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Why you shouldn’t teach your kids to respect their elders

Many sayings and traditions have stood the test of time, one that stood out from my childhood is that you must “respect your elders”.

Now, I’m not saying this a bad idea to drill into kids, but all I’m saying is…isn’t it a bit dated?

Gone are the days when children were seen but not heard and we all know how disciplining children has changed over the years.

Once upon a time, nobody would bat an eyelid at you giving your child a clip round the ear in public, but times have changed and now there’s a wider knowledge base and support network for disciplining children.

I’m not saying parents, grandparents, teachers or any authoritative adult in a child’s life shouldn’t be respected and listened to.

I’m not even saying that kids shouldn’t look up to their elders, these are the people they are modelling themselves on, all I’m saying is…

Shouldn’t we teach kids to “respect…everybody”

Isn’t it wiser to broaden the spectrum of who our children are taught to respect?

Shouldn’t parents have respect for their children?

Think about it….

We are teaching them how to be a person after all, we’re also teaching them what is acceptable and what isn’t?

If it is OK for an older person to be rude to a younger person, aren’t we just teaching our kids to accept abuse?

I know the saying doesn’t necessarily say that elders will be rude, it’s more of a way just to steer youngsters in the right direction, but I feel in a day and age where mutual respect is sort of given, doesn’t it make more sense that we teach our kids to have respect for each other, so there are no blurred lines?

I had the thought to write this blog post because of a situation I saw in my doctor’s waiting room last week, I was waiting to get Nicole’s immunisations and there was another lady getting her 1 year old daughter into her buggy after getting her jabs. Her daughter was obviously upset after getting FOUR injections, the poor little love, I think I’d be crying too, but to be honest I didn’t really notice, she wasn’t overly screaming or drawing attention to herself. Her poor mother was trying her best to soothe her and get all their gubbins together (we all know how much baggage these little people come with). Then out of nowhere an elderly lady (at least in her eighties) pipes up and has the audacity to tell the mother she should be talking to her daughter, that she shouldn’t be ignoring her! I’m not being funny, but…

  1. Who the hell asked her?
  2. The mother was most definitely NOT ignoring her daughter
  3. We all know that kids are much better in motion and it was obvious the woman was rushing to get the heck out of dodge

Now I know this doesn’t directly relate to the saying “respect your elders” that I’ve been discussing in this blog post, but I have been thinking about that situation for about a week now and it made me think, why did this woman feel she had the right to openly and publicly judge this mother? Also why did the Mum not feel she had the right to argue back?

It’s difficult…especially with older frail people, sometimes it’s better to walk away, rather than raise the heart rate of an eighty year old, but I’m more interested to why it happened in the first place.

Obviously with people who are generations older than us, they have built into them what their parents taught them, of course they do, don’t we all? So maybe it’s not our place to change them but change the future? To prevent these situations in the future, it’s important we teach mutual respect for our children between people of all ages.

I know, I know….the world of parenting isn’t black and white! We all break our own rules sometimes and there are always things we wished we had done differently, but there’s nothing wrong with putting ideas in our kids heads about what they should accept and how they should treat other people. Plus we all know not everyone teaches their children to be respectful, but that doesn’t mean we can’t teach our children to politely respect other people even if that means people they don’t like there’s a polite way to ignore someone than openly flashing evil stares to their primary school nemesis.

I’ve rambled on for a while now over just a little thought, but it’s one that’s been on my mind for a while, instead of ONLY respecting our elders, let’s respect EVERYBODY.

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Mikey’s Progress: Portage, Speech Therapy & Nursery

When Mikey had his two year check back in October 2016, I mentioned to my health visitor I had some concerns about the fact he wasn’t speaking, making eye contact or responding to his name.

The first avenue we took was a hearing test.

A few people had mentioned he seemed deaf or that he may have hearing problems, we went for a hearing test and he passed with flying colours.

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So the next route we took was removing his dummy and limiting his TV time, which improved his focus and he started to make a few sounds, but we decided together he needs some support.

So we had three options to explore: Speech Therapy, Portage and Nursery

This was October last year and I didn’t quite feel he was ready for nursery so, I went to a Speech Therapy drop in session and my health visitor applied for Portage, which went to a panel along with other applications and it was decided Mikey would qualify for it.

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Fast forward to January 2017 he had his first appointment session of Speech Therapy and is now saying the words: Bubbles, Up, Pop, Daddy, Jack, Bot Bot and Yeah.

He now goes to nursery twice a week and runs off without saying bye, then cries when I pick him up because he wants to stay there (charming).

Plus on Tuesday he had his first Portage session.

I felt nervous and excited about his first session with the Portage worker, I didn’t really know what to expect.

I knew their aims were to improve his eye-contact, socialising and interaction, we’d discussed that in the initial meeting and I felt happy with these goals.

The session went really well, she brought along some toys that meant Mikey had to give her eye contact and she put her thumbs up and said “good looking” every time he looked at her.

I saw a great improvement even after just one session, so I’m excited that he has this weekly.

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The fact is that Mikey is extremely clever, (like scary clever) he knows what he wants and he sees the world in his own way and he lives by it.

Time and time again I keep getting asked what “they” think is “wrong with him” by people, especially because the Autism word keeps getting thrown around.

NOTHING is “wrong” with him, there is so much right with him, he’s so intelligent and if anything overly independent for his age.

Plus it’s not for “them” to decide.

Who are “they” anyway?

Professionals who don’t know him?

I’m his mother and it doesn’t matter to me what label may or may not be given to my son, because to me a label doesn’t change who he is, I love him for exactly who he is right now, his quirks, his meltdowns, the special little moments we get together.

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It isn’t for anyone else to change those things, but of course I take into consideration that he may need support and I would never hold him back from anything that can make his life easier to live, I mean celebrities pay thousands for therapies, it can’t do any harm whatsoever, so my thinking process is…why not?

I’m having these therapies put in place for him, partially because his health visitor suggested it and I completely trust her judgement, he is a very kind person, with a lot of experience and really cares for Mikey. Also my own instincts as mother tell me that although it works for him now being self-serving and not interacting with others, that it may be a struggle for him when he’s older, but there’s a good chance it won’t be.

I’d rather him have gentle therapies now to support him at a young age where he knows no different and prevent any future struggles that may happen, than waiting to see if he has to undo habits once he is in school, when it will be much harder for him because he will have more of a comprehension of the fact it is support he is getting, rather than knowing no different.

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The support he is getting has improved his interaction, eye-contact, socialising and speech in such a short space of time, I’m so proud of him and how well he is doing.

If anyone else is going through a similar journey with their child please comment, I’d love to hear from you about your experience or just to know about your little one.

I will keep you updated on his progress.

Thanks for reading!

michael

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You’re not making a rod for your own back

Advice…

It’s a great thing, we all need advice at certain points in our life and it’s up to us if we take it or not, most people don’t give advice unless asked for it.

But there are a select few that just think their advice is needed, at all times, in all situations. They aren’t trying to give gentle suggestions, they are telling you”how it is”.

These are a special kind of people that will tell you that you are “making a rod for your own back”, they aren’t intentionally trying to offend or upset you, it’s just that one of the special characteristics these people possess is that their brain isn’t connected to their mouth, therefore what comes out of it has already done the damage before they have the ability to consider the feelings of others.

I mean don’t let your toddler sleep in your bed…ever!

If you do, you are making a rod for your own back!

You aren’t having a special moment, with this perfect little person you created, where the feeling of their arms being around you is the best feeling in the world….

No No No!

Don’t you know that doing this, is has a direct result of your child staying in your bed until the end of time.

Didn’t you consider that having your 3 year old in bed with you when they are poorly and just want mummy, is a detrimental moment that means your child will stay in your bed until they are 35!

Dummies, Christ almighty! Do not, I repeat Do not! Give your child a dummy! (If you’re american…pacifier) The special advice givers will tell you, ignore the research that’s been done that proves that dummies early on in a babies life actually greatly reduces the risk of SIDS…

No No No!

Putting that dummy in your baby’s mouth after birth, means you’ve scarred them for life and you will never be able to get it out of their mouth.

I mean, how will you feel as a parent when they are sitting their A-levels and everyone’s looking at them going all Maggie Simpson on the dummy in their mouth.

Save yourself the pain, we all know that any kid ever given a dummy, has never had it successfully removed from their mouth for good, once their in it’s like superglue!

Crying! OK this one is going to pretty obvious, because let’s face it, the special advice givers will tell you…Do not, I repeat do not, pick your child up if they cry.

I mean what sort of a parent are you!? Your child is crying! Why the hell would you try and comfort them?! Are you trying to make them emotionally unstable?! Do you want them to think that affection and cuddles are good things?!

They must must must cry it out, the best remedy I’ve heard is…crack open a large bottle of wine, crank up MTV and drown out those tears, I mean you might have made this human, it doesn’t mean you want to listen to them cry? I mean, you’re only their mother, there’s only so much you can put up with.

I’m not talking about those babies that just whine at night, I mean they woke up upset, they’re feeling poorly or just a bit sad, don’t give in to these signs of weakness, harden that baby up and leave them to cry it out.

So if you’ve read to the end of this post, I’m hoping you got my sarcasm 😜

Of course I don’t believe any of the above, but when I had my first baby, when someone told me something I believed it. It’s only as my confidence has grown with being a mother, that I’ve trusted my own instinct. That’s what I want to encourage other women to do, you are their mother, trust your instincts! There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking advice, I ask for it all the time, but if you want to do something or raise your child a certain way that is only going to benefit them, don’t worry that you’re “making a rod for your own back” or “spoiling them” just do what the hell you want and leave the haters to raise their kids in their own way

 

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Proud Mummy Moment

The Proud Mummy Moments

Premature baby

When you have a premature baby the idea of the distant future doesn’t seem as important as it did before, all that matters is the next day, the next hour, the next five minutes. While they are NICU the outside world doesn’t exist to you anymore, all that matters is this moment and getting your baby through it.

Memories

When those days become a memory and you look back on what your little miracle has been through, it makes you so grateful for all they can achieve now they are out of the woods.

Luckily for us, Jack came home with no complications, he surpassed all his milestones for his birth date never mind his due date and was discharged from the paediatrician. He turned three in November and is about to go from two to three sessions a week.

Nursery

I popped in to pick him up last Tuesday and his key worker brought out his monthly review that she was filling in and said he’s surpassing everything, but they always look for an area of improvement so they are going to focus on his maths, he can count but they are going to develop his skills further. Great! I thought to my self, quite advanced if you ask me but he seems to be enjoying himself and learning more and more so who am I to argue.

This was when I mentioned increasing his sessions by one more, asking her to see when they had another morning session available. I explained to her, he started April 2016 with one three hour session, then in September 2016 I increased it again and it’s now January and we’ve increased to a third session. I’d like him to be doing 15 hours before he starts school, so I have an idea in my head of increasing to four sessions in April (12 hours) and five sessions by September (15 hours) then he will be doing 15 hours for a year before he starts school in September 2018.

The wrong group

I explained this to his key worker and she looked at me confused, saying he starts school in September this year. Nooo, I told her he was born November 2013, yes he will be one of the older kids, but he doesn’t start until 2018. She had thought he was more advanced therefore older and it turns out he’s been in the pre-school group all this time! Not only that but he was doing amazing in every aspect!

Advanced

I’m proud of my kids for hitting any milestones and for all of their achievements, but for Jack it is just that bit more amazing, he was born almost three months early weighing only 3lbs, he couldn’t breathe on his own and was only allowed 0.5mls of milk every 6 hours, how does he go from that to being the top of a class that is supposed to be too advanced for him?!

Proud mummy

He really is our little miracle, he overcame all the odds and now he’s surpassing everyone’s expectations, he makes me such a proud mummy, to have such a clever, special boy.

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