We have to stop making excuses for our bad parenting ‘decisions’.
Because the reality is that we, as parents, as a community, are getting things horribly wrong with our children. And I’m not talking about the inevitable mistakes that we will make because we are not perfect people and therefore cannot be perfect parents. Even the best of us will get it wrong.
What I’m talking about is the blind justification of decisions made for our children that are clearly and undeniably wrong.
Like allowing them hours on a screen.
And if you want proof, don’t just read the plethora of research out there talking about this, simply observe our children. Look at their lack of social skills, look at their hyperactivity, look at their utter disinterest in the world around them, in their lack of manners, in their sense of entitlement, in their lack of empathy, in their lack of direction, in their lack of will to work hard.
We are bombarding our children with so much that is not natural that they are turning into automatons. Look at the number of violent children who abuse their parents. Yes. This is happening.
Or look at the rates of childhood obesity just in Australia. One in four children in Australia were reported as overweight in the period between 2007-2008
And if we’re honest with ourselves, adults are just as addicted to technology as our children are. As adults we don’t know how to responsibly use these devices that have overrun our lives in such a short period. How can we just hand them over to our children?
The point I am making is that we, as parents, really need to stop excusing our bad parenting decisions. We need to stop being so defensive and jumping down people’s throats about being “judgemental” because guess what?
We actually need to learn how to positively and intelligently “judge” what is right, and what is wrong. We need to teach our children how to discern between what is positive, and what is negative, what is beneficial and what is harmful.
And if we, as their parents, as their most important and foremost guide in their lives, lay out everything as “O.K” for them, allow them to eat whatever they want, allow them to play with whatever they want, allow them to watch movies and shows without questioning, how do they become adults who have the capacity to think critically and make the right decisions for themselves if they grow up in a world that is “judgement-free”?
It is our responsibility and duty as their parents to make judgements about what is right and what is wrong for our children.
Let’s have the courage to build each other up as a community to support the right parenting decisions.
Let’s be honest with ourselves about how we are parenting our children, about how consciously we are making decisions for them. Let’s be courageous enough, and humble enough to take on board constructive criticism.
In teaching, there is a type of teacher called the ‘reflective teacher’. This is the one who, after each lesson, spends time reflecting on what they, as a teacher, did right, did wrong, could have done better, could have done a different way.
This type of teacher is generally the more effective teacher.
We should be doing this as parents. I know that we are tired. I am tired. I know that daily grind and endless cycle of cleaning and cooking and dealing with fights and trying to go to work and getting kids dressed and dealing with their tantrums can break us.
But we need to remember that our children are an amanah (a trust) given to us by our Creator. And while we may not be questioned on our children’s decisions, we will most certainly be questioned on what we did for our children, on our intentions in raising our children. On how much we tried to raise good servants of Allah.
So let’s ask ourselves, and let’s be honest, are we doing the best we can as parents?
This article was originally published in themodestlife.co.