I thought I’d been transported back to the dark ages! I’ve been watching some discussions on the TV about whether teachers should be allowed to smack kids.
How archaic is that? Made me cringe. Would it not be better to discuss what the hell has happened to relationships that we have to resort to smacking? Because that’s where the source of the matter lies; with our relationships with our children.
Can we not see the obvious; that if we get to the point of smacking then it’s because our relationships in schools have broken down. And our relationships in schools have broken down because our relationships at home have broken down.
Now I’m not criticising parents. They have a tough enough job to do in our culture without getting blamed for everything. What I am saying is something that few other people seem to want to say as they pussyfoot around the issue of our troublesome kids.
What I am saying is that it’s about time someone shrieked it’s the PARENTING THAT MATTERS not the smacking. It matters because it’s one of the things that underpins the successful functioning of our society.
In fact, it’s about time it was actually screamed from the rooftops, broadcast on every possible media outlet, and printed in every paper. PARENTING DOES MATTER. It needs our attention. Get the parenting right and no one should ever have to resort to smacking.
The trouble lies, of course, in getting that parenting right and what is ‘right’ anyway?
How can we get new young parents to get it right when they may not have been parented right themselves? How do we know what ‘right’ parenting is when few people rate it enough to make it a proper job and give attention to doing it well, and contemporary society has bust apart the support network we had from wiser family members? How will we know how to build relationships when so many family relationships are undervalued and in some cases little more than a throw-away consumable? And how do we make folks understand that parenting matters when so few (as to be invisible) actually value parenting enough to stand up, stand out and state that PARENTING IS A JOB THAT NEEDS OUR TIME. And that time spent in building our relationships with our children is the most valuable way we could spend it.
Of course, one of the biggest problems for parents is that it doesn’t earn any money. And that’s why the people who give time to doing it are undervalued and mostly invisible. But the stupid thing is that it’s worth more than money for the difference you make to the world through giving your time to parent your child is priceless.
Kids don’t need flash homes, material possessions, designer nametags or holidays in Disneyland. They need their parents THERE. Seeing to the job of parenting, seeing to the job of building good relationships, demonstrating their pride in doing that job well simply because children are important.
Children are the next batch of parents, the next batch of folks who will be in charge of the world. Children need time spending. Children need to see that they are important enough for us to give of our time and attention over and above everything else.
What on earth are we doing talking about smacking?
We need instead to be talking about the building block of society; PARENTING. And how we get it right from now on.
(If you’re interested in this you may like to read the page ‘The most valuable thing you will ever do’. It explains why!)