CAUTION! This post may or may not offend certain people, but the fact that it does, probably means it’s on point. Let me know what you think after you’ve read this. I do realize this is a touchy subject, so I apologize in advance if this is by any means offensive. I also apologize because this will be a very long winded post. Brace yourself.
Want to know what really gets me going? Seeing lazy parents. You know the type I’m talking about. The ones that go to McDonald’s six out of seven days of the week for two out of three meals of the day because their kid screams and they don’t want to deal with. Or the ones that shove a screen in front of their child’s face every waking moment so they can do other things since, y’know, they couldn’t be bothered to play with them instead. Now before I go any further, let me clarify two major things. One, no I am not a parent and do not claim to know all the answers. After all I am only two decades old. However, I have, in my young age, dealt with all ages from literally right out of the womb to 15 and 16 year olds. I have seen and observed the progress from which children have based on their up bringing and early childhood education. Two, I am in no way saying McDonald’s is 100% bad or that technology should not be introduced to children. I just want to convey the message that everything needs to be given in moderation from the get go. As the saying goes before any anticipated disaster, ‘nip it in the bud!’
If you are already a parent (or a makeshift one like me), or have been in some way exposed to infants, you’ll know what I mean when I say that babies are smart. At just the ripe age of a year, they already know that getting a finger caught in the door causes an owie. They also know that jumping off the couch will put mommy on edge, but they do it anyways with that sly grin of defiance each time. Babies are also creatures of habit. Even before they hit solids, they know the routine: they cry and mommy comes to the rescue by breast feeding (or giving a bottle). They eat and back to sleep they go.
Now that we’ve established that babies are smart, we need to realize that we, as adults, should be even smarter. It takes a hard working, persevering parent to tach your kids good and bad at an early age. The earlier they learn, the deeper it is engrained into their minds and the more likely it is to stick with them as they get older. Let me explain what I mean. For instance, Johnny (this is a fictional child that I just created) is a picky child. He refuses to eat the rice and broccoli you just lovingly slaved over (I’m really reaching far into my skills of exaggeration here. Bear with me.) and meal time has now turned into a frustration. Now there are two ways you can approach this. You can choose to hop into the car and abuse the powers of the poisonous fast foods OR you can choose to not be lazy and teach your child that what you have cooked for the family is what everyone will be eating. You may have to enforce this by working through teary-eyed, forced bites or your child may opt to not eat anything. And that is okay! Trust me when I say, one or two skipped meals with NOT cause your child to starve to death. A little starvation will not hurt them, but will indeed teach them that they eat what is in front of them or they go hungry. Again, your child is smart and knows what hunger is and feels like. If that’s what they choose to deal with until the next meal, then so be it. They will be fine. (This also may have to happen more than once depending on your child. So be prepared.)
Here’s another example. The other day I was walking through Target and saw a woman pushing her, what looked to be a, six or seven year old child in the convenient carts provided at the wonderful store. This was all normal until I saw that the mother was turning on her cellular hotspot so that her child could watch Netflix on the iPad he was holding. Uhm, wut?! *insert unimpressed face here* Has this child not learned that it is okay to go shopping with mommy for 3 hours and not have a device glued to their eye lids? Better yet, has this mother failed to recognize that herself? Now, I see nothing wrong with allowing your kids to play a game on the iPad for a half hour during the day; and I don’t think there is anything wrong with a movie or TV show here or there. But when it comes to the point where you, as a parent, fail to teach your child the importance or reading, or colouring, or heck, even just simple quiet time, you have become lazy and in essence, begin to fail as a parent in my eyes. I won’t go into the details of the effects the over use of electronics have on your child because I can almost guarantee you have heard about them all. But the fact that you know about them, yet still use your every day personal problems and business as a justification to do this to your child anyways is where this becomes a problem.
So parents and fellow nannies,
Get off your butts and entertain your children! Teach them. Love them. Learn from them. You can’t do that with French fries popping out of their cheeks and their eyes glued to a screen.
Comment if you agree or disagree.