At work today I overheard a conversation between two mothers of young daughters. The daughter’s are 11 years of age. The conversatation was about the behaviour of these children. I could not believe my ears. One mum says she is treading on eggshells with here “Little Angel” as her hormones have kicked in and she has turned into a nightmare child. This mum says she runs her daughter’s bath each morning, lays out towels for her and lays out her clothes. Then goes to wake the child and asks what she would like for breakfast.
This mum is in her mid thirties, overweight and although she puts on a jolly front, I know she has self esteem issues. (I recognise me in her) What she said next really got me mad. She said if she upsets her daughter , this child calls her “ An Evil Fat Ugly Cow!” and the mother said to the daughter “Less of the Evil” I had to interrupt the conversation, I was incensed that this mum had so little respect for herself that she let her child speak to her in such a way. I asked why she let her child speak to her in such a way, laughing it off she said “But it’s true, I am a fat ugly cow”.
She has seems to have no self respect, so how can she inspire respect from her daughter? A conversation then ensued about parental respect and discipline and neither of these young mothers could understand why I was so upset. They seem to believe their daughters have the right to demand whatever they want, be it clothes, shoes, phones, to name but three things.
Now I might be very non pc here, but I believe you cannot be your child’s friend in childhood. You have to be a parent. Parents give love, stability and discipline. They set boundaries so children know where they stand. They teach respect for people, property and for the world we live in. Friendship with your children arrives when they reach adulthood and you reap the benefit of being the loving but strong parent in their formative years.
From where I stand looking at the children growing up now, there is a disconnection, an isolation that is scaring the living daylights out of me. So many young people do not know how to communicate verbally. We see it every day, so many young people wearing earphones, listening to music, playing video games, surfing the internet, texting on phones. I know it looks like I am tarring all young folk with the same brush. I’m not, but I am alarmed at number who cannot hold a conversation without being attached to some sort of electronic gadgetry.
I have gone off on a tangent and nearly fallen off my soapbox, but it is something I do feel strongly about. My children where brought up to respect their elders and each other. I was a strong displinarian, so much so that one of my daughters told me recently that two of her friends thought I was wicked. This was because my rule when they were playing out was, when the street lights came on, my children came in. These two young children were allowed to play out until 10pm on a school night...I asked my daughter what she thought now about how she was brought up, she said “Can’t you see what I think mum? I have the same rules for my kids”.
I didn’t always get it right with my kids, we all have differing situations and relationships. I just feel that we need to get back to simple family values. Families doing things together, eating at the table together, playing games, talking, going for walks. Instead of a television or a computer in every room in the house and every on being disconnected.