Kidulthood

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This might be a controversial post considering I don’t have children and I haven’t physically been through the struggles that parents have in raising their kids. But what the hell.

I saw two types of parenting on my way to work this morning, both of which I disagree with. I will explain below in more detail and then you can decide. There are no wrong or right answers, but your opinions interest me.

Parent one: Female in her early twenties. Sat at the bus stop constantly on her iphone. She has a two or three year old, on a mini trike, eating a double chocolate chip muffin for breakfast (it’s 7.30am), in his trike basket he also has a bottle of full fat coca cola. A bus pulls up and the kid shouts and points  ‘bus!’, mum does not look up from her phone or acknowledge the fact he has indeed, correctly identified a bus. The bus pulls away and he starts screaming and crying. Again, without looking up from her phone. ‘Ssshh we’ll get the next one.’ A lorry drives past and the kid shouts ‘lorry!’, again no recognition from mum. They get on the bus and the kid runs straight to the back, mum says ‘no, come and sit with mummy by your bike’, kid says ‘no!’. Mum gives in, leaves the trike at the front of the bus and goes to sit with her kid at the back of the bus.

Parent two: The bus is late, so there are a fair few people waiting at the bus stop. The bus finally arrives, and a parent arrives around the same time (flustered & late) with a six/seven year old. Pushes to the front of the queue of people, including other kids and an elderly lady, to get on the bus first. Sits in the disabled seats and picks up a copy of the metro and shows her daughter. ‘Look! There’s that dead kid that washed up on the shore, look!’ Forcing the paper into her child’s hands. The little girl looks suitably horrified. Then, like any other inquisitive child asks; ‘What happened to him?’ Response; ‘He drowned.’ Little girls asks, ‘Why?’ Parent – ‘Don’t know.’ Child – ‘Where is his Mummy?’ Parent – ‘Don’t know’. ‘ Where is Syria?’ ‘Abroad’. ‘Why is it bad out there?’ ‘Don’t know.’ ‘Where will all these people go?’ ‘Don’t know’.

And as I left the bus, the little girl was still asking questions that her mum couldn’t answer. Which in essence is fine. Parents don’t know everything. But don’t show a six year old a picture of a dead child washed up on the shore and expect her to just accept it. It’s horrific. And it made me sad, that a parent would willingly show a child something that would need more explanation and not expect to answer some pretty tough questions.

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It also made me sad that a parent could fill her toddler with tons of sugar, first thing in the morning and then pretty much ignore and give in to his demands. And I know, that I don’t know what it’s like. To have the sleepless nights, the tantrums, the excessive questions. It’s hard work and my heart goes out to parents, it really does. It’s a tough gig.

But we have a responsibility to bring up healthy, well rounded, educated children that want to learn and achieve their dreams and hopefully make this world a better place. I don’t think that involves your iPhone or showing them pictures of dead children. Sorry.

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6 thoughts on “Kidulthood

  1. Knowing how to be a good parent stresses me out. Knowing basic food tyes and which ones are setting you up for a healthy life is not hard in this day and age, we shouldn’t be feeding anyone that breakfast. When parent number two has her child up in the night after nightmares of dead children on the beach maybe she will think again 😦 x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly. It doesn’t take a genius to work that out. Good people make good parents. Common sense does a lot of it for you. It was horrible watching that little girls face trying to understand what she was seeing. I know we can’t protect them from everything, but that was a little extreme for me!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I really wanted to write a long and intelligent reply to this but ironically I am now too exhausted from spending the day teaching, chatting to, playing with and bartering about amounts of salad that had to be eaten before pudding was aloud with my 4 year old daughter, to be able to articulate my sentiments.
    It was a long the lines of constantly feeling judged about everything parental thing I do when out in public but actually realising that maybe feeling like that is confirmation of being a “good” parent as perhaps the “bad” parents don’t ever feel like that as they just don’t give a fuck.
    Okay, bed time now… x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As a mother of 5, I can feel your frustration with both. I will say, I had my first 4 kids (1st marriage) by the time I was 24. I had my 5th child (2nd marriage) when I was 35. I can say, for me personally, age has a significant part in how situations are handled. Based on one’s parenting style, will definitely affect how people see and judge us in public. I myself have sat in judgement of a mother of 4, who ignored her 3 youngest kids while grocery shopping, only addressing them when one child tormented the youngest into horrible screaming fits and then threatening to take way their treat. It’s times like those, that I bite my lip, as not to address the parents and some instances the child. As I get older, I see the generation gap a lot clearer. Just my observations though.

    Liked by 1 person

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