Sunday, 2 November 2014

Are We All Perfect Parents?

I recently read a great article on the parenting website I thoroughly enjoyed reading about various things parents feel guilty about and took comfort in many of the "not guilty" verdicts determined by the author Georgia James. The article, titled "Drop the Parental guilt (you're doing a brilliant job)", got me thinking about whether we are all "doing a brilliant job" as parents. As pleased as I was to be relieved of some parental guilt, I grew afraid that we can't all be "doing a brilliant job". 


With stories in the news about British children having milk teeth extracted due to irreversible damage and rot, and others starting school in nappies or barely able to recognise numbers or letters, we can't all be "doing a brilliant job", can we?,

Most parents try their utmost to provide the very best for their offspring, whilst dealing with the constraits of time, money and resources. But there are those few in our society who for a variety of reasons, just aren't trying. The parents who don't know any better or those who do know but can't be bothered. 

The fact is parenting is a tough gig, which is rarely without guilt. Those who are trying are rightly aspiring to be better parents and raise well adjusted children who we steer towards independence, happiness and the right attitude. We arm them with the advantages of education, culture, social skills and seek to refine their skills and talents.

Conversely there are parents, living in a "first world" country who simply aren't aspiring, trying or even taking advantage of so many tools and resources at their disposal. I have met parents who have never been to a (free) antenatal class because they don't see the point in having a medical professional tell them they'll have a baby in a few months. I also know of those whose children are consistently bribed or rewarded with sweet treats despite the parents knowledge that sweets are bad for teeth and general health. I know too of those who allow their children everything they ask for (because it's easier) yet can never satisfy them.

I do spare a thought for those who simply don't know that feeding their child ready meals on a regular basis is not good for their health; those who don't have time to read to their child every night; and those living on a budget so tight that any suggestion that they save some money for some cultural experience next summer would be met with laughter. Not because they don't value a cultural experience for their family, but because it's simply unrealistic for them to set aside money for future use when there are so many demands on their money right now.

Ofcourse the majority of parents are "doing a brilliant job". That's why Britain  continues to produce world class scientists, artists and sportsmen and women. But, sadly not all parents are striving for the very best they could provide. And that parenting style, which we lable "bad parenting" or "poor parenting" can only lead to one conclusion: no, we are not all "doing a brilliant job", but so many of us are trying, sacrificing, sweating and stressing for one of the most worthy of causes - our children.

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