So I have been thinking about this topic for a while….why are we allowing our children to be unruly? Before you judge listen to my theory…..how many times has your child done something that had you thinking ” if I did that when I was a child I would have received the hiding of a lifetime “, how many times has your child spoken to you in a way that got you thinking ” I would have never dared when I was your age”, how many times has your child thrown a tantrum and you basically just ignored it hoping it would go away, knowing that you would have never even considered asking for more toys in the shop let alone throw a tantrum when your mom said no?
Honesty, I am faced with these questions on a daily basis. I am a mommy of 3 and if I look at what I ” allow ” compared to what I was ” allowed ” it is worlds apart!
I think one of the biggest reasons we (I know this is true for me) are allowing our children to behave in ways we never would have….is time I know we as woman have fought extremely hard for equal rights, and although I myself am a full time employed mommy enjoying the financial freedom that comes with that package, I cant help but wonder if this is exactly why this is happening. Many moons ago the husband, father and head of the household used to go to work to provide for his family, mom would be at home looking after the kids, loving them, teaching them manners, spending quality time with them and tending to the household.
Now, mom and dad both goes to work at the same time in the morning, and return at the same time. If I look at my household as an example we both leave for work at 07h00, and return at about 17h30. When we get home we quickly tidy up (we dont have help), start supper and do any homework that was not done at school. When all the chores are finished it is already 18h30 and time for the kids to eat, so that there is enough time for a bath and bed time is at 20h00. Where is the quality time?? The 30 minutes between homework and supper we have we really dont want to spend screaming and fighting, so we basically ” allow ” more unruly behavior than what we would have under different circumstances. This does not make us bad parents, we just want to use whatever little time we have and spend some quality time with our children before the same hectic schedule repeats itself tomorrow.
While we are at it, lets be honest. Do we ever just switch off and spend time with our family? Or are we constantly checking if we got that email we are waiting for, if that meeting request was accepted, if that person responded to our query, if we received the quote we are waiting for, if the boss didnt maybe call while we were sweeping floors. Not even talking about our personal social media…..did that person accept my friend request, whats happening on instagram, what are people doing on facebook, just one more funny facebook video, lets just see if this or that person updated their status, what are people talking about on the meaningless whatsapp groups we belong to, did I get a retweet on twitter and the list can go on and on and on.
But what are we teaching our children? What morals and values are we imprinting in them, are we now not just busy raising unruly adults?
Dont get me wrong, I am not saying a woman belongs in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant, I am just saying we should be careful that our busy schedules as adults does not have this negative impact on our children.
Lets be realistic, with the living costs as high as they are I honestly dont know how normal, middle class households survive on only one salary. It is actually sad that inflation, food prices, petrol prices and taxes are currently the biggest determining factor when it comes to raising our children and spending much needed quality time with them. Apart form that, I find it extremely sad that social media is stealing the little time we have.
Maybe it is time we rethink our priorities, and manage our time better.