Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Kindergarchy : The Rules by Children

Children have gone from background to foreground figures in domestic life, with more and more attention centered on them, their upbringing, their small accomplishments, and their right relationship with parents and grandparents. We are current living in Kindergarchy, under rule by children!

Recently I was driving down a popular street and, as I sat at a red light, I noticed a little scene playing out on the sidewalk in front of a coffee shop. This tableau included a woman, a man and their son, who looked to be about 4 years old. I could not hear the dialogue, but the body language said it all.

The parents stood on either side of the child, tilting toward him in supplication. Arms were extended as pleas were made, but to no avail. They stroked the child’s silky hair, made exaggerated smiley-faces and hopped around with excitement as if to show the child just how wonderful it would be if only he would consent to doing whatever it was they wanted him to do. The child, on the other hand, was unmoved in the extreme. So much so, in fact, that he vehemently crossed his arms stamped his feet and shook his head NO. The parent’s shoulders sagged in defeat as they exchanged expressions of resigned acceptance across the top of the child’s head.

Request denied. Better luck next time.

As the light changed and I drove away, it occurred to me that what I had just witnessed was less of a family outing and more of a hostage situation.

Just last week, while grocery shopping in our local market, I saw a mom engaged in desperate negotiations with her 5-year-old daughter who could be heard several aisles away lodging loud complaints that she was [gasp!] not having fun.

“Please”, the mom said, “I know you don’t want to be here but Mommy really needs to do the shopping, okay? Is that all right with you? It would be so nice if you would let Mommy finish getting the groceries, OK? Please?”

On second thought, that’s not negotiating. That’s just plain begging.

When did the children take over? Did they sneak into my purse while I was watching “All My Children” and lift the car keys? Did I unknowingly sign over my power of attorney thinking I was ordering a school T-Shirt?

I don’t think I am the only one who’s troubled by the mounting evidence that there’s been a power shift in our society from the grown-ups to the children. In fact, enough people have registered this shift that it now has its own pop-culture handle, as defined by WrodSpy:
Rule or domination by children; the belief that children’s needs and preferences take precedence over those of their parents or other adults.
As much comedic material as this trend generates, though, it also gives one pause.

In my opinion, two of the most important tasks of parenting are to keep one’s children sage and to prepare them to function (and, ideally, flourish) in society at large once they are ready to transition out of parental care. I think allowing children to adopt the tyrannical viewpoint that their wishes and preferences should dictate the reality of those around them (including parents and other adults) and then handling them the power to enforce that viewpoint by giving up parental boundaries and authority works directly against the successful completion of these two important tasks.

I did some research, hoping to come across a pithy quote that would illustrate this point. This is what I found:

“Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.”

I interpret this to mean it is a mistake as well as a disservice to try to smooth out or eliminate every single bump and discomfort life rather than help them learn the skills to navigate the bumps and overcome the discomforts they inevitably will encounter along the way.

Sometimes we don’t get to do what we want. Sometimes we have to be patient. Sometimes we are not the boss. Sometimes it’s not all about us. Sometimes we need to improve ourselves. Sometimes we don’t win. Sometimes we have to suck it up.

These are realities in the world of grown-ups.

If the goal is to raise children who will someday turn into grown-ups who are well-adjusted, resilient and with whom other people actually want to spend time, then we do children no favor when we allow them to slip through childhood without learning these invaluable skills.

संबंधित पुष्प :

01. Child's Global Fleshiness : (मुलांमधिल लट्ठपणाचा जागतिक रोग) - १
02. Child's Global Fleshiness : Child's Global Fleshiness : (मुलांमधिल लट्ठपणाचा जागतिक रोग) - २
03. Child's Global Fleshiness : How to measure weight? (वजन कसे मोजावे?) - ३
04. Kid's Breakfast (मुलांचा खाऊ )
05. Be aware about kid's fever (मुलांचे तापेपासून स्वंरक्षण)
06. ICU : Ice Cream Unit
07. A Solution on Bed Weting : Homeopathy (मुलांच्या बेड वेटिंगवर उपाय)
08. How to measure weight? (वजन कसे मोजावे?) - ३
09. Sweet Medicine on Maleriya (मलेरियावर गोड औषध)
10. Kids and Rules of Massage (मुले आणि मालिश करण्याचे नियम)
11. What is the importance of beauty sleep in your kid's life? (मुलांसाठी झोप किती महत्वाची?)
12. Anti Oxidents : Keep Disease Away (एंटी आँक्सिडेंटस : दूर ठेवा आजारपणाच्या तक्रारी)
13. Milk : The Best Food Forever! (दूध एक उत्तम आहार)
14. If someone afflicted at home (घरात जर कुणी आजारी असेल तर )
15. Kids, please do not habitual with Fast Food..!!!
16. How toxins enter our body?
17. Useful Websites for Kids (मुलांसाठी उपयुक्त वेबसाइट्स)
18. While Conversation With Kids (मुलांशी संवाद साधताना)
19. Cryos : The First International Sperm Bank In India (भारतातील पहिली आंतरराष्ट्रीय वीर्य बैंक)
20. Stressful Period Before Delivery May Affect the Growth of Your Baby (प्रसूतिपूर्व काळात ताणाचा संतातिवर परिणाम शक्य)
21. Mom and Dad,Please change your attitude (मम्मी आणि पप्पा आता तरी बदला ना!)
22. Calcium Bank for your child
Post a Comment