The parenting lesson we failed to pass on to our kids…

The over 60s are a talented generation. We’re a mixed bunch with some people fulfilling great careers as accountants, teachers,

The over 60s are a talented generation. We’re a mixed bunch 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 experience. And we’ve taught our kids, well, mostly.

Except for one thing, that sometimes rears its head at family occasions like Christmas 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.

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.

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…

Originally published here

  1. Indeed I do agree with this article. Another thing we learned as children was to respect our parents privacy and possessions. How many times have I seen a bored and fractios child given Mum’s hand bag to rat through or Dad’s car keys for distraction. Mum’s hand bag was out of bounds completely when growing up because it was Mum’s own business – I would no more have gone to it for entertainment (or any other reason) than I would sit at the dinner table and demand something else to eat. And I hear so many young mothers complaining about their lack of privacy – spare me! And as for being given Dad’s car keys as a rattle? Not on your nellie!

    • Well dear cousin you will be happy to know we stick by the old ways 😉 no touching mums bag , dads keys are off limits unless grabbing them for dad. You eat what you are given or go to bed. I agree too many things have changed from years before and i dont like it. We are bringing ul the boys how we were brought up.

    • I am in my sixties and still ask permission to go into mums bedroom (she is a widow now) to vacuum or whatever. Still feel uncomfortable there and if she asks me to get something for her from her purse I take the purse to her to get it

  2. I havent read the article its one will put aside until I have free WIFI.
    I don’t think we all failed in passing positive values, respect and manners to our children. I depends on the individual parent and child and how they were raised.
    The key word is RESPECT. If we can manage to teach this, a lot of the other points will follow.

    • Not necessarily , respect is a big thing a necessity but basic manners is also an issue today .

    • True. My grandkids have 99 % of these values, all taught by their parents, so we must have done something right. So proud of them.

  3. Great article. These days many children are not taught respect and responsibility. They lose something it is replaced, they eat what they ask for etc. my children ate whatever was prepared for the family dinner or went without. One of my sons lost his new school jumper almost every year. He was always told to select one from the lost property bin at school. No way would I buy a replacement. Same son was told by an elderly neighbour to call her by her Christian name now. He said he could not. He is 57! Bless!

    • I have been told by my Aunts and Uncles to call them by their Christian names but, even in my sixties, I can’t do this. I love them dearly and genuinely respect them and it would still seem disrespectful to drop the “Aunty and uncle”. I do not like this idea of being called by my Christian name by children. I find it interesting that I have told my adult nieces and nephews (including friends children) to the the auntie bit but they prefer not to

    • Couldn’t agree more .and I have adult nieces and nephew that still call me auntie , and I like it , I love being their aunty .

    • Carolyn one of my granddaughters called me Marjorie when she was about 10. I told her to call me nana as I felt privileged to be one.

  4. Very accurate description. And it has crept up on us really quickly. So much so that it is actually a point of discussion, privately and publicly. My concern is , what sort of adults will the cosseted make? Anxiety ridden neurotics I am tipping. There is just way too much choice in most areas of modern life.

    • I think we’re seeing the result of this style of parenting now. Kids who have never been told ‘no’, and who have never learnt to lose gracefully. Then when they become adults the rules change and they can’t cope. Their response is frustration and aggression, something we’re seeing every day now

    • Spot on Sue. Of recent years in England after their cricketing disasters of actually not remembering how to win, was put down to the Psychology in the schools, where it was taught that everyone was a winner, no one has to fight for anything. A case of musical chairs that matched the number of participants 😂😂😂😂 even today in this country there is no such thing as a fail in VCE. Everyone gets a ‘satisfactory’ it is ludicrous. But the brightest and best come from parental cultures which say, you do it our way, or no way. And look at the results. Discipline is knowing what you want!

  5. I believe that parents, in general, are over protective and indulgent with their children. Whereas others are neglectful and abusive. Being a parent is the most important job in the world. Really, just because you can and do procreate does not make you a good parent. But then you find SOME who produce children who are kind, generous, thoughtful and cheerful, and a sheer delight to know.

  6. Yes, couldn’t agree more. Try teaching these over indulged, over protected little darlings.

  7. I appreciate this but, these children are safer with their screens where they can ignore Paedophiles, the dangers of this world are much different to those in my childhood. I feel sorry for the children missing out on these things but would rather they were safe.

    • The reality is that most paedophiles are in the home. Getting them out to learn about taking risks and making decisions for themselves is so important. I feel so sad for kids these days who live in front of screens because parents are too scared to let them live.

  8. The basis of this article is correct, but I often wonder why this change has come about. There does not seem to be a solid reason as each generation had its’ issues and everything was not plain sailing as many of the younger generation believe was the case for “boomers” and previous generations.

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