I consider kids to be short changed in this modern age.
I am not going to say ‘some children’ or ‘many children’ or ‘most children’ or ‘a few children’. You can adjust the amount of kids that you think fit my opinion piece to your own estimation. But I am saying that I consider kids to be currently getting a raw deal.
Let’s start with their very first days.
Nowadays, after giving birth, mothers are sent home after the shortest time possible. There is little space for nursing that baby; for cuddling him close, for gently talking to him, kissing him, getting to know him intimately in mother’s own time, without interruptions.
Here’s an alternative:
Mother and baby rest in hospital – for at least a week - and longer if a C-section is involved.
As their lives combine in a calm togetherness, mother learns to breast feed baby and baby thrives in relaxed surroundings.
Call it ‘bonding’ if you like, but whatever it is, it is essential for the well-being of both mother and baby.
Even, dare I say, especially for baby.
And it's only a week!
So, in this better alternative:
Once home, the mother does not worry about housework or the way she looks. She does not worry about her ‘lost’ figure. Instead she hunkers down with her baby and in a comfortable and cosy chair –or even bed – they cuddle and coo together and baby feeds.
No TV, no mobile phone texting…just mother and baby idolising each other.
And the baby loves this.
That’s a good start to life.
Not so long ago I listened into a conversation between two young mothers, who were discussing (of all things) breast pumps. While one mum spoke of her efforts with a hand held machine, the other mum suggested that a ‘plug-in’ pump was better as you could just turn it on and it extracted the milk. (A bit like in a dairy farm).
That’s NOT breast feeding. That’s harvesting milk to allow someone else to feed you child – with a bottle. There is a vast difference.
Why the ‘need’ for new mothers to be off to the gym to regain their ‘pre-baby’ shape. What for? WHY is this so important?
For the off-to-gym-mother = less mother’s milk, less cuddle-close time and already a diminished bonding – not to mention a weird (peer-pressured) attitude.
And this is just the very start of my whinge!
So on to toddler stage and beyond, including those execrable tubes of ‘food’ that little ones are seen consuming instead of proper food.
And disposable nappies that are worn up until school age, as it’s easier than teaching a small child to use a toilet.
Little kids aren’t that stupid.
Then there’s the rarity of family meal times around the table.
And the missing bedtime stories; gentle story books read to sleepy children by parents not stressed out by the need to work long hours to keep up the money flow.
Stories that may or may not be the old-fashioned Winnie-The-Pooh and Peter Rabbit, books, but sweet and gentle nevertheless.
Instead we have the ghastly but apparently compulsory, movie-going to see ‘Frozen’ , with the accompanying merchandise and the seeming necessity for singing the appalling, ‘Let it Go’.
Why this meaningless follow-the-leader? Does no one have any original thoughts any more?
And why are little kids wearing Superhero costumes (boys) or net fairy outfits (girls) instead of normal clothing? More follow-the-cheap-commercialised-leader?
Other things that upset me:
Back ‘yards’ too small for decent ball games.
The after school mug of Milo and home baked goodies replaced with shop bought ‘treats'.
Soft drinks considered suitable everyday drink for kids.
Single mothers with 5 or 6 children, crying poor.
The considered absolute necessity for both parents to work continuously.
Okay, call me a grumpy old woman. Call me old-fashioned. But, having enough time to observe children now, I am saddened by what I see.