Indulging Children

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Different strokes for different folks—that’s what makes the world go ‘round, they say. Like anything else, there are many different parenting philosophies out there. It’s important that we as parents teach our children to respect other ways of thinking, and lead by example. Of course, that doesn’t mean we always have to agree with those alternative opinions.

I try to keep abreast of the popular parenting issues of the day. I often read one website which discusses etiquette issues. Parents discuss sticky situations they find themselves in and ask the moms and dad out in cyberspace how they would handle the same situations. I recently saw a post on that site that put my perspective on one particular concept into crystal clear focus.

One woman posted about an incident that happened on the playground. She brought her daughter and her daughter’s playmate to the swings, but there was only one available. Next to the empty swing, an adult man was swinging, presumably beside his son. The woman’s daughter said to him “May I please use that swing?” The man replied, “You can when I’m done.” The little girl and her friend ran along to play with other features. The woman said to the man, “You know the playground is for children.” The man then cursed her out!

Most people who gave their opinion on the exchange condemned the man’s reaction. Many also said that the woman was asking for it—what did she expect would happen? What struck me most about the discussion was how many people felt that children do not need to always be indulged; that it is ridiculous to think that a kid should not have to wait just because she is a kid and he is an adult. I could not disagree more.

I just finished a great classic book, Gone with the Wind. In that book, there is a main character that is always supremely kind to children. Actually, there are two that behave this way. They make a point to be kind, say flattering things, and help children. Of course, the little ones are delighted.

In my opinion, that is exactly what adults should do. It’s the job of parents to enforce discipline and raise well-behaved, respectful children. I don’t think that adults should put their desires above children, or feel it’s their place to teach others’ children lessons about how life can be unfair. Haley will grow up to be an unselfish and responsible individual—I’ll see to that. I hope she also grows up to discover that she can rely on the kindness of strangers.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , ,

Indulging Children - PermaLink

Leave a Reply