When it comes to children and parenting, one cannot find the “perfect method” to do it the right way, because there is no right way.
Individuals are different in their own right and just because one is not raising their children the way it is written in the books, does not make them wrong. However, times have definitely shifted from decades back.
British nanny Emma Jenner, who is with over two decades of experience in watching children and their parents, spills the beans about her experience.
She even states that the current parenting methods are “alarming” compared to what they used to be and action must be taken.
Shortcuts may be fine if they are being used in the correct manner. For instance, using apps to save time or to assist you in multitasking are even urged.
We live in an era where parents are busier than ever before, so using your laptop to order food is not a bad thing. According to British nanny, taking the shortcut may even be recommended when needed.
However, she states that parents have begun abusing apps and certain shortcuts, which is not helpful at all. On the contrary, it has shown to backfire in situations where the toddler cannot sit still for five minutes in a restaurant without being entertained.
This is when it becomes an alarming issue that needs to be addressed. Jenner paints the picture stating that, “when you see how wonderful it is that Caillou can entertain your child on a flight, don’t be tempted to put it on when you are at a restaurant.
Children must still learn patience. They must still learn to entertain themselves. They must still learn that not all food comes out steaming hot and ready in three minutes or less, and ideally they will also learn to help prepare it.”
Yes, you read correctly. In her recent experience as a nanny, she has viewed how parents have gradually become afraid of their children.
She explains how she uses the so-called “sippy cup test”, where she witnesses when children ask their parents for the pink sippy cup, and not the blue, while the mother has already prepared the blue sippy cup.
Then, she observes the mother to spot her reaction to the occurrence. On most occasions, the mother turns pale in her complexion in response to the event and quickly reaches out to the other sippy cup before the child explodes in agony over the color of the cup.
What an event to watch. The nanny asserts that this is actually a failed moment on the part of the parent, since she has shown a weak spot in front of the child and is even afraid to display confrontation.
Instead of indicating the toddler that she is the one in control, the mother shows a soft spot and gives all the rights to the infant. What she should have done, according to the nanny is eradicate herself from the situation and let it be.
This in turn would show the toddler that they cannot always get their way just because they had an outburst.
More often than not, children tend to have temper tantrums in public places and parents find it acceptable since “that’s just the way it is with kids”.
Jenner disagrees on this strongly, stating that if children are not babied and allowed to do whatever comes to mind, they prove to be more capable of doing things than their parents realize.
Pointing the blame on the parents, the nanny believes that children will do things if they know they are expected to do them. “You don’t think a child can sit through dinner at a restaurant?
Rubbish. You don’t think a child can clear the table without being asked? Rubbish again! The only reason they don’t behave is because you haven’t shown them how and you haven’t expected it! It’s that simple. Raise the bar and your child shall rise to the occasion”, Jenner argues.
The need to take care of your children first before anything else is understandable and even crucial. However, according to British nanny, today’s parents have taken it a bit too far. They are eliminating their own needs to grant every one of their kid’s wishes and it seems preposterous.
She states, “I am an advocate of adhering to a schedule that suits your child’s needs, and of practices like feeding and clothing your children first. But parents today have taken it too far, completely subsuming their own needs and mental health for the sake of their children.”
Taking time to cater to your own needs is not a crime. In fact, it is encouraged, for sanity’s sake. Parents forget the importance of solitude so often that they become overwhelmed and at times cannot cater to anyone’s needs due to burning themselves to the point of misery. We are of use to no one when we are overwhelmed.
5. The so-called “Village” has Disappeared
Have you ever heard of the phrase “it takes a village to raise a child”? Well, there is a reason for that saying. Back in the day, everyone around was thought to be a role model for children, including the store clerk, their teachers and the next-door neighbors.
However, as time progresses, these things have changed. The nanny states that the “village” or these role models were once everyone’s support system, acting as parents of all children.
Nowadays, this is not the case. In today’s society, she states that only parents are being encouraged to raise and educate their children, completely blindsiding the whole support system. Jenner explains that today’s parents “feel the need to project a perfect picture to the world and unfortunately, their insecurity is reinforced because many parents do judge one another.
If a child is having a tantrum, all eyes turn on the mum disapprovingly. Instead she should be supported, because chances are the tantrum occurred because she’s not giving in to one of her child’s demands. Those observers should instead be saying, “Hey, good work — I know setting limits is hard.”
She concludes that if we do not start shaping children in a different manner, they will surely turn out selfish, self-absorbed and will feel entitled to everything they have not earned.
The blame, however, will not be on them. It will be on the parents that have raised them. If you do not teach a child how to act, they will not know how. She wraps up by saying, “please, parents and caregivers from London to Los Angeles, and all over the world, ask more. Expect more.
Share your struggles. Give less. And let’s straighten these children out, together, and prepare them for what they need to be successful in the real world and not the sheltered one we’ve made for them.”
A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.