Monday, July 10, 2006

Parenting

***Disclaimer***
I do not have children. I am well aware that this makes all of my views and opinions on parenting null and void to those who do have children, despite my degree in Child and Family Studies and my experience as a preschool teacher. That said, this is my blog and I have a right to voice my opinion on any matter that I see fit. So here it is.

I see a disturbing lack of actual "parenting" in our society. The most recent example being at the movies this weekend. I went to see Pirates of the Carribean with my husband, and due to other events throughout the day, we went to the 9:30p.m. showing in our small town. I'm sorry, but it is the personal opinion of this particular blogger that 9:30 is a little late (even on a Saturday night) for a 6 year old to be at the movies - especially when the movie is 2.5 hours long (that puts you leaving the theater at midnight, in case you were having a little trouble with the math). Also, this particular movie had some rather frightening looking characters and creatures. I am curious to know how many of the parents who took their young children to that late show (and it was more than just one 6 year old present in this theater) actually knew anything at all about the movie other than "it's a Disney movie about pirates." I hate to break it to you, people, but the Disney label does not automatically make a movie safe. Take 5 minutes to do a little research on a movie instead of piling in the car right away because little Timmy just HAS to see this movie.

That's another problem our society has. Someone wants something, so they get it. You are a parent. It is your responsibility to see that your child gets the things that he/she NEEDS. That does not mean that you have to jump in your car and drive to the nearest Toys-R-Us every time your child sees a toy advertised on television that they just HAVE to have. It is not in anyone's best interest to get everything that they want all the time. We grow up being treated like little gods and we expect that our lives will always be like that. News flash - you will not always get exactly what you want exactly when you want it. And neither will your child. Why should you teach them by your example that they should expect something that you know is not going to happen? That's just stupid. Yes, I said the 's' word.

Here's another example of the lack of parenting in the world today. Day care. Hear me out, now. I'm not bashing day care. It pays the bills around here (the smaller ones, at least). But I don't understand why your child has to be at our day care from 6am to 6pm every day of every week of every month when you don't have to be at work until 8 or 9, or you get off work at 3 or 4, or - and this is the one that gets me the most - you stay at home all day! Now I can understand stay-at-home parents who can afford it sending their children to a center like ours (we do have a preschool program in the mornings), but not for 12 hours every day when you know preschool is only in the mornings. I can understand having to work long hours just to make ends meet. But I know that's not the case for every family in our day care. I can understand needing to run a few errands before work or after work on occassion. But just because we are open from 6am to 6pm does not mean your child HAS to be there that long. Your children are spectacular little people! But too many parents don't spend enough time with their children to find that out for themselves. And that's just sad.

Discipline. Nobody seems to know how to do it these days. Saying "No, don't do that" to a 5 year old in the same voice that you would use to ask your 8 month old "are you ready for some mashed potatoes?" is not an effective means of behavior modification. There is only so much I, as a child care provider, am allowed to do in the way of discipline. Redirect behavior, time out, a trip to the office, that's pretty much it. If none of that works to correct your child's behavior in my classroom, I'm left with no choice but to depend on you as the parent to help resolve the issue. Step up and be a dsiciplinary figure. Please. Children need that. It helps them to realize that they are accountable for their actions. Help your child learn that lesson while they are young. Don't make them figure it out for themselves as adults. That's why our prisons are overcrowded.

Ok, I'm done for now. Just needed to put that out there.

1 comment:

TM520 said...

And what's the deal with cardboard??