When a child is born unto this world, they are born with a clean slate. No history, no expectations, no baggage, and no particular pre-set code of behaviour.
Parents are the main influence in a childs life, and are therefore responsible for their childs behaviour. Now, this can be a good thing – if you happen to have a very well behaved child, then by all means, stand up, take a bow, and openly accept praise for a job well done.
If your child is not so well bahaved, and you find yourself the object of disaproving stares on a regular basis – hang your head in shame, you have no one to blame but yourself – or do you?
This is a controversial subject, and one that raises many an arguement for boths sides.
Once upon a time, it may have been taken for granted, that a badly behaved child, was the product of a dysfunctional family. Their parents did not provide discipline and guidance, and the child was deemed to be given too much leniency, and was probably neglected.
That was then, what about now?
Our family homes are now invaded on a daily basis. Our children are mesmerised by message after message via the internet, television, gaming consoles, music videos, mobile phones…the list goes on.
these messages are very cleverly marketed. The large corporations who design these messages, spend squillions of dollars investigating our lives to figure out how to best intrude upon them, and you can bet your bottom dollar that our children are their number one target.
These days, a parents influence ranks rather low, and comes in somewhere behind Media, Song, Movies, Television, and Peers.
So one must ask the questions – why are children of today looking to these alternate sources for guidance and inclusion?
Have we as parents become too busy to guide our children?
Are we too occupied with our jobs, friends, relationships, dramas, to take time to spend with our children?
When we spend less and less time with our children, we feel guilty. The product of guilt is usually overcompensating. We fear disiplining them, and we cater to their need for instant gratification.
Our children learn at an early age that there are no consequences. Mum or dad will bail them out, or give in, and they shouldn’t have to “earn” anything.
So yes, it is fair to say that badly behaved children are more than likely the product of their parents failings.
However, before we chastise the parents and blame them solely, lets do some deep soul searching as a society – lets ask ourselves why we openly encourage mothers to abandon their children at such a crucial age, in favour of a career, lets question why we have such an insatiable need to keep up with the Joneses, and lets explore why no matter how hard we try, we all feel as though we are not worthy unless we are being or doing something – something that inevitably means rushing around, keeping busy and occupying ourselves with anything other than the huge job of just parenting.
When we can come together as a society and truly honour motherhood, and develop a new model involving all levels of government and community, so that a mother can be there for her children during the most important years of their lives, without fear of financial hardship – or isolation – then we can look forward to a socitey with less disconnected youth, less crime, less suicide, and more well behaved children who respect themselves and the society for which they are proud to be a part of.