Friday, September 16, 2011

De-compartmentalizing Parenting


I remember watching Super Nanny a few years ago telling a “mum” that her daughter was lying to her about her aches and pains. The nanny tells the mom she needs to explain to the daughter that lying is wrong. I was dumbfounded by the mother’s reaction…
“You want me to talk to her about lying?? But… she’s four!
It got me thinking about the many many issues that come with raising children. We all have our beliefs when it comes to the wrongs and rights of child rearing. It seems as though today’s parent has compartmentalized parental responsibility to the community at large. Teachers, doctors, social workers etc. can contribute to the wholesomeness of a child.  These community positions are valuable in our society, and add to building a society of mature individuals needed for tomorrow’s future….but, have we compartmentalized parenting to the point that we can’t explain the concept of lying to a four year old? Do we need a social worker/super nanny to tell us, or teach our children the basics of this very common issue?
I see so many examples of compartmentalized parenting today, and as a child I experienced it a bit myself. Education for example, was the school’s responsibility. My father was not actively involved in my education. I had little, if any guidance on what classes I wanted to pursue in high school. Fortunately, I was very smart, and had a good head on my shoulders. I was able to choose classes, with a guidance counselor, and I ultimately graduated with good marks. If there is a one area of compartmentalization that stands out, I would have to recognize instilling respectful social behavior in children has been largely neglected.
My children’s school year started with a theme…stop bullying behavior. I’ve received several pieces of information along with some home work activities outlining bullying behavior…here’s a tidbit of what I received…
Emerging bullying behavior – Eye rolling, dirty looks, name calling, comments, teasing
Escalating bullying behavior – Throwing things, pushing, shoving, poking, gossiping, spreading rumors etc.
Call me crazy, but isn’t this common sense? Why does a school need to print a glossy brochure outlining the basics of disrespectful behavior with potentially harmful consequences? Have we become unaccountable bystanders when it comes this very commonplace behavior?
I do applaud my school for taking the bull by the horns. I think the brochure says it best…
Myth #5 – Anti-bullying programs and laws are the most effective response to bullying.
(Answer) Programs and laws can be helpful in addressing bullying, but it is essential to create a culture of care in which bullying cannot exist. 
There is not a doubt in my mind that the “culture of care” begins at home.

2 comments:

  1. I was picked on relentlessly in jr high and it carried over slightly to high school but it is only now that I recognize that it was bullying and a little irked no one did anything.

    I was sullen and moody and a little anti social because of it, that said, it also made me a stronger, healthier adult and I learned a lot about myself because of it.

    I am glad that there are programs in place and I do wish they were there then but I wonder what I would be like now...

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was picked on as well. I wore hearing aids as a child, so you can imagine the teasing I received.

    I think the teasing, taunts etc. are too underrated. I truly believe parents need to be more proactive in teaching respectful behavior in children. I see way too much disregard for another's space/feelings. It's becoming a societal norm or acceptable way for children to behave.

    The problem is in the consequences, while children like you and I have learned to overcome our situations, many others cannot handle the harm teasing causes.

    ReplyDelete

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