Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 233 – Parenting

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“If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.”

Bette Davis

Thanks Spidey, for that.

Bette Davis, I hear ya sister!

I can tell my household is filled with teen and tweenage hormones.

The angst clouding the atmosphere can sometimes be so thick, I need my own knife to cut it, just so I can get around my house.

And over the last few weeks, I have had “I Hate You!” thrown at me so many times, it is unbelieveable!

Truthfully, I don’t hear it much from the older one.

He’s a little more subtle, with his brooding stares of death, and retreating to the garden to work off frustrations in the garden, whacking cricket balls around, or taking part in lengthy battles on Tekken 7, battering poor unsuspecting characters to submission on screen.

Once he’s done that, any moods disperse, and he’ll be quite calm again.

But the other one. OMG.

Maybe it’s because she’s the female of the species – though I don’t recall ever being this moody at her age!

But, seriously. WOW!

All it takes is saying “Can you change please?” or “Time for a shower.”

Yeah fine, sometimes I’m cramping her style, not allowing her to express herself through her interesting dress sense… butI need her to look decent, or respectable, at least.

But other times, all it takes is a “Good morning!” and the bedroom door is slammed shut in a huff. I’m left standing there thinking “Whaddidido?”

Last night, after insisting she went and showered, I heard the unmistakeable youth chant “Oh, I HATE you!” as she slammed the door again – the bathroom one this time.

“I know,” I replied cheerily, and went off to my room to read.

The life of a parent, eh.

Two hours earlier she was sitting on my lap, posing for Snapchat selfies with the Mum she hates.

I do love her hate!

So, how long does this stage last, anyone? She’s 11…

So… tell me, which stage of parenthood are you going through right now?

Have a peaceful Sunday Peeps  And enjoy your week! ❤ 

Chai And A Chat #24 #ChaiAndAChat

Hey there Peeps! I hope you’re ready … never a quiet one in Ritu-World!

  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you – “Week Three – In-Law-less – done!!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you work has been manic (isn’t it always? Life in an Early Years class…) We had Science week, so hyped the kids up with a chance to meet some minibeasts, like ginat Africam landsnails, tarantulas, African milipedes, cockroaches and a snake! Then on the Tuesday, my day started with a panic, as my team leader was off sick, and there was a moderation meeting happening the next day, across the schools in our academy. For those of you that don’t know, moderation is when you compare your judgements about pupils with the other schools, to make sure you aren’t making too easy/harsh judgements about how a child is progressing. I was worrying as I have never done one of these without here there, and the other Reception teacher has never been to one before… blind leading the blind? Yup! On top of that we had planning to do the next day too, which was going to be cut short because of the Moderation meeting. So by 9am on Tuesday, I had gathered moderation information, chased up paperwork, and created a skeleton plan for the following week’s learning. Phew! But thankfully my Team Leader ended up back that afternoon, because she cannot stay at home! So no panic in the end! But the day did not end without a tension headache… oh yes…
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that, moderation went well. I kinda feel a lot more confident about these things now, and hope that the experiences will help me further along in my career.
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you that the rest of the school week was relatively simple, until my kids decided to embarrass the heck out of me first thing on a Friday morning. Playing up and messing my classroom before the day had even started, arguing and generally making a nuisance of themselves. I ended up blowing my top at Lil Man before he headed off to his school… Seriously? Can children not even keep calm for at least 10 minutes, without causing a storm? BP felt like it rose high!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that, on the flip side, he has done really well in a Maths test, proving that the tutoring we send him for seems to be working! And he is also playing badminto regularly, on top of the cricket, and on Sunday, he was scouted for a Badminton Academy! I am very proud of him and his strengths. (Not so much, his teenage strops and attitude!)
    If we were sipping chai together I’d tell you Lil Princess got me worried this week. I would walk past her room, and hear her shout ot periodically, “Just shut up…!”… Turns out I didn’t need to worry! Apparently she did really well, but I couldnt watch as I was short staffed at the time!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d say that the weekend was absolutely wonderful with Pops and Mum. They brought a huge box full of my old photos from infanthood to university and I spent a long time perusing… they also found old certificates of mine, and embarrasing school photos too! We spent a long time chatting, reminiscing and talking about all sorts, and I learned so much from them both, about their lives, and customs and traditions in our culture. It’s amazing how I learn new things about my parents every time we sit and chat. Seriously, you think you must know everything about them, and then they tell you things that make your head spin… I hope to share some of the stories one day, on the blog, but I tell you what, Mum could write a memoir, and it would be amazing!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d mention that mum even managed to help me Marie Kondo the heck outta my kitchen which I had been dreading! We stripped countertops, emptied cupboards, threw out of date stuff away, made a (huge) donate pile and scrubbed cupboards and drawers and walls too (bit of a condensation issue in the kitchen) and then put it all back, wrapping up equipment that is used less frequently so it stays clean and generally more organinsed. Feels good, but 8 hours of that andf my shoulders are killing, my body is exhausted and eyes are itching from dust and all sorts! Still – feels GOOD!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d also say we had to sleep on the sofa bed for two nights, as I would never inflict that upon my parents, and I totally appreciated that Sunday night bubble bath that I have made sure I enjoy each week, as part of my ‘self’ word of the year!
  • If we were sipping chai together I’d let you know we went a bit spiritual too, at the temple on Sunday, celebrating the birth of a baby in one of Hubby Dearest’s friend’s family. Soul cleansed, kitchen cleansed, body cleansed… just need my mind to be emptied now, though I fear that will never happen!
  • If we were sipping that chai together, and possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d tell you that official lesson observation week is also this week, so I just need to get Tuesday out of the way, successfully (my observation day) then I can breathe and relax!
  • If we were sipping that chai togetherand possibly reaching for cake or cookies I’d mention that this coming weekend, NOTHING is planned – honestly! I hope for lots of lazing around. I need it!

Have a wonderful week, Peeps! Let me know how your week went!

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.

 

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