Children Need to be Children –

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I agree. But I part company with the majority of wishy-washy parents who use that phrase as an excuse to either ignore or spoil their children (or both).

The majority of people in this country seem to think that children should be engaged in perpetual play, preferably of the politically correct kind. Nonsense. The majority of history has the role of children helping with the daily work of the family from the time they can stand and walk. Children worked on the farm in rural areas and worked in the family business in urban areas. They bonded quite closely with the rest of the family, learned valuable life skills, and generally loved their parents and extended family fiercely. This is quite a contrast with the current crop of spoiled darlings that gets away from their families as fast as possible.

In order to correct the horrors of early industrialization and child sweat-shop labor we passed laws to prevent the exploitation of minors and to enable them to stay in school long enough to get a decent education. We swung the pendulum too far, as usual. Most of the kiddies now don’t have any reasonable chores to do around the house, and, even if they do (and they actually do them), they are usually solo without participation of the rest of the family. Most parents are content to let their little darlings sit in front of a TV or a computer soaking up porn (either of the mind or the body). Then later the kids are mall rats with nothing to keep them out of trouble. The parents would be better served by not sitting down after dinner to watch their own boob-tube, but rather to do meal cleanup and household chores as a family unit and then help/supervise with all the kiddies homework – every night. And to develop a hobby which would involve the whole family in something involving constructive activities, preferably with a learning curve involving useful skills that can be passed on to the kidlets.

The idea that life is constant play and that we have to be entertained every waking moment of the day does not produce rational, balanced, loving adults. It produces totally selfish, weak individuals who look for someone else to do the providing. It produces people who cannot successfully relate to others, resulting in failed marriages and damaged children. It results in people who cannot make and hold to the commitment required to be a successful and loving partner and parent. In short, look around at the products of this type of poor parenting. What you see is what you will get if you raise your children this way. Not a pretty picture, is it?

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One Response to “Children Need to be Children –”

  1. Mrs. Mutton Says:

    I could tell you some stories from my own child-rearing years of 15 or so years ago — the teachers who thought I was abusing my son because I wouldn’t let him hang out at the mall with his “friends” (who would have dared him to shoplift, knowing the crowd in his class!), the teachers who thought it was child abuse for the kids to have chores to do (life-skills stuff like washing dishes, for crying out loud), and the church people who thought we were abnormal because we spent time together as a family. (Thankfully, since it was this last that finally propelled us into Orthodoxy.)

    But I contrast my own two, now grown, children with the two little horrors I saw, a couple of years ago, racketing around the supermarket, cutting off people’s shopping carts, and making unholy nuisances of themselves. As luck would have it, the little horrors and their mother ended up in line behind me at the checkout counter. I had to ask the checkout clerk *five times* what he had said because I couldn’t hear a word, and as luck would have it, when I explained that to him, there was a momentary lull in the racket. As I was leaving, the mother actually left her kids with her order and came up to me. “Do you have a problem with my children?” There were a lot of different ways to answer that one, so I kept it as neutral as I could and said, “I couldn’t hear the checkout clerk.” And she actually said, “They’re kids, okay? That’s how kids behave. Do you have kids?”

    Well, yes, that IS how kids behave — when parents don’t do their job and teach them how to conduct themselves (a) in public and (b) in a place of business. People seem to forget that a supermarket is still a place of business. (Even the checkout clerks. I’ve complained to management about having to listen to the kids’ love lives while my order is being rung through — I want them to pay attention to what they’re doing.)

    Can you tell you touched a nerve?

    (BTW, thanks for the cookie recipes. I may actually give them a try — they sound too tempting to be consigned to my usual I-Don’t-DO-Cookies stance, which I adopted after one rainy Saturday afternoon when I baked five dozen chocolate-chip cookies, and my husband and kiddos scarfed the lot while watching a WWII flick.)

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