WARNING - Non educational/geeky rant inside
by, 4th October 2011 at 09:00 PM (2062 Views)
I rarely blog or speak too much of personal experience outside of the world of geek-dom, because it generally makes me uncomfortable. I am comfortable speaking about computers, technology and the foibles of the human mind, particularly Autistic Spectrum Disorders, because I know them reasonably well and still have the capacity to learn more about them, always finding out new things.
However as a parent of a 1 and 3 year old, I'm starting to be able to add "parenting" to the above list. It's not something I've read about in any books and I've never written about it. However many things have irked me in the past about peoples differing attitudes on how your children should or indeed should not, be raised.
These children are my life. I wake up in the morning and I'm genuinely over the moon to be greeted by the smiles on both of their faces. It sets me up for the day and makes me happy that I will be coming home to them after work. Of course sometimes I'd rather go to work for some peace and quiet, but that's par for the course and we can all get benefits from a break away from the norm. I would happily give up *anything* for the sake of my kids well-being, in fact in the year my son was born, we declared bankruptcy to rid ourselves of the extreme burden of debt. Happy to go to court and explain our mistakes and misfortune, and happy to have our names printed in the paper and ridiculed so our children can look forward to a decent future. I would do far, far more to ensure their happiness and health.
With that background laid down, I am constantly amused by news articles and passing comments by random people, some of which have never had children; people who see themselves qualified to pass judgement on the parenting skills of others. I care not if these people have doctorates in genetics, biology, family and social welfare or if they claim to be Supernanny - until they have children or even remember back to their own childhood I will not be willing to listen to their opinions on what's wrong with kids today. I've already said before the "generic problem" is a lack of discipline and it is fairly difficult to refute that, but it is not the only cause of today's society issues.
I've been watched like a hawk as I dipped my son's dummy into my pint of IPA and gave it to him. I've been snarled at as he picked up a bottle of Grolsch and supped the remnants from the bottom and I failed to recoil in horror. I've been shouted at because my son has run into the wrong garden in over-excitement. I've heard the comments as they listen to him in a hyperactive fit of anger/joy. The very people who are quick to made a snide comment about "what sort of parent does that" when they neglect to remember/care that their own parents would have happily thrown a double shot of whiskey into their mouths as children to help with teething - which is no different to rubbing it into their gums. The same parents that let their kids go out for hours on end into fields, annoying farmers and vandalising crops yet today won't let their kids go further than half a mile away without their mobile phone on with GPS tracking. Please don't preach rubbish without having the first clue about looking after small human beings with individual minds. There is no manual on raising kids, there is no right and no wrong. Obviously there is outright abuse which needs stamping on - but for day to day parenting, there are no preset values for each child that will make them turn out "right". Define "right" - because for each child, "right" is different. This can loosely be applied to education, but a system that is designed to try and be the best for the majority isn't going to work for all. If we could somehow apply the same template to each child, so they all grew up to be identical in manners, intelligence, expectations and dreams - what good would that achieve? It would blunt society, it would stop growth and cease innovation. Change, good or bad, comes from differences of opinion, arguments and personalities. If everyone agreed with each other - what sort of place would this be?
Think of films portraying the lack of/holding back of emotion like Equilibrium for instance. Is that really the way forward?
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