For many years, I was always under the impression that if you had a helper or a social network system to help you raise your child, you were the most blessed. I mean, how could you not be blessed, you get time to do what matters whilst everyone else takes care of your home and your children. It was ” the best way forward” But as the years went by, I began to change my views on the “best way forward “method and started to rethink this concept.
Personally, I started to delve deeper into relationships where there were more than two adults raising a child. This is what I found out:
- The ones with Helper/Grandparent:
- The children spent more time with the helper, making them grow up with different/no rules and regulations. See, it’s like this, the grandparent/helper spends most of their day with your child. He/she brings into your home, their own value system and methods of raising children. They cannot be strict with your child because, after all, they are only the “helper” and has as much autonomy as you the parent can give her/him, which isn’t much. On the other side, it’s the”grandparent” and he/she cannot discipline your child because he/she is a grandparent whose job is to spoil rather than soil the relationship. So in both cases, you have people who are at the mercy of your child. So, if your child has grown from birth with the helper and grandparent, the child pretty much calls the shots and is indulged in every sense of the word. Therefore,…do you think such rules and regulations can be enforced and be expected to be followed?
- Children know how to push the boundary. Since with both caregivers, there is no boundary enforced, the child learns that its ok to…drop their school bag on the floor, throw their clothes around, play for as long as they want too etc. This is all because they know that someone will always be there to pick up after them. If it works during the day with the people who their parents entrusted with their care, then why shouldn’t it work with mummy and daddy. This is when the child pushes the limits and tests the parents. Parents now try to enforce their laws, the child tries to follow with not much success leading the home to a state of disorganised chaos.
- Children will lack respect for their parent if a parent is constantly undermined. Sometimes when parents enforce a rule, the person looking after the child may decide, 1. not to enforce the rule because “who is there to see”, so they do what they think is best, 2. the child has influence over the particular person and may throw a tantrum, therefore instead of fighting the tantrum, they let the child have his or her own way. This behaviour can seriously confuse a child and cause the child to display inconsistent behaviour with parents and with other adults like teachers etc.
- Lack of consistency in parenting can lead a child to have too much power and control. When there is no consistency in the “parenting” of a child, then the child has too much power for his age and steps into the “adult” world.
- What needs to be done:
- Take back your power as a parent. Think back to when you lost it.
- Remember the pillars of parenting.
- Have a vision for your family
- What are your rules and regulations to make your home sail smoothly?
- What role do your caregivers play in raising your child? Define them and educate them on your family vision.
- Consistency is vital
- Boundaries are your best friend
- Be the adult and not your child’s child.
- Stop being afraid of your little ankle-biters, they are your children not your challenge in life.