Children assume parents have all the answers and know what we’re doing when in truth we’re stumbling along in the dark winging it.
We have no idea!
Having a baby exit your body or your spouse’s does not prepare you for the psychological minefield that is to come.
There is so much preparation for labour and delivery; we’re taught about the different stages and get a glimpse into how much it will hurt. Everyone talks about how things get easier when Baby sleeps through the night and how it becomes even easier when Baby starts doing things independently.
No one ever prepares parents for the challenges that arise when Baby (who eats the healthy food they’re given, has a bath on schedule and is tucked into bed relatively easily) grows into an individual with their own tastes, opinions and desires.
There are people who still believe that children should do as they’re told no questions asked and that punishing children is necessary.
I’m not one of them.
That system would certainly seem simpler: instructions are given and obeyed. Easy, right? What is the long term impact though?
I can’t count how many times I have had to repeat myself when I want/need the kids to do something and it drives me bananas – pull-my-hair-out crazy!!
But if the alternative is to have kids who are afraid to disagree or voice their opinion or be themselves or suggest an alternative then I’ll eat bananas every day and wear a hat.
We should be encouraging children to think independently, learn from their mistakes and consider the impact of their actions.
How can they do that if they are never heard or afraid of giving the wrong answer and being punished?
Truth be told it feels like a tightrope walk: one false step and I’m either too permissive or too authoritarian. At different times I am probably both.
Here’s the thing, when it comes down to the important stuff, The Kids are there. They understand.
Would you rather a child who will eat what they’re given, get into bed when they’re told to and do what they’re told without having to be asked twice or a free thinker with a bit of spark who will drive you crazy?