burden placed on parents: Modern parents are under pressure with long working hours, childcare dilemmas and family break-ups. But what is the impact on children and what can be done about it? (Sophie Raworth)

The essence of Sophie’s piece relates to the balancing your adult life and it’s needs and desires against those of your offspring. To my mind this is where many of the problems have their roots. Too many of us use kids simply as a fashion accessory, either that or a badge of honour, proof that they have ‘arrived’ in the adult world. Precious few realise the enormity of the task they have actually undertaken when they decide to bring children into the world. Always assuming they actually made that choice in the first place?

Parenting isn’t just something you do at home for a couple of hours between finishing work and attending your next social function. It is not the responsibility of schools and teachers, youth group leaders or social services, neither is it a function the police need to take on board, but often do simply because no other agency is able or interested. Parenting IS the responsibility of those who brought the little cherubs into this world and, not something you can abdicate from at your whim!

Unfortunately, too many are not prepared to manage the responsibility that goes with that ‘choice’, and/or give up on some personal aspirations, at least during the child’s formative years. Parenting isn’t just another aspect of your social life or impact upon your work, it’s something far more important than that. It may be all about the personal choice of Mum AND Dad however; if you can’t manage the responsibilities in the first place, don’t have kids. They actually deserve better people to be their parents… Simples!

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