Our Parenting Culture Sucks!

As I put my kids to bed I began to reflect on how my day went and as always, I ask myself one question at the end of the day, “Did I make my son feel visible?”

I guess this is important because when I was a little girl I felt invisible. For the most part my mom was always consumed with all the house chores. I mean who can blame her, the lady had to get it done and I understand that, but somehow, I would have preferred to live in a messy home in exchange for memories and moments of engagement.

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Focus in on innocence

My thoughts continued to evolve and as I stood there watching my children sleep soundlessly. Their innocence represents an inexplicable beauty. I can’t help but think about the children who take the unleashing of their parent’s frustrations. I couldn’t help but think of the children that feel sad and alone.

Why is that we use our children as emotional punching bags?

Children are treated unfairly.

We acknowledge their vulnerability and we abuse our authority.

We force, push and shove our children as if they were objects and not people.

No one should be coerced, pushed, shoved or mistreated, so why do we do it to the most vulnerable, our own kiddies.

Bullies detect the most vulnerable target before they engage in bullying. Sadly, parents can be undetected bullies.

Our Culture

Today I remembered the few times that I yelled at my son for not using the toilet when he had just turned two. I remember the one time that I yelled at him for not wanting to sleep in his own bed. I remember those moments so clearly because those were the moments that God spoke to me the most.

As parents we need to be conscious that every child is different. Children should experience the world and develop at their own pace and not at the pace we choose for them.

Children have the right to experience and discover life, fear-free

We forget or don’t realize the things we do or how we act towards our children because our main concern is to mimic what other parents accomplish with their children.

Parenting is not a competition it’s a learning experience. An experience that should take its course and not be rushed.

Sleeping with our kids

Society tells us that we need to force our kids to sleep by themselves as soon as they are born. This belief is screwed up. Babies need to feel mom constantly especially after being born and having been in the womb for nine months.

People want to forcefully, make babies adapt to cribs and regulated sleeping habits and other nonsense, as if they were robots. This is ridiculous. Babies should be nurtured and it’s us who need to accommodate ourselves to our little ones.

We need to develop patience

There is no such thing as spoiling a baby with too much love, or too many hugs or holding onto them for long periods of time.

These are broken beliefs. Babies need security and the warmth of our arms.

Children need love and affection, and most of all, empathy.

Our toddlers need all the love we have to offer along with firm and loving discipline.

As I look at my four-year-old and my five-month-old baby sleeping in my bed, I think to myself, how wonderful they must feel to fall asleep with mommy and daddy. How secure they must feel knowing that they are accepted and not rejected.

Children grow and there comes a time when the tables turn. They will be doing all the rejecting while we’re the ones seeking for their attention and engagement.

Change

Let’s change this culture by changing our broken beliefs. You and I can change the world by renewing our minds, becoming conscious of our actions, and raise children who are loved, accepted and empowered.

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Do you ignore your child’s feelings?

Are you aware that your toddler feels embarrassment, intimidation, harassment, fear, shyness among other feelings?

Children tend to feel intimidated by new people, new crowds, and new places.

My son is only three and not too long ago I was forcing him to say to everyone and I would punish him for not being polite and saying hello to people. That’s pretty harsh isn’t it?

I realized that when I would put him on the spot and woulfd force him to say hello to more than one person in outdoor settings he would retract and tended to hide behind me. I saw it as a sign of disrespect or rebellion. I remember getting upset, but because deep inside I feared that people would think that I was not teaching my son any manners.

WHAT WAS I THINKING!!!!!

It’s unrealistic to expect maturity and complete politeness from a 3-year-old.

It’s crazy to put my son on the spot out of fear of what others would think about me as a mother. All I was doing was embarrassing my poor little one. All that I was accomplishing was making my son feel bad for expecting politeness from him.

I’ve realized that we should not parent out of fear of what others may think of us.

I’ve realized that a child possesses an immature nature and one must not force them to become mature before their time.

Let’s embrace our kids’ immaturity and discipline them with love and compassion.

Let’s be conscious that our actions may embarrass our children.

Our actions may instill fear in them.

Our irrational behaviors may cause them to shy away from new experiences because we want to force them to react in ways that we believe is right.

Do what I do. Pray and ask God to help you discipline righteously.
Let’s discipline with a focus on embracing our children’s nature, rather than out fear for what others may think of you.

Maritza