Looking down at your new born baby is something that is indescribable. You vow to protect that little life. Spoil it some, cuddle lots, and never let them feel any pain.
Then they turn 2. Then 4. Before you know it, you have a 16 year old. That 16 year old is a result of every cuddle, word, and toy you ever gave them. It's not so easy to influence that 16 year old. Before you know it, they will leave home.
Looking down at that new born, we can forget that one day they will be an adult. They will have to make their own choices, and live with the consequences, both good and bad.
People are always amazed at how helpful and polite my boys are. They are not perfect. They are loud.... (Anyone want to give me shares in Tylenol? I could use it!) They fight, after all they are boys, but they stand out in public.
Here is a perfect example. We are in the grocery store. With 5 kids, I am focused. I want to get in, and get out as quickly and quietly as possible. 2 kids in the basket, 3 kids walking close to me. I have taught them to stay close, but they are kids, so my eyes are on them. All of a sudden, Little P darts away from me. I turn just as I hear him say "Excuse me Ma am, you dropped this." He is handing a women something that fell out of her cart. No one asked him to. She didn't even know it fell. He is on it. A perfect gentleman at 9 years old. We are then stopped by people saying how rare it is to see a child so helpful and polite. We stand out.
My boys are taught "Ladies first." They hold doors for me, and any other people we come in contact with.
My boys have chores. It is Little P's job to start the van, carry laundry up and down the stairs, take out the garbage, and put the garbage and recycling out on garbage days. He gets no allowance. He is happy to help. He only gets toys, games and gadgets on his Birthday and Christmas. TV is only for after his school work is done. Does this make him deprived? He is happy. he is responsible.
Some times we forget that our children are not children forever.What kind of adult will they be? Shouldn't that be our main focus as parents?
How many times have we seen teenagers and judged their lack of work ethic, their lack of responsibility, and shaken our heads. Yet as a society, we give our children everything for nothing.
When I was growing up, the big concern was watching too much television. A child having a television in his or her room was a concern. Now we have a generation of children with iPads, cell phones, and computers in their rooms. Parents spend all their time engrossed on their technology, so it seems acceptable that the children do the same.
We have a generation of 30 and 40 year olds still living at home, unemployed, playing video games and having Mom do the laundry.
In my province, teachers are discouraged from using red ink to mark papers, or fail a child in school. In the work place, we see people that want a raise for showing up late each day. It might not be that way everywhere, but this is my reality. Is it the teachers fault? How can we blame the teachers for what goes on at home? What can we expect from our children if we don't teach them?
Don't misunderstand me. My boys both received tablets for Christmas. I don't have a problem with kids having "things." I have a problem when I see a 12 year old kid pushing past me and my children while texting. Or seeing a 7 year old out alone at 10:00 PM on a week day. What does this teach that child is acceptable when they enter the workforce? Come to work tired, sit and do nothing, and get paid? It's OK if you don't do it right, we just want your self confidence to be high.
Children will not be children forever. They are a piece of clay. Each day of their lives, we as parents, grandparents, and teachers are moulding them. Do we want them to stay children at 40? Or do we want them to be confident, competent adults? The choice is ours. We are either raising children, or raising people.