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Opinion: Is non-parenting the new ‘parenting’?

Lately, I have just been so taken aback by others. Other adults, grown-ups, those who are supposedly big enough to know better.

And every time I think about it I still come back to the same thing. Why do people have children?  Only a few days ago I read an article about how there was a working couple on the lookout for someone to toilet train their child, for a solid €50 an hour, with a bonus if the training was completed before December 23rd, right before the in-laws arrive for Christmas.

Am I the only one who thinks the world has gone mad and that this is INSANE?

I get that some parents ask for help, or that a creche or playschool helps with the process in certain situations if the child is attending. That, to me, is totally different and makes sense, we all need help throughout our parenting journeys.

And for a lot of parents, working is a must. Getting someone in, however, hired into your home, to do the one thing that you as a parent should be dealing with first hand, but want a stranger to do without your input is bizarre to me.

Then what’s worse is putting a time limit on the poor child. Any sane person knows that our little ones don’t have time limits. Nor do their little bladders. This situation is only one scenario where I feel like parents are becoming disconnected to their offspring.

Is it the importance of a work ethic? Is it boredom of being a parent? Are some children just an accessory? I just don’t know. I worry that all of this will come crashing down on young heads as they grow for future generations. That there must be a time for everything. That work is everything. That being made to do something that you are not ready for, is ok.

Back in the day, things were a lot different.

Screen time was in the form of an after school treat or a long-awaited Saturday morning show. Now you have everything at the touch of a button, when and pretty much where you want.

After school study was the dreaded detention. Nowadays, it’s after school study which many parents choose to be the better option, prolonging a young minds day. People spoke face to face or a couple of times a week through the landline. We now glue ourselves to our mobiles like they are the most treasured possessions.

In today’s world, people seem so busy that it’s a rarity to actually meet someone for a coffee on an ongoing basis. Maybe that’s it….are we simply just too busy?

It was always the way in past generations that parenting advice was passed from family and friends, not books or google. Now we seem to love putting ourselves in those little jars I have mentioned before – the “helicopter” parent, “attachment” parent, the “co-sleeper” and what a long list it is.

Perhaps it is a crisis of confidence. Maybe parents, these days, prefer to outsource because we are so afraid we are going to do it wrong?  In days gone by, people didn’t have any more time than we do now. They made time. They took things slowly, embraced the now rather than the future “what ifs”. Sometimes, we just have to take it all back and realise that nothing lasts forever, and we need to grasp life, and our children’s little lives before it slips through our fingertips.

The number one person kids need is you, the parent, the caregiver, the protector.

If you aren’t there for those really small things in life at the beginning, how are they supposed to trust that you will be there for the tougher times in the future?

Be present, be involved, be there (when you can).

Children are not accessories. They aren’t robots. They are human. They are the little humans that we produce to love and nurture and to not only watch them flourish, but also to catch them when they fall.

Children need your time, not a stranger’s. Where do you stand on the issue?

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5 thoughts on “Opinion: Is non-parenting the new ‘parenting’?”

  1. It makes me think of the so-called long ago days when rich people had nannies, servants and boarding schools to take care of that bothersome child-rearing thing. Some similarities maybe to some of today’s better off parents!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, it’s not just wealth, but affluence can have a negative influence in substituting toys and gizmos for real shared time. It’s a double-edged thing though; we have practically lost our young teen daughter to her iPhone, and efforts to curb it ha cause a lot of friction. So I please guilty too!

      Liked by 1 person

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