|Our tomorrows are the children of today. Our
future as well as theirs depends on the commitment that we as adults are prepared and
willing to give to them.
Parenting is not an easy job, nor is it a nine to five, five days a week profession. It is however, a twenty-four hour a day commitment, three hundred and sixty five days of the year from the time they are born until you die.
I have first hand knowledge on the difficulties of parenting, being one of many single parents. I know what it is like to maintain a full time career and try to be "super-mom". Parenting is no easy task at best when there are two adults undertaking the job let alone one person.
My parenting skills were modeled after those of my parents which I respected for their caring, loving and firm standards. They instilled high morals, wanting honesty, respect, consideration and reinforced the whole instruction with a strong application of love.
I was raised in the old school of thought. The view was that children should be allowed to discover, become self-confident and develop intellectually and emotionally. However, we were also taught social abilities. When we went out in public we were expected to show polite manners and were not permitted to act like primates.
I take the stand for the old parenting methods. My concerns are grave about our future, where societies have put the power entirely in the hands of the youth through legislation. We have laws that protect the young from abuse and neglect which I support. My worry is there has to be a balance in order that the child is protected yet not permitted to violate the social structure. This is what appears to be lacking.
Children today are more aware of their legal rights then ever before. They can and do manipulate the laws to force parents and adults into a crippled position. We also have adults who utilize the young in crime. These individuals know the child will be protected from prosecution. What is worse, they encourage through their example other young people to take advantage of the legal system.
The whole younger generation is not to be lumped into this category. Unfortunately there are certainly a good quantity of young people that are being allowed to terrorize their communities. Enough that as adults it should concern us about the future of our societies.
In my opinion, the pendulum always swings radically left or right. Either too harsh and cruel for the child or too lenient creating socially deprived and out of control children. The later example produces a child which can be dangerous to themselves and to society. We are the adults in this situation. We can not blame the children entirely for their behavior or results of our decisions.
I am reminded of a television interview with an equivalent of a Dr. Spock being the parenting expert. He was discussing how parents must let toddlers explore and discover their world. A small toddler was left to crawl all around as these words of advice were being issued. The parents somewhat apprehensive. The doctor smiling and reassuring them it was necessary for the stimulating growth of their child. The medical expert telling the parents that they must learn to relax and let the child explore with no restraints. Within minutes the toddler took a good tumble. The scene was cut, and the viewers were brought back to see the child being comforted in the arms of her mother. The moral to this story, is that common sense is the most important guide to parenting. If it looks like fire, burns like fire, chances are it is fire. Use common sense, regardless of all the left and right viewpoints of the so called experts. There is no harm in allowing freedom so a child can grow and learn. There must however be restraints for their safety as well as ours.
Children are our greatest resources and our tomorrows. Parenting was never an easy task but it is a responsibility and a social commitment.
Cheryl C. Helynck