It is very easy to have an overwhelming schedule revolving around children. In fact pressure around parenting these days is such that children come next after career, making money. Well, making money is essential to afford to have children in the first place.
The question is: Is that right?
We all want the best and more for our children. We all make the best efforts to pave the way for our children so they don’t go through hardships and mishaps. And we all face the challenge to raise our children as well or better than our parents raised us.
That being said, is putting children first and foremost in our lives right after making money the best way to achieve this?
I don’t believe so and let tell me you why.
First, children are adults in the making who will more or less build their adulthood life around what they have seen as children. They will reproduce or directly contradict what you, parents, are doing now.
What most parents are doing these days is: abnegation and sacrifice. And this is especially true for women.
Do you really think that this will foster the desire in our children to have children themselves?
We are producing little selfish beings who are used to have their parents, in other words, their world, revolving around them, unconditionally. How healthy is that? Tell me. Is that love? Don’t fool yourself by thinking that this is love, because true love is not abnegation and sacrifice.
The very first thing that parents should do is love themselves: love the self and love their partner. As abstract as love can be, true love shows. And this is what you want your children to learn from you, because this is what makes a balanced healthy adult.
Loving the self in a non egotistic way is taking good care of yourself, respecting your rhythms, respecting your body, and doing what it takes to maintain balance in mind and body. Most importantly loving the self is learning to respect and listen to one’s inner guidance. Parents with teenagers all wish and pray that this inner-guidance is activated within their child.
If you love yourself, you show your child the right way to love himself. You teach him what he should learn about himself to take good care of him self. This may not be what will lead to the Ivy League but this is what will make him a happy, healthy adult.
Adults who see themselves only as parents, except for the time when they make money, have an imbalanced life that sooner or later will make them unhappy.
If you see your life as an account with many folders, well parenting is one of them, and one of them only. It may be a big folder especially if you have several children but it is one folder only.
Fortunately, we all are much more than parents. We are a woman or a man with her/his desires, needs, fears etc… and we are a lover as well. Although libido of any couple with children drops drastically fairly soon, we biologically, physically and emotionally need to have regular sexual intercourse. That makes us feel alive, vibrant. Besides, it could well spare you the boring work-out you go through regularly.
The only reason couple with kids cease all regular sexual intercourse is exhaustion combined with lack of time.
When the only safe time slot in a day is between 10:30pm, when you are sure that your beloved children are deep asleep, and 5am before the first early bird wakes up, your chances of having intimate physical time with your partner are close to none. If you add to that the fact that women need time and preparation to be willing and ready, you really wonder how #2 onwards were conceived….
Now, do a survey around you and ask young adults between the age 19 and 30 if they plan to have children knowing that once they have children:
- their time will only be dedicated to work and kids
- they will have fairly quickly no sexual life
- by the time their kids reach college, their dear passionate love will have become a business partner at best!
Guess what! I am sure most of them will have no motivation to continue human race. Even young ladies will lack motivation despite their innate need to have a baby.
What do they see in their Mom? Either a stressed individual that manages more or less the numerous tasks she has to do each day, or a devoted professional mother who has no life outside her children, and waits desperately for the grandchildren to fill the gap her own children leaving has created.
How exciting is that for any young women who has great hopes and expectations for her future?
So Ladies, we owe our daughters the duty to pave the way for a balanced life for women who have children. Please check my article “Are working women the root of the problem?” to find more about that.
Second, children need guidance to grow and develop their brain and body. They need to be guided until they are fully formed and able to make sound decisions for themselves.
Few people disagree with that statement. However most of them don’t draw the right consequences.
- Consequence #1: A child should never rule.
- Consequence #2: Saying no in order to have him respect your boundaries teaches your child to question what is offered to him, and gives him the ability to say no in due time as an adult.
- Consequence #3: Your child does not know what is best for him/her, and his innate ability to live the present time fully makes him close to unable to make the right decision in a long term perspective. The perfect example for this is food: which child would spontaneously choose broccoli over French fries or potato chips when the relevance of broccoli on his diet is a blurry mystery for him?
So you, parents, are and should be in charge.
It is not an easy task. And if you dilute yourself in being the playmate, the housekeeper, the taxi driver of your child, most likely you will have no energy left to truly do your job.
In the past, children had no word say. That was wrong because children are not dogs, they are human beings. We are now in the era of the king child, and that is nothing more than the other extreme.
I believe that there is nothing further from the truth than the extremes because truth resides in balance.
Unfortunately marketers absolutely love the king child and they will do everything they can to maintain that situation. We can’t blame them, they are doing their job: they are increasing the sales for businesses that must grow if they don’t want to be eaten up or dead.
Businesses are entities that do everything they can to survive and grow in a fierce competitive market. Whether this is good or bad is not relevant here. What’s relevant is that this is a fact: my children, your children are a favorite marketing target for all the firms that have legal goods to sell… and the others. Marketers love children because they are vulnerable, they are easy to impress, easy to convince, with no critical skills yet.
So it is left to you, parents to protect them from that pressure that can jeopardize their growth, their health, and their ability to function when they are adults.
Once again difficult task! That supposes that you limit TV as much as possible, that you keep strict boundaries in place that peer pressure will not invade. For that purpose you need a lot of energy.
These days when parenting support from family members is clearly limited and sometimes nonexistent, the 24/7 commitment asked from both parents is just unbearable. And far from me the idea that parents are to be blamed when they leave their kids in front of TV. TV is a coping mechanism for parents, giving them a break.
The problem is that TV leads to demands of more and more stuff, and satisfaction is never reached. And when it is commonly believed that women can be nagging, women have their master in their own kids.
I am a huge fan of Berenstain Bears that we religiously read every night to our little one. I love all messages given through each adventure even if I believe that Mother Bear is on drugs to be able to be so patient and composed all the time.
But Bear country is nowhere near the big business world our children are growing into. Parents’ rules are challenged constantly like never before.
Nevertheless our responsibility lies there. We are the ones, the only ones who can truly protect our children from the outside world and from themselves.
You need energy, courage and determination to protect and guide your children until they are able to do so themselves.
This is why the last thing you need is to have your couple draining you as well, or worse, falling apart. Therefore you need to nurture this relationship so you find support and love there to charge you batteries.
If you do so:
First you feel better and that has a direct impact on your children.
Second you teach your child to care for someone else than his own self and take pleasure at it.
And last, you have the necessary energy to question and decide everything that is offered to you for your child.
In one word you are empowered for the best.
Think of your ability to give as if it was a tank: how can you give anything valuable if it is empty? And who can truly fill it besides a partner who loves you for who you are?
Nurture yourself. Nurture your couple. PeaceReminder.com soon to be launched will be the ultimate tool you need to successfully do that.
And see your action benefit everyone around you.