Could someone please explain the concept of modern parenting to me?
Ok… so, before I start, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am in no way supportive of any kind of violence enacted upon children – full stop! However, what concerns me is, in an effort to move away from oppressive and even tyrannical parenting models of the past, the pendulum has swung completely the opposite way; turning us into a wishy-washy, namby-pamby society, which doesn’t know how to apply discipline appropriately and is now possibly too scared to even try.
Not that I’m really worried about this modern trend. As I have said so often in the past and to so many people, I’m a huge believer that life tends to finds it’s own balance. Sooner or later, there’s always a square-up. Call it – karma – if you like.
Case in point:
I was sitting in my own, alternate piece of heaven the other day (which is Graham-speak for the cafe at my local library), adding the finishing touches to my new novel when I was buzzed by a very large moth. The thing dropped on my head and scrabbled through my hair, then fluttered across to my laptop and landed above the screen.
The colours in its wings, when it stretched them, were incredibly striking and more like what I would have expected to see on a butterfly. It truly was a thing of beauty… and being a typical ENFP, I stopped what I was doing and watched it for a while.
I must have been boring company though… it took flight again after a few minutes, flew to the far end of the foyer and landed on the tiled floor. For some reason, it seemed to be struggling and for a moment, I gave thought to going over to it, picking it up and putting it outside on a tree.
In that moment of hesitation, the choice was made for me. A very young girl, I’m guessing only in her 2’s, accompanied by her mother, chose that exact moment to exit the library at that end of the foyer. The youngster saw the moth on the floor, saw it flutter its wings, walked over to it and stomped on it! No reaction at all from the mother!
It’s a sad story, isn’t it? But, don’t despair… there’s hope yet!
A few seconds later, the mother, now more preoccupied with her mobile phone than with what her daughter was doing, wasn’t able to stop the young girl from running headlong into a metal rack, filled with pamphlets. There was a fall, a scream, a dropped mobile phone and finally, some proper, attentive parenting – and all it took was one, maybe two seconds!
I don’t think anyone suffered any serious injuries – except the moth, of course; and perhaps the mobile phone! But for a dedicated observer of dastardly deeds done daily, it was a timely reminder of how life so often finds it’s own balance.
Anyway… gg, proud parent, over and out!