One Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Parenting 101

“If I have to say your name/it again…?”

Ritu and every other parent out there!

Okay, so this isn’t going to be a simple one-liner… is it ever with me?

You read the above.

I’m currently considering the overused line above, that I definitely uttered today, at least three times, in the same situation!

What is it with kids not listening?

And why do I utter these empty threats?

I should really learn.

Saying anything to children of a certain age will gain you nothing.

(Unless you’re promising lots of sweet/TV time [the little uns] or V-Bucks for Fortnite and unlimited access to mobiles [older kids], then they listent o anything you want.)

Yet I still have these battles of wills with my kids, and sometimes my pupils at school.

Am I expecting too much?

Should a child jump as soon as we tell them to do something?

Or is it fine for them to drag their heels, dawdle for as long as they want, then stomp around in a huff when they are late for school?

I mean this morning, I used that quote/phrase to the demon teen Lil Man at least six thousand times, to get him out of bed…

And tonight, I had to repeat myself about the same to tween trouble, Lil Princess just to get her to put her shoes on so we could go home from my in-laws’ place…

And they didn’t rush/hurry/listen.

Yet I am still here, back home, in one piece. Nothing major happened to anyone because we were a few moments later than usual.

But, the point is, shouldn’t they be listening to me/us the first time?

I mentioned empty threats before, because they are.

I admit I tell them I will take phones/internet access away. Or that I will cancel a meet up with their friends.

Yet I don’t actually see it through… the fall out after something like that is just too big for me to deal with after a day at work!

And when they meet their friends, it’s a chance for me to catch up with the mums too, which I don’t get to do often enough!

It’s just easier to nag at them a little longer, endure the stomping and keep on going because the mood they’re in means they will disappear into their bedrooms for an hour after we get home, and I get peace before my sweet(er) children resurface!

So, yeah… that was my one liner!

Written for Linda’s #1LinerWeds prompt.

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One-Liner Wednesday – #1LinerWeds – Parenting

“Parenting isn’t about grand gestures, it’s about being there, turning up every day, dealing with every minutae of life.”

For Linda’s #1LinerWeds Challenge.

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Is It Harder To be A Parent In 2017? – Thursday Thoughts

The other night, as I was making the chapatti’s at my Mother-in-law’s house, her friend came to visit. They had their usual chats, then the talk turned to their grandchildren.

I could hear the comments about her children constantly on the go, taking their children here and there, and the kids demanding things, and having phones, iPads, TV at their disposal… it began to sound like one of those conversations where they were going to criticise the parents of today, because obviously it was better in their day…

Rolling out the chapattis, I was glad I wasn’t in there, as I may have said something!

But it got me thinking…

Is it harder being a parent now, in this day and age, than it was when we were children, and it was the turns of our parents?

Time Management

There is no sweeping statement we can make on this.

Back in the day, there were more Stay at Home Mums. You were more likely to find mum at home, caring for the family in a more child-centred way and Dad was at work, then came home to pat the children goodnight,  but equally there were many parents (my in-law’s included), who had moved over to a new country, and wanted to make a good life for their families, so they worked hard too, working all the hours God sent, to provide for their families and try and instil a good set of morals into their children. But still, you would have someone at home, making dinner, assisting with homework, ensuring the children had everything they needed.

Retro, Family, People, Rain, Clouds

Nowadays, you still have working parents and Stay at Home Mums, but it feels like there is not enough time in the day to deal with all that needs to be done. The rush in the morning to get everything ready for children, and yourself. Lunches made, bags packed, equipment kept ready for all these after school commitments. Then the day begins, school and work. Home time consists of rushing around to feed kids, so they can be shipped off the various clubs. While they are gone, you tend to jobs that need to be done. Getting them to bed is another story! Trying to grab phones and tablets off them, making sure homework and reading has been done, before lights out! Sometimes you could easily go to sleep before them!

Presence or Presents

Growing up, I remember my mum always being there. Pops was at work, but when he was home, he was with us, taking my brother to matches or training, or going out as a family, but we were together a lot. Being there with us counted for a lot.

Boy, Kid, Child, Phone, Calling, Mobile

Now, I feel that I have snatched moments with my children. Everything is a rush. Desperate to fit everything in, I often get short tempered then regret it immediately after. I am not too bad at this but it an be easy to compensate for not being there by promising treats and gifts. Chocolate, a trip to the park, watching a special programme on the TV. The requests are small as a young child, but once the expectations are there then the demands get bigger, and more expensive, Consoles, games for them, iPhones, iPads, the latest trainers. Which leads me on to…

Financial Pressures

I’m not saying everyone was rolling in it a generation back.

Far from it. But life was simpler and cheaper. There were fewer clubs and ‘things’ that were requested. And you could occupy your child relatively cheaply, because they were more likely to be happy with whatever you provided. I never wanted for anything, but then, I never really demanded anything from my parents either I got so much love from them, material possessions meant little to me. As long as I had a book, I was happy!

Life now has created financial pressures for most of us nowadays. Both parents working, if they can find jobs, because there is a need to work, not because they want to. Cost of living had increased immensely. It’s hard to keep up mortgage payments and house bills, and feed the family decent food. On top of that, you have to clothe your family. When they are young, you can get away with whatever you want. As they grow older they want certain things, and though you don’t want to spoil them, you want to give them what they crave at least some times. Extra Curricular activities can be free, but some, you have to pay for, and in today’s day and age, you feel terrible if you aren’t sending your child to at least one activity.

Too Many Choices

“Sit down and eat your dinner!”

And we would.

Not in any bad way, but as a parent you rarely requested your child to do anything, you told them, and the respect was there, that you listened.

Now, we I fear we have made a rod for our own backs. There are so many choices out there and often we will say to a child “Would you like this or that?” Allowing them to take certain decisions is not a bad thing, but when you end up making three different dinners because one child won’t eat that, and the other detests this... are we giving them too much choice?

When you are still waiting for your 7 year old daughter to get ready because she can’t decide what she wants to wear..? My mum put my clothes out for me… there was no choice.. and at that stage, I didn’t know what fashion was!

Social Media and the Internet

Way back when, there was the daily papers, and three channels for us to watch. News was something that was national, or affected us locally. Worldwide news would be in the papers the next day or a few days later, or if important you’d get a bulletin on the TV. Children went out to play with friends at the park, or you’d have play dates at your mates house. Sleepovers were fun.

Baby, Boy, Child, Childhood, Computer

Nowadays children still have friends, but if allowed, they are mostly communicating via social media. Snap Chat and Instagram, Twitter,WhatsApp and Facebook are the means for communication. Even the young ones have accounts on Roblox or MSP where they can message friends, real or otherwise. We as parents have access to these things too, as well as the internet, and instant access to news, and things happening everywhere.

Tricycle, Red, Childhood, Toy, Fun, Ride

When you put all this together it can make for scary thoughts. Why are we more hesitant to allow our kids to play out with their mates in the evenings, or to get on their bikes in the morning and not see them until dinner time? It was okay for us growing up, but now we’d prefer then to be somewhere we can see them…

Blame that on Social Media and the internet. Using the World Wide Web, we find out so much about awful things happening across the world. Stories about abductions, bullying, abuse, and so much connected to social media too. Isn’t it easier to keep our children inside a bubble?

I wonder whether we have made life harder for ourselves though. Lets be honest, a lot of this was happening before too, but our parents weren’t aware of it as all these horror stories weren’t reported in such a frequent and easy to access manner. Now all it takes is to log on to your Facebook account, and stories are shared of horrible things that happen. We want to protect our children, but give ourselves extra stress because we worry about what could happen, rather than live in the now.

Growing Up Too Soon

The innocence of childhood… that phrase rings so true when I think of when I was growing up. We played with toys, listened to our parents, had innocent fun until into our teen years.

It’s a different story now. Watching things on TV or the internet means that children are exposed to so much. Their language has matured from a much younger age. They are aware of a lot that is happening out in the world, which makes some cautious from a young age. They dress more grown up, want items with ‘names’ on them. Watching music videos, they don’t realise it, but they dance around in a sexualised way. And the attitude these children show too! The lip we have to endure from Tweens… see even a new name for those pre teen stroppy mares!

As a parent, you can control a lot of what your kids do, if you have a choice, but their is access to so much, from many different avenues, it can be hard to keep an eye on them the whole time.

Thirty years ago, the big worry may have been finding a naughty magazine under your son’s bed, or a hidden lipstick, or the discovery that your child has a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Now these are small worries in comparison to what we face. Do we censor everything? When my son started secondary school, he was quite innocent, and he still is. However sometimes we would hear him speak of certain things, that we would never mention, or condone him watching, and he said that his friends at school showed him on their phones.  He is growing up. Too fast in my eyes, but I know every parent thinks that. We have had to grant him trust, hoping that he knows right from wrong and that he doesn’t take a wrong path.

Going back too the beginning of the post, I went and joined my mother in law and her friend. I was fully expecting a conversation stating how rubbish we were as parents compared to them.

But I was wrong.

Instead, this aunty-ji said she felt for us parents of today.

Watching us run ourselves ragged, depositing children here, there and everywhere, working long hours, she felt for us.

Both her and my mother in law were so happy that they were here and able to be some support to us with regards to childcare, while they are still able. After all if we didn’t have their support, we wouldn’t be able to work properly, or if we did, the childcare costs would go up for us, having to pay someone to keep our kids until we were able to come home…

There was no criticism, only concern.

In their eyes, being a parent in their days, to young children was a doddle, compared to now!

What do you think? Is parenting harder now, or was it tougher back in the day?

Images from Pixabay.

 

Morning Person/Night Person… Which One Are You?

A morning person.
That’s me, most definitely. I’m the annoying one, bouncing around (without coffee, I’ll have you know!) first thing in the morning!
morning night
And it’s a good thing too, as my Hubby Dearest is definitely the opposite… A true Night Person.
He’s not great with alarms.
So it’s a good thing I am.  Because we have kids. And they seem to think that 6am is the right time to wake, every morning, or Lil Man at least! (And Lil Princess, in the holidays… really?! The struggles to get her to wake in the term time are unreal, yet in the holidays, 6.15am… why?!)
So breakfast is done, they are settled, and any bickering is dealt with by calm, rested mummy. If Daddy is roused, there is not a particularly patient parent there…
However, come 7pm, and mummy is getting tired.  Mummy can’t quite cope with the constant bickering. Mummy, shock horror, shouts! And in steps angel Daddy, to sort the problems out calmly, with no raised voices.
Hang on a minute, I was meant to be the Good Cop! When did the Baddie change places with me?
Good Bad
It got me thinking though.
This whole Good Cop/Bad Cop parenting thing.
We aren’t ever really just one of them, are we? Well in our household, there is definitely a personality change in Hubby Dearest and me, partway through the day!
And it directly correlates with our sleep patterns.
I sleep early because I am shattered from a busy day. I wake early, and refreshed, so I can be patient. Hubby Dearest sleeps late, and rouses himself later than me too, so he is at his prime, later in the day.
So I get Good Cop duty in the morning, and he is most definitely Bad Cop if he is woken up, and I morph into Bad cop by the evening, when my patience has worn very thin, but because he has had no kids to deal with in the day, and has woken later than us, Hubby Dearest switches to Good Cop!
So, which are you? Morning/Night Person? Good Cop/Bad Cop?

Images from Google.

Fear Projectors

parents

“What are they?” I hear you ask yourself.

Us.

They are us. Or at least quite a lot of us.

Ok, let me explain myself a little clearer. On a recent post of mine about my Lil Princess and her trip to the O2, I had a short exchange with Kat, where she said she was proud of me!

No no, we should be proud of the little performer, not me!

But the explanation in her comment made me thing…

 And it got me thinking.

We are, in general, a much more fearful type of parent than ours before us.  I am not, by any means, saying that our parents were uncaring, or unfeeling and not bothered by our safety, when we were growing up.

Of course, they were.

But they didn’t have all the knowledge that we have now.

The knowledge of all the awful things that happen out there in the Big Wide World.

We can thank the Media for that.

All through time, bad things have happened to people, adults, and youngsters. Kidnapping, abuse, murder, acts of war and terrorism. It has always been there, but before, you were highly unlikely to know about, for example, an abduction case in Mississippi, sitting in a small village in England, because it wasn’t covered in our papers.

Yet now, thanks to t’internet, we can browse through world news sites, and find out the horrors that occur around the world, 24 hours a day… and thanks to Social Media, things get posted, and reposted, and like with Chinese Whispers, sometimes things get twisted out of proportion… And God forbid something like that happen to our darlings!

And who suffers, as a result of us becoming so much more aware of dangers?

Kids.

The thing is, we don’t get to know about the percentages, the ratios, the probabilities of these kinds of happenings. We just know they happened.  So in our minds, they could happen to our kids too.

Remember your own childhoods?

Walking to school alone from young ages. In the holidays, disappearing as soon as you were allowed, and only appearing for mealtimes. Sure your mum knew who you were with (most of the time), and where you were (again most of the time!) but there were no mobile phones, so you couldn’t be checked on unless someone physically went out.

Freedom. That’s what we had.  Or more freedom than we seem to give our kids now.

I am definitely not one to preach.  I am just as bad.  I have always taken my kids to, and from school. They don’t go to the park alone. They only stay at their grandparents without us.

Why? Because of the fear that ‘something’ will happen to them.

And what does this do to our kids? Well, it is only going to rub off on them. And will they not grow up to become fearful of everything?

And now, I am on the crux of another pretty scary time, where my Lil Man is concerned.  He will be starting Secondary School soon, in September.  Big school!  I have been lucky as I was in the same school teaching, so I always had an overview of what was going on. But soon, I will be away from him.  He will have to do so much independently, and I remember posting about my fears before regarding him starting to do things himself.

And I can proudly say, that I have realised he is growing up!

He hasn’t even walked to the local shop (30 seconds away) on his own, to get me some milk, let alone walking to school alone! I know I need to remedy this now.

He is still very much a Lil Man, in every sense, size and stature, but he is a big character, and the last year have seen such changes in him, confidence-wise, and even with his own use of common sense!

He will be away mid this year, for 4 nights, with his class, which will be an amazing experience, and it is also his birthday when he is away.  But he is going.  I know a few people who have refused to let their kids go, for all sorts of silly reasons, but no, he needs to do this.

And Lil Princess, singing at the O2, a huge venue, where she was there with over 7,500 kids, and triple that in the audience, but not with me.  I’m surprised I wasn’t nervous!

I, for one, am being much more proactive about giving them these chances… I can’t say the same for the rest of the adults in the family!

My Mother-in-law dotes on her grandchildren, and whenever there is a time where they are going to be doing something out of the ordinary, she starts dreaming silly things!  The O2 trip, for example, brought on a dream that we were going there, and we lost Lil Man in the crowds! Oh, she has woken up in the past crying out their names too!

I am rambling on now, but the main point… we need to give our kids a little more chance to be independent, and to make choices of their own, without clouding our judgement because of what we read on Google that morning…

Don’t project your fears on them. It’s natural to have concerns, but we need to let them unfurl their wings and fly unaided at some point.  So why disable them, by not giving them the chance to practice from an early age? This only means that, as they get older, they will find it tougher to be independent, and also, they will carry those fears themselves, and possibly not take opportunities, for fear of ‘something’ happening.

Do I make any sense?

 

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