Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Today's gripe

This week, I feel I have been bombarded with images of families, sitting peacefully on the pages of the newspaper, with the caption announcing their disapproval of smacking.

Now, I would say I am not a smacker, but I cannot say that I have never smacked. Smacking is not my first disciplinary action, I have never smacked one of my children without having exhausting other methods prior. But, after saying that, I think that to enforce my authority, I do shout. I am not proud of it, and I play it back in my head and hope that I can shout less the next day, but I have four kids and when they are all excited and giggling, I need to shout.

I am having a gripe this week about the pressures of parenting in twenty eleven. How can I raise the upstanding, conscientious children of the future, if I cannot discipline them? At what age do we stop "letting them be kids" and start preparing them for life? Here is my interpretation of modern day parenting...

  • Don't smack your kids - by all means, spend your day screaming and yelling instead, fruitless threats work a charm on an already undisciplined child.
  • Let them be kids - because when they aren't kids they are teenagers, and we all know how hard it is to control a hormonal, rebellious teenager.
  • Eat ice-cream - yes, give them sugar, then try not to smack them when they are crazily racing through the carpark!
  • Put them on the naughty spot - then watch them get up and walk away.
  • Feed them organic, healthy meals - oh, so no ice-cream now. Crap, too late.
  • Say 'yes" to your children - this is why kids don't know the meaning of no.
  • Teach feelings - my favourite. Teach them that it is ok to get angry, but you are not allowed to get angry. 
Now luckily, I have four amazingly well behaved children, so to smack or not to smack wasn't really a decision I've had to make, but I do believe that the media need a good smack! Stop putting images of these perfect families in your paper. And stop telling us that children these days have no manners, no respect for their elders, no life skills, then not let us raise them to achieve these goals. 

It is hard being a parent. I make a million mistakes a day, and chances are, I am going to mess up at least one of my children. I hope for happy, secure, confident kids, but I also want them to be able to integrate into school and society with normality and know that they are behaving in a appropriate, social manner.

Gripe over.

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