Thursday, November 5, 2009


I just read this over at Mamma Val's blog...
10) I believe that children are an important part of the world but not that they should be the center of the universe. I am always pointing out to my son that there are people trying to shop and eat and live around him and to use a restaurant voice, watch where you're going, etc. Nothing bothers me more than parents that let their children run wild and glare at the rest of the world around them.

Its something I think about alot and so when my comment got to about 2 paragraphs i decided it need its own post.

We all know those parents, and probably all are those parents sometimes, nearly run over by someones trolley in the shop, and instead of appologising that our child was running amok in the shop, said parent shoots the evil eye at the most likely innocent trolley driver. Child never does anything wrong, never gets told no( not helped by farcical parenting theories like positive parenting) and knows no boundaries.

Kids with no boundaries test to see where it stops, taking whatever ground they can in the process. this might be funny in a toddler, cute in a preschooler and a bit annoying in a small child but as the child becoumes older and more adventurous it can become dangerous, at very least to themselves. This is why i think about this so much. I work with 'at risk' teenagers, in particular those facing homelessness. Without specifically adding up, i would guess-timate about 20% are from genuine abuse situations, 20% due to family breakdown or financial/circumstancial events and the rest are kids who have never been told no or been given enough boundairies until it is too late. They come to us because there parents usually kick them out because their behaviour gets so bad or are constantly in conflict because they finaly hit issues the parent has to say no to- criminal activity, drugs, risky behaviour etc.

Sometimes the parents even continue to make excuses for their child. I will never forget one boy, good heart, just doing whatever he wanted, and as a 16 year old boy with a lack of guidence and boundaies those things involved stealing cars for the fun of it, regular drug and alcohol use, graffiti etc. His parents dropped him off because he had broken a window at thier house when they finally tried to say no to him going out on a saturday night with frinds he had previously been arrested with. He continued to struggle with any boundaries while staying with us and it was clear he had never had any growing up. After not very long he was exited from our service for not followingthe rules, and while we helped him find other emergency accomodation, he apparently got in trouble after leaving and ended up in juvinile detention. Then i got a phone call and copped an earful and then some from his mother who had decided that it was our fault he was locked up, although we had exited him for the same kinds of reasons they had kicked him out.

Kids need boundaries and rules. They build a childs confidence and maximise potential while keeping them safe and saving parents sanity too. I get so frustrated with the whole "let them do whatever they want or you might stiffle thier creativity"philosophy that seems to be pushed by all the modern parenting resources, well at least most of those i was provided by government hospital and community health care system. I see the results every day of the lack of discipline in our society... If a small child is allowed all the freedom in the world, exactly what age do you try to restrict them... i know from experience trying to take back premature freedoms is much harder than not allowing them in the first place. I think alot of parents wait until it is far too late (like early teens).

I know i am far from the best parent in the world but i have seen the many benifits of boundaries in my childrens lives from better sleep to the many more freedoms they have because they have learnt boundaries young. For example I can let my 2 year old walk along side me in the shop because she knows she will stay along side me, and my children can use textas and paint because i can trust they will only put it on paper, We can go out because i know my children can behave in public and can sit when need be, quietly and play within given boundaries if allowed etc.

The aim of parenting is not to raise a child, but to raise a well adjusted, considerate and independant adult. Unfortunately the child centred parenting philosophy seems to contribute to self centeredness and limits healthy mature independance.

Now that i feel like i have subjected you all to something that reads alot like one of my university essays (although it has been a couple of years snce i did one of those) i will get off my high horse and pray i dont offend anyone, as that is really not my aim, just to forewarn. I feel having seen the results first hand it would be irresponsible not to share the information. Please, tell me what you think, or if you are interested ask me what i think about anyhting to do with this topic. I am very aware that no one set of rules or guidlines works for everychild or parent, and would love to hear some things that have or have not worked for you.


  1. Hear, hear!! I totally agree. I don't have kids so I feel guilty saying so, but I agree.

  2. Thanks again Tara and glad that I provided some inspiration for a post, which is quite insightful and well written I might add. I remember before I had kids and was in college and my sister had kids and she let them do whatever cause, "their just kids!" Well years later that backfired in her face as they grew into complete and total, larger, older brats that thought they ran the world and that it also revolved around them. Let's just say another lesson I learned from someone else's mistake(s). It astounds me how many moms let their kids run into people and knock things down and yell and scream in public and then glare at the rest of the world in their way. I know I am far from a perfect parent and make mistakes all the time but how on earth is a child ever going to learn to function in the world if they are allowed to behave like this? Anyway, sorry for the longwinded comment, (another fault I have). Fabulous post!

  3. this is an awesome post. I feel the same way. I think we have similar philosophies on parenting. (the Ezzos):)

    Wanted to thank you for your comment the other day. It's hard to put things out there that are personal when people don't understand it can be scary. But I'm finding that tons of women have had post partum or the anxiety I have had and other probs. It's nice to know I'm not alone!

    Thanks again.

    i hope you are doing well with your hectic life! Can't wait to hear another update.