We live in a time where the Kardashians are worshipped and our children are growing up wanting only to be rich, skinny and famous. Is it time to start looking to simpler times to try and rescue our kids from being a generation of vacuous insta-celebs with a sense of entitlement?
As a mum of two boys, I worry about their future and what sort of men they will grow up to be. I’m an old fashioned mum, taking parenting tips from my mum, who took them from her mum, and so on. In our house, we follow these basic set of rules:
1. Always use your manners. My mum said to me when I was little, “manners cost nothing.” This is something I’ve carried with me and have passed on to my boys. It is also something they often receive compliments for! Although, it’s sad to think that people are surprised by good manners these days.
2. We sit at the table to eat. When my parents were little, they wouldn’t have dreamed of eating their dinner on their knee in the living room or their bedroom and they’d probably get a thick ear for suggesting it! Meal times should be when the family discuss their lives, listen to each other and learn about each other; where we laugh, discuss our dreams and hear the latest instalment of playground drama from an excited 5 year old.
3. Have a bedtime routine. One pearl of wisdom my mum gave me, which her mum passed to her, is that having a bedtime routine settles kids and is a crucial part of growing up. Let’s face it – a tired, grumpy kid who went to bed late isn’t fun for anyone! Why don’t people do bath, PJs, then a story anymore? This is the quiet time, when kids can tell parents what’s on their mind, voice their fears of monsters in the wardrobe, or ask you about the things that to a kid, are important. These are the things they remember – not what cartoon they watched in their room until they fell asleep.
Children these days have so many toys. I am guilty of this also. Toys everywhere. Dexter probably couldn’t even remember half of what he has! How I wish we could go back to the times when kids played outside with a ball and only had a few toys, which they actually appreciated, and didn’t end up collecting dust down the back of the sofa when a new toy comes.
I saw an advert online recently, for a kid’s smart watch. This “amazing” piece of technology alerts your child when it’s dinner time, bath time and bedtime. Yet another item that takes communication away from us. Three year olds have tablets and games consoles and while they sit glued to them, not speaking or interacting, we in turn become reliant on them for “quiet time” and become lazy.
It’s time to bring back parenting. Home cooked meals, quality family time and getting back to basics to really educate and raise our children. Teach boys to be gentlemen. Teach girls that they are more than their looks. Show them how women worked during the war, as well as raising children and keeping a home. Teach them to be respectful.
In this ever changing world of technology and social media, how can we backtrack to a vintage life and take back our children?