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Discussion in 'Personal' started by grumpydogwoman, Sep 23, 2018.
I prefer Maleficent making my phone calls.
I know two families who still practise what you might call 'old-fashioned' parenting, whose children are encouraged to be independent and do things for themselves. The children are great, but the tutting from other parents and, frankly, the fear that someone will shop you to social services for allowing your child, say, to go to the shops alone, are hard to resist. The NSPCC has fulled this by its ridiculous suggestions of the appropriate ages for children to do things on their own. It's not surprising that parents lack the confidence to let thier children strive and fail sometimes. Schools don't help. They get onto parents when children don't do their homework or come with the wrong kit, because it's easier than punishing the child and making the child take responsibility for themselves. And they don't take kindly to the parent suggesting that it's not their job to follow their child round making sure they do everything!
We've all contributed. Children are over-praised. There are fewer of them so each one is more precious and has more invested in it. Newspapers and social media fuel unfounded fears about exaggerated dangers. I do hope that this poor generation of children recognise that in some ways they've had a rotten time of it, and respond by letting their own children be a lot more independent.
My third son always had a certain vulnerability about him. People always felt the need to protect him, so much so that when I collected him from school early one day, in about year three, the teacher sent off a group of girls to collect his coat and his book bag and so on, and get him sorted out for going home, and that was clearly the normal situation in the class. I was appalled! It was the last thing he needed.
He grew up pretty nice though. I think the class mothering ended eventually, but what on earth was that all about? Lazy, smiley child is a bit useless so the teacher puts in place a gaggle of helpers to do everything for him!
He was merely acting in line with his surname, i.e. having things done "for free".
Urgh - the NSPCC. In my opinion the number 1 fake charity:
But, maybe UK parents are just amateurs?
I know my daughter is very conscious of how other parents view her parenting. Social media etc etc. Neighbours. Family. Doesn't seem to be able to prevent herself from constant comparisons! I suspect she's probably just as judgemental about them. If the truth be known.
So it's not enough just to look after them. You have to be SEEN to be looking after them.
Parents have always been competitive but it's just mushroomed with social media.
I started school in 1960 and the other mothers put the wind up my mum by telling her how their kids could already read. It wasn't true. But hey. They impressed themSELVES!
I also suspect that mothers (maybe dads too) have always bemoaned the poor parenting their own offspring display.
My mother was usually too wise/fearful to offer me advice but I bet she disapproved of quite a bit of what I did when my two were small. And beyond. So it's natural that I look at my daughter and think What The Actual Duck???
We get that a bit with my youngest - her speech is still fairly immature sounding (couldn't speak much at all when they started school so hell I'll take this as progress!) so it's fighting a constant battle to (gently) get the mother hen types to tone down the clucking somewhat and let her do things herself! She would be bone idle as well given half the chance - so she's blooming well not getting that chance (she's got a list to remind herself what she needs to get sorted to go home at the end of the day and I WILL send her back in on retrieval missions until she's got it all)!
Social media really doesn't help at all - if you give them independence within a controlled frame -you'll get someone judging you that "that small child was up a tree and they could have hurt themselves", but if you limit it you'll have someone muttering on about "modern parents coddling their kids and stifling them."
My mum used to complain about how I was trying to "make them too independent - they're only little" when I would do things like teach the toddler to get into the car and sit in their car seat ready for me to clip them in. I was doing it because the toddler in the car, with the door on that side closed, meant I had a contained toddler safe inside the car while I got the baby out of the pushchair and sorted out, rather than trying to get a mobile toddler to stay still near traffic - and I'd just phrased it in such a way that the toddler felt they were being a "big girl" doing something themselves instead.
@ABCCBA123321 - following on from your post ............ " things like teach the toddler to get into the car and sit in their car seat ready for me to clip them in. I was doing it because the toddler in the car, with the door on that side closed, meant I had a contained toddler safe inside the car while I got the baby out of the pushchair and sorted out, rather than trying to get a mobile toddler to stay still near traffic - and I'd just phrased it in such a way that the toddler felt they were being a "big girl" doing something themselves instead."
I had to teach my toddler to do as she was told and be safe outside - when getting into/out of the car/walking alongside and not breaking free/running off etc - because her older sister was in a wheelchair and if she hadn't done all those things from the minute she started to walk (10 months) I'd never have gone anywhere without help. As it was it was hard enough!
I don't get it.
Why do it for them when they can do it themselves? Do you want them to learn helplessness?
It's a form of abuse, I reckon. Encouraging dependence. Perhaps some people have nothing else going for them. They can only be the Marvel super-hero they long to be by having clingy kids?
My mother was very strict with me and my brother. You defied her at your peril. You jumped when she said jump. I don't think I was strict with my kids. I had few rules as such but I did insist they were observed and merrily slapped their legs for defiance. My son on the other hand is very... structured with his but would never dream of smacking them. It does seem as if we're doing the opposite of the previous generation!
Everything's abuse these days isn't it? Perhaps it won't be too long before "abuse" becomes like those post-it notes that (certain) people stick onto everything. After a while there are so many of them, that the postee just gets blind to them, and the notes get ignored.
Very plausible explanation as to why certain parents mollycoddle their kids though. There could be a PhD in there somewhere.
OK, not abusive. Just deeply unhelpful.
I wasn't criticizing your comment. Yes I think you certainly could consider all this lawnmowing to be a form of abuse. "Abuse" is one of those words, oft used in an accusatory tone, that "conveniently" doesn't actually have a precise definition (as far as I know, anyway).
Richard Dawkins describes the religious indoctrination of children to be a form of child abuse: "Be good, or you'll go to hell and be tortured", and I would agree with that description. Lawnmowing isn't as severe, but yes, it sets the child (or "adult child") up for difficulties later.
This is perfectly ok.
But never this.
What of those who concrete their gardens over or lay artificial grass? Is there a parenting name for them?
Yes, they are "level playing-field" parents. With artificial lawns.
Without artificial grass you condemn your child to negotiating bare patches here, molehills there, muddy patches and hollows. Who wants that for their child? All must start equal. (Well, except the ones whose mummies send them to Eton. They don't need a level playing-field. They just start within a couple of feet of Everest's summit.)
It's not difficult to see what would be in your Room 101 rac.
A little known historical fact is that originally there were 11 commandments. The last one was "Thou shalt not have lists". Then Moses said "Hang about Lord, isn't that a list you've just given me?". And God replied "Dagnabbit, I hadn't noticed that", and he forbad Moses ever to speak of this divine blunder.
Unfortunately for God there was a bush nearby, playing with some matches. Years later this burning bush would spill the beans.