>Suffer the Children
>I just don’t understand. I don’t have children of my own but my little brother was practically mine and my nephew was, too. In fact, he will tell you I’m his mom. My point is, what are parents thinking sometimes? For example, there are parents who have this wonderful opportunity to spend time with their children, and they have the means, yet they choose not to. It’s not like they would have to miss work or anything. The opportunity is simply there, whether they take it or not. And usually, it’s not. Then there are other parents who treat their children like a science experiment. Bizarre restrictions on locations of various things and when the child is allowed to speak and oh my gosh, it gets really weird. Aren’t there enough weird people in the world?
Then consider the parents who make excuses for everything their child does, including trying to inflict bodily harm on them, with weapons! Oh, Johnny is just having a bad day. Are you going to say that when he actually stabs/shoots you? After all, he knows where the gun is…? Come on, get a clue!
On the opposite end of the spectrum are the parents who push their children to achieve. Trying to instill some ambition, a sense of pride in work well done, motivating them to try their best is a good thing. But when you hound a very small child, very small, to be the best all the time, to be number one, to do better than everyone else all the time every single day, well….that child is eventually going to explode from all the pressure. They have goals, not of their own choosing, set before them and, in all reality, they are not going to be able to meet them all the time. And failure is apparently not tolerated. Pushing a child to do something that is beyond their capability, for their age, maturity, whatever, is going to backfire and unfortunately, the child is going to be the one to suffer. They’re never going to be good enough and sadly, they will grow up believing that they are the ones setting the measurements for supposed success. They will blame themselves and be eaten up from the inside out with guilt, self hatred, and anger.
Children are gifts, not experiments. They are to be cherished, led, protected, and encouraged. They need boundaries and structure. They need role models who succeed and fail. They need to be allowed to fall down so they can learn how to get up. It benefits them nothing to have everything done for them. Nor do they gain from pressure to perform at impossible and unrealistic levels.
Allow them to fall, get dirty, cry and be children. One day, you may look back and wonder how the hell the person screaming uncontrollably, rotting in jail, lying in a morgue, on the six o clock news, or, perhaps worse, walking around empty inside-replaced your beautiful little baby that you had such high hopes for. Have high hopes. Allow for their hopes, too. Most importantly, show them that you love them simply because of who they are.