Amun-Ra : Parenting!

Discussion in 'Amun-Ra' started by Amun-Ra, May 9, 2001.

?

How do you feel about this essay?

  1. Agree Very Much

    3 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. Agree Somewhat

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Agree

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  4. Disagree Somewhat

    1 vote(s)
    20.0%
  5. Disagree Very Much

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    13
    Occupation:
    Sales Management
    Location:
    Dallas
    Ratings:
    +14
    Somewhere along the way we have come to believe that families with children operate as a democracy since we live in a democratic society. Run properly with regard to children, they're not. They're dictatorships and Mom and Dad are the benevolent dictators.

    Today it seems that parenting baffles more and more people who are parents. Today's parents are unsure of what to do, when to do it or how to do it. They look for answers in all the places we normally look in this modern society, such as books, the Internet, videos and self-proclaimed experts. The key to being a successful parent lies in the recognition of one simple fact--none of our children "asked to be born." So, as parents we are obligated to our children to nurture, to teach and to love them to the best of our ability. That seems to be a simple enough task but you must understand that cooperation by the child is optional.

    Children haven't changed much since I was a kid. The world has changed and it is more frightening than ever, but kids have remained constant in their ideas and attitudes over the years. What has changed is the way we as adults and parents relate to them.

    It's difficult being a parent. We catch it from all angles and from everyone including, child psychiatrists and child experts. It seems as if everyone is an expert except the parent.
    It has become fashionable to become best friends with our children. In theory, it is not a bad idea. However, in practice-it stinks. Parents can be only parents to their children. They can develop close and mature relationships, but children and parents aren't meant to be best friends. Best friends come from the ranks of peers. Still, some parents abandon their role to become best friends to their kids. The strange thing is that now they become neither fish nor fowl. They're not good parents and there not real best friends.

    A parent is more than a friend could ever be. While friends may come and go a parent is constant. A parent never deserts their child even if it meant giving up their life. Even when a child strays from the path of propriety and falls into the mire of misfortune and misguided lifestyles, they are still our children. All children have parents and if those parents are like most, they love their children no matter what the circumstances. Right or wrong, they are still your children.

    However, love does not translate into condoning inappropriate behavior. Being a parent does not mean that we give into a child's every demand. To the contrary, children need to understand limitations. Boundaries must be erected; rules must be made and enforced; consequences must be made known; and above all, parents must be consistent in handling each child.

    Parents must be involved in their children's lives or they will end up on the receiving end of bad news. Children give signs. Whether we recognize those signs or not depends upon how closely we are watching. Still, even with close monitoring, children often do stupid things.

    Good parents do things that naturally put them at odds with their children. It's natural. Parents and children aren't supposed to agree on everything. If they did, there would be no need for one or the other. Children need direction and guidance. Parents need to provide that direction and guidance, as well as, security, training, and preparation for adulthood.

    Most children are products of their environment and the most important part of that environment is the home. No matter if the home is palatial or a shack, the home is the most important environment during a child's formative years. This is when you start preparing them to live in the world outside your home. This is a time when children can and should be molded like a piece of clay. To many this may sound like control and if that is the perception, you're right. Controls and boundaries established at an early age help our children to fit into society as an adult.

    Parents who don't establish these controls and boundaries end up on talk shows saying things like " I can't control my kids." Or, "they don't listen to me." Somewhere along the line, we have come to believe that parenting is supposed to be easy.

    I promised I would never treat my kids the way my parents treated me. Our house was a dictatorship. We knew that we were in charge of nothing. We had no say in anything unless it was something that affected our activities or schoolwork. We had choices about what school activities we could participate in or not. We didn't have to belong to something if we didn't want to. We didn't have to take piano lessons if we didn't want to. We didn't have to do many things just because we didn't want to. However, there were many things we had to do; whether we wanted to do them or not. There was no choice in that matter.

    We had chores. We had curfews even until we finally graduated from high school. We had to follow the rules of the house-no "ifs", "ands" or "buts". We did not talk back. If so, it was at our own risk. We never cursed in the house or in front our parents or any adult, although at an early age I had the vocabulary of a 20-year Navy veteran. We certainly didn't argue with our parents. Oh, we tried, but soon found that wasn't the way things worked around our house. We found that the answer to many questions and the solver of many problems was "because I said so."

    We found out early that our parents were under no obligation to explain their motives to us. Although, as we matured, we found out that many of the "because I said so" decisions were made for our protection. Still, children are not stupid; they just lack sufficient experience for dealing with all of the problems of the world. As parents, it is our responsibility to help them make it into the world of adulthood with as little scarring as possible.

    Reasons for not automatically getting a car at 16; for not being able to stay out past midnight before reaching junior year in high school; for not being able to bring a girlfriend or boyfriend over to spend the night; and a host of other things are easily answered by "because I said so". Of course, you can try to explain. Unfortunately, a child's level of knowledge at this age is only exceeded by their inexperience, naiveté, and immaturity.

    I tried the explaining portion with my kids. I got the same look from them that I remember giving my parents until I was well into my late teens. It went in one ear and out of the other. Children haven't changed that much. Sometimes we make our children angry when we make decisions that are in their best interest but are not to their liking. Tough. They always have the option of taking a leave of absence without pay. If you are dependent upon the house, you play by house rules. If not, children (at least older children) should know that they can always take that leave of absence at anytime they think the rules are too tough.

    Parenting is not for the feint of heart or the perfectionist. It is not in what popular books and experts teach us. Parenting is about nurturing. Parenting is about building character. Parenting is about discipline, sacrifice and love. Parenting is about doing the right thing not the convenient thing.

    That's why books and experts are of little help when it comes to the nitty gritty of actual down to earth parenting. In deed, some of those books and experts are the very causes of what is wrong with our society today--permissiveness. It's not that our children have failed but we have failed our children by seeking the quick route, the easy road or avoiding being a true parent, while we pursue our own goals.

    True parenting is a life filled with sacrifice, strained nerves, silent suffering and sorrow once the job is complete. However, the joys of being a proud mother or father, of watching your child grow mentally and physically and of helping to shape a human being who is a part of you is unsurpassed on the scale of happiness. From the moment children enter this cold harsh world wrinkled and bleary-eyed with brand new confusion until the moment when they enter the adult world of reality and responsibility, we are their guides to life.

    It is our responsibility to guide our children on paths that are open and filled with promises, yet we must also teach restraint and respect for themselves as well as others. We must give them the freedom to be themselves and the appreciation of the others' freedoms. We must show them love and block them from hate. We must make tough decisions that are in the interest of our children. We must concentrate less on being best friends and spend more time being best parents.

    Perhaps, if we are more vigilant and more involved in our children's lives we could stop aberrant behavior before it ever starts. When does that leave time for you? It doesn't! When you bring children into the world the things you used to do become secondary. Your children are your life. It is not a choice we are free to make. If you have money, you can pass the chore on to others. If you are poor you either make do or ignore your responsibility. Nevertheless, once a parent, always a parent. There is no going back.
     
  2. WisdomSeed

    WisdomSeed Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2001
    Messages:
    74
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Chicago
    Ratings:
    +1
    And so I should...?

    Don't throw out the baby with the bathwater by simply dismissing the advice of experts and people who have studied children and parenting. Parenting is not a talent it is a skill and it can be learned like any other skill. One of the worst things to do is to do anything with no good or decent reason why. If my children, and I have three, question a decision that I make on their behalf, good for them. Who is it alive that does not have to be questioned. In the end, I always win, simply because I am bigger and older than they are. I do want them to fare well in the world, and I do protect and instruct them, and I do explain why I come to the decisions about them that I do. They are not bound to like it, but cest la vie.
    As far as advice goes, I am willing to listen to it, and I do read books on it, the more information I have the better able I am to make decisions. I think that parenting should be taught in high school so that at the very least, people have choices about how they parent. Now we rely on how we were parented, and sorry to say, that is not good enough.
     
  3. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    13
    Occupation:
    Sales Management
    Location:
    Dallas
    Ratings:
    +14
    And that is the beauty of opinions. We can disagree. Actually, we are not too far apart. I have read many of the books myself and get high kicks from poking fun at them. There are many that actually have very good advice. Probably, most poor parenting comes from lack of thinking (common sense) rather than ideas picked up in books.

    I must agree that parenting should be taught at some level. It's probably one of the easiest things to do in this country that admires degrees and certifications, demands tests for this and that including driving cars, planes and even eye tests, but there is no test for parenting and the license for marriage is about as indicative of marriagle expertise as a prize from a ******* Jack box.

    Ra

    :D
     
  4. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    13
    Occupation:
    Sales Management
    Location:
    Dallas
    Ratings:
    +14
    I firmly believe that parenting is a roll-your-sleeves up job. If it is easy, you must be doing something wrong and if you're still doing the same thing you did when you were a kid, then--something is wrong. Parenting is not easy. It requires sacrifice, love and a whole lot of patience.

    Just the pther day I heard a young mother talking about how she didn't have time to do anything any more. She couldn't go out and have fun as much as she used to do. Funny, I alwayss thought that once we had kids that our lives should change from focusing on ourselves to focusing on our children. The same conversation had the young father talking about how he had other things to do in life to be tied down with a child. The thing I noticed was that this talk is after the fact. It easy to stay out of that situation, but when reality intrudes it is tough.

    Still, everyone talks about how terrible it is that our teenagers are just babies having babies, but the real truth is that teenagers only account for 19 percent of unmarried births while the age groups of 20 to 29 account for nearly 55 percent which leaves another 26 percent for those over 30. Surely by then we should know where babies come from.

    Is something wrong here? I don't know, but one thing that I am sure about is that to be a parent requires your full attention.

    Ra
     
  5. dnommo

    dnommo Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,053
    Likes Received:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher of English, Literature & Poetry
    Location:
    Baltimore, Md.
    Ratings:
    +15
    entering from the garden...

    Ra, i agree with you that parenting is not an easy job but it is a worthwhile job. While society today constantly proclaims that most of the pregnancies come during teenage years, they have yet to address the subject of reality. the reality is that the 20 somethings are the ones who created the baby boom, not the teenagers. The sad fact is that these new parents are not ready to accept the responsibility of parenting. They look at it as a part time job and not a full time commitment. They look at children as disposable meaning they can leave them with grandparents to raise while they go ona dncontinue their lives. Children are not a convenience they are ablessing and they should not be treated like a part time job.

    Ra, parenting is a reasponsibility that many are afriad to accept eventhought they are having unprotected sex. The baby is the effect not the cause and people in general should realize that. Loving your children and being a good parent means more than buying a 2 yr old a pair of $100 timberlands that they will outgrow before the new leather smell goes away. Good parenting does not mean buying your childs love by flooding them with gifts and toys and trips to the circus. it means taking time to show your love for them by expressing your appreciation for them.

    My outlook on it is this: even if the parent doesn't want the child, they should accept the responsibility in silence. The last thing a child needs to hear is how much they were not wanted. That eventually sets in as reasonf ro them to have their own baby to show love to. A 12 yr old girl once told me she wanted to have a baby so she can love it like her mother never loved her. she knew she wasnot wanted and her mother had no problem reminding her of that. The cycle needs to stop today...

    just dropping some lines into the fray...

    kemetstry,
    i agree with your very colorful words of wisdom...As each generation takes a softer stance on raising xchildren, the responsibility shifts. It goes from the parent to TV to music and now...to Playstation2...

    where does it end?
     
  6. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    13
    Occupation:
    Sales Management
    Location:
    Dallas
    Ratings:
    +14
    You Said A mouthful there

    We need to accept the burden and carry it gracefully. I know that it is trite and a worn saying that none of us "asked to be born" but that is the truth. Once a life is brought into the world our former life "suddenly takes a back seat" and there is no getting around it if we call ourselves responsible. We are on the same track when we talk about the those who are having babies who are not teenagers. Teenagers have children. Yes! But, just as you pointed out, the larger problem comes among the unmarried adults who are having children. I know things happen, but in an age when the arsenal of birth control methods are well known and available, there is no excuse. You need to take this one on in a column.

    Ra:cool:
     
  7. dnommo

    dnommo Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2001
    Messages:
    2,053
    Likes Received:
    13
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Teacher of English, Literature & Poetry
    Location:
    Baltimore, Md.
    Ratings:
    +15
    i think i will....
     
  8. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    13
    Occupation:
    Sales Management
    Location:
    Dallas
    Ratings:
    +14
    I Be Dere!

    Looking forward to it.

    Ra
     
  9. $$RICH$$

    $$RICH$$ Lyon King Admin. STAFF

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2001
    Messages:
    69,983
    Likes Received:
    3,978
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    BUSINESS owner
    Location:
    Da~WINDY*CITY //CHICAGO
    Ratings:
    +4,178
    I STRONGLY AGREE

    PARENTING IS THE RIB OF OUR FORE FATHERS
    ITS HARD BUT WORTHY WE NEED MORE PURE GUIDING
    AND LESS BOOK WORM WORK FROM MAN MADE
    LOOKING BACK INTO LIFE DIS WAS THE POWER
    WE TRYED TO POSE BEFORE WE WAS STOLEN
    AND SOLD UPON SLAVERY
    IN TODAY'S LIFE WE STILL LACK DIS POWER
    TO PARENTHOOD OUR CHILDREN
    COZ SO MANY HAD NO PARENTS
    BROKEN HOMES
    AND CHILDREN HAVING CHILDREN
    WHO NO NOTHING TOO BEING A PARENT
    SOME WHERE SOME HOW WE SHELL OVER COME
    SOME DAY!
    I AGREE OUR CHILDREN IS THE FURTURE!
    NOW IS DA TYME TO CHANGE THE ODDS
    ITS HARD WORK
    LONG SLEEPLESS NIGHTS
    ITS HAPPINESS
    ITS PAIN
    BUT WE BARE NO SHAME ...
    PARENTHOOD IS A GIFT OF LOVE TO YA LITTLE ONES
     
  10. Amun-Ra

    Amun-Ra Well-Known Member MEMBER

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2001
    Messages:
    1,868
    Likes Received:
    13
    Occupation:
    Sales Management
    Location:
    Dallas
    Ratings:
    +14
    Absolutely Right

    You got this right! It is in the heritage.

    Ra
     
Loading...