The over 60s are a talented generation. We’re mixed, with some people fulfilling great careers as accountants, teachers, lawyers and nurses. We’re family oriented with many of us raising families right across Australia. We’re resilient and many of us have gone through hardships that people shouldn’t have to experiences. And we’ve taught our kids, well, mostly.
Except for one thing, that sometimes rears its head at family occasions like Easter that has just passed. Whatever happened to a teaspoon of cement?
The children of today are allowed to be fussy eaters. They’re given different meals to their parents to accommodate their bland choice in foods. They’re cooked special dinners – that they choose and aren’t introduced to trying new foods or appreciating the dinner that they’re lucky enough to be given.
They aren’t always taught to share toys and instead families more often then not, buy multiples of one kind to satisfy each child’s “want” for their own. They are given screens and technology instead of being told to go outside and use their imagination. They’re kept under a very close watch with sometimes very little freedom to explore and make their own fun.
They often rule the family and everyone else’s movements are factored in around their mood. If they cry because they’re tired, everyone packs up and leaves the party. Or if they’re hungry while they are with the family, the priority becomes finding them food immediately.
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They are over watched and are told when they’re cold, when they’re hot, they are rarely given responsibility like getting their own jumper to take to a picnic and to pick up their own shoes after the playground.
It’s small things and they shouldn’t matter, but when we raised our children it was so different.
When we raised our children, they had to eat or go hungry. They were taught to appreciate whatever food they were given because there are so many who go without. They were taught that choosing their own food was a special occasion like a birthday or a special treat, not an every day occurrence.
They were taught to go outside and run around. They were taught that playing with other children was fun and that being outside was the most fun they could have. They were allowed to develop their own imaginations and sense of creativity. They were taught to share their toys and to be grateful that they have any.
They were taught to respect their parents and that they had to fit in with Mum and Dad’s plans. They knew that even though they were tired they had to wait for Mum and Dad to finish their conversations or dinners before leaving.
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They were taught to take responsibility for themselves and their own actions. If they were naughty, they were punished accordingly. If they insisted on taking their shoes off and then left them behind, they were gone because this had been their responsibility.
Somehow along the lines we’ve forgotten to teach our children to parent with a teaspoon of cement when it is needed. It isn’t always needed, but children are more imaginative, active, adventurous, responsible and considerate when they’re given a dose or two in childhood.
Do you agree with the author that children today need a teaspoon of cement? Do you think we failed to educate our children on how to raise children like this?
Share your thoughts in the comments below…