Parenting 101

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010 07:42 pm
faevii: (in the name of justice)
I believe there is one thing that a lot of people need to realise about children:

When a child is "throwing a tantrum" or refusing to do what you say for no apparent reason, chances are that the kid is actually hungry, thirsty, tired, hurting, lonely, confused, scared or overwhelmed by, for example, a loud noise. Something inconspicuous is always going on.

A parent's job is to teach the little ones how to recognise this on their own and to express it in an appropriate manner. That will take a while. In fact, even adults aren't perfect at it. Remember the last time you snapped at someone? Yeah, that.

What I'd like to know is, how exactly is yelling supposed to help there??

Mind you, I'm certainly not in any condition to do my job well all the time. But I have told Timo things like, "Please tell me if something is bothering you." And I have asked him questions like, "Are you sad? Are you angry? Do you, perhaps, wish I could play with you more often?" Imagine how his eyes lit up at that last one.

And even though it may seem silly, I always tell him how I'm feeling myself. "I'm sad because my stomach hurts. Sorry about the yelling; I'm angry with Daddy. Thank you for helping me, now I'm happy." That sort of thing. How could he possibly be familiar with all of that stuff already?

It's amazing how much attention you're rewarded with when you do something like that. Downright fascinating. And fun. My favourite situation is when I'm suggesting alternative reactions to him, watching his expression go from frustrated to curious to amused because I can never resist throwing some completely absurd ideas in there once I'm done with the serious ones. :D

Honestly, it's not that hard ... unless I'm hungry, thirsty, tired, hurting etc. myself - kinda drives the point home, doesn't it?
faevii: (in the name of justice)
OMG, why oh why did somebody link me to this terrible failboat of a comment thread? Aaahh!!

I don't expect any of you to read it, or much of it. I'm just including the link to explain where this sudden bout of outrage is coming from.

Honestly, people of the world - when you complain about having to listen to a child cry, ZOMG, does it not occur to you that you might be talking about A SAD, SCARED OR OTHERWISE SUFFERING PERSON?? If you, yourself, have never broken down crying in public, good for you. It has happened to me. I was 21. I AM NOT FREAKING SORRY. Same for children who are outright screaming: I have screamed when I was in pain, but luckily I was not in public at the time. If I had been, would you have felt annoyed or concerned??

Sure, children are way more likely than adults to scream instead of crying silently. Children also, occasionally, cry or scream for silly reasons. Does that mean the one child you saw on the bus the other day was definitely not in pain or scared? Nope. So STFU.

Also, adults are loud sometimes. Adults are rude sometimes. Nobody's saying that loud people (young or old) shouldn't be asked to leave if they're disturbing the athmosphere of a library or a fancy restaurant. But you can't tell these people (young or old) from others before they enter, so if you want to keep all children out of libraries and fancy restaurants, you're not only discriminating against quiet children, but you're also doing nothing to protect yourself from loud adults. Likewise, nobody's saying that rude people (young or old) can't ruin your evening out and that you should simply learn to tolerate them better. But when mothers are upset because they feel like they can't go anywhere unless they leave their children with a babysitter, the right course of action is NOT to point out that a kid poured wine on your shirt once.

What I'm seeing there reminds me of the time I made a post that was essentially about being nicer to people who aren't very intelligent, and hilariously some of the comments were like, "OMG you want stupid people to be surgeons!" or "OMG you're a socialist - well guess what, there'd be no place for stupid people in a socialist society either!!" o_O All I wanted was to question the prevalent attitude that it's completely okay to make fun of people for being "stupid" and that someone who doesn't have the skills to take on a higher-paying job totally "deserves" to be poor. I don't know what my IQ is, but I didn't pick it on purpose. I didn't choose to be good at mathematics, physics and languages, either. It just happened. Am I supposed to feel superior due to this stroke of luck or something?

As a matter of fact, I don't want intelligent people with atrocious fine motor skills to become surgeons, either. That's not discrimination, that just MAKES SENSE. But if you had to be a surgeon in order to not be poor and I said, "Well, your fine motor skills suck, so what's it to me if you're struggling to survive!" - that would be quite unfair.

(Also, I'm not a socialist. Just for the record. Nice try though.)

I don't know why this happens. I don't know why, if someone nicely suggests that we be a little nicer to children, people get all up in arms about it, either. Nobody's asking you to NOT BE ANNOYED by stupid people or children - or stupid children, for that matter (lulz, ain't I funny). Just, how about not glaring at them before they've even done anything. How about considering that they might have feelings. How about trying to imagine how frustrating it can be to be a child (or to be considered stupid). How about reprimanding people for concrete actions instead of judging them in advance. Is that rocket science?

When I see a crying child, I wonder WHY. You'd think I was some sort of freak.

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