We all know the idealism that comes when you are expecting your first child is inspiring. With subsequent children these standards slip considerably. Baby one has matching socks and vests and baby three is lucky to have socks at all. It doesn’t mean you love the last one any less. It’s just the more life piles on something has to give.
Our minds are so saturated with rules and regulations in order to excel at life. It’s overwhelming. I f I were to do everything ‘right’ in a day I reckon I’d get about two hours sleep if I was lucky. So every day we prioritise what we can do that day and the cycle continues day in and day out.
Years ago there weren’t as many rules. As long as your children were fed and clean from time to time you were doing a good job. Now you need a degree in child psychology to rear children. Last week I read that saying good boy to your child could have damaging side effects.
I sometimes find myself at a loss.
With that in mind I try my best to rear my children through the gauntlet of do’s and do not’s and I haven’t managed to kill one yet. There are a few rules that I would surmise most parents try to stick to.
Try and not curse around the children. It’s not the best use of our language skills and funny and all as it is to hear your two and a half year old repeat the word bitch most people discourage it, once they have finished laughing.
Make an attempt at feeding them healthy food. It’s difficult but strawberries and banana’s dipped in chocolate still counts doesn’t it?
The reason I’m writing this is because I broke one of the cardinal rules of child rearing in this day and age.
I had an argument in front of the children.
A discussion between two adults became heated and escalated quickly. My voice rose as it does when I’m angry and my sparring partner asked me to keep my voice down and not in front of the children.
When the exchange was over and both parties had cooled down we both expressed regret about the fact that our children witnessed the row. Then I had time to reflect and I thought, do you know what? What bloody harm did it do?
Now I’d like to make clear that I’m not talking about abusive relationships or households that live in terror all the time. I’m just talking about an odd row once in a blue moon where grown up’s fail to agree and lose control.
What they actually witnessed was two adults having a disagreement. There were raised voices and red faces and then it was resolved. The two adults reconciled and life went on. This is what happens in life. To shield children from it completely is not doing them any favours.
Many children have no coping mechanisms at all. This notion that the children would be traumatised irked me.
The world is a tough place and if we over protect our children we are failing to prepare them for real life. Surely that’s worse parenting than having them witness the odd row?