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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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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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The Heart Stopping Moment

The Heart Stopping Moment

It’s safe to say I’ve had my fair share of heart stopping moments whilst being a mother, actually, even before I was a mother.

No heartbeat

We lost two babies before we had Jack, being told there was no heartbeat is like a punch in the stomach then being left with an empty feeling, it just felt like a never ending nightmare and like our future had been taken away from us before we’d even had it.

Then with Jack being born prematurely, I was constantly on pins, praying that nothing else would go wrong, hoping each day that he’d be healthy enough to come home, but there was always the reassurance that the medical staff were there, that they wouldn’t let him come home until he was “right”.

So it’s safe to say pregnancy is a pretty terrifying for me, I have a whole host of health problems during my pregnancies, so I get kind of impatient waiting for my baby to “just be here”, but nothing can prepare you for the fact it could all be taken away in an instant.

Time stood still

This time last week, time stood still and it felt like my heart stopped, it’s actually taken me a week to write this blog post because I’ve only just got my head around it.

Having a late night with the hubby, watching Goodfellas (as you do), it was three minutes past twelve (don’t ask me how I remember that, time literally stood still) and Nicole was being fussy and not wanting to feed even though she seemed hungry, which is not like her, she loves to feed and would literally be on my boob all day.

Then suddenly she started making a grunting noise and was bolt upright, as if she was in agony, I tried winding her and then she began struggling to breathe. I passed her to Paul he couldn’t settle her either, she was getting more and more worked up and unable to breathe properly so we rang an Ambulance.

It’s strange, my kids will do things throughout the day like climbing and falling but not hurting themselves, eating and almost choking, becoming ill with a cold or virus and it’s always in the back of my mind to ring a professional for help either my doctors or the hospital, but in this situation I just knew we needed emergency care.

She started to turn blue

I took her back in my arms and she went from feeling like she was full of frustration and bolt upright, to floppy with her eyes rolling back and she started to turn blue.

That moment was the most terrifying of my life, I felt like every part of my body that holds me together just fell apart, helpless…that’s the word. Suddenly for that moment the world stopped and everything felt quiet and cold, I was on the phone to the emergency services and I could hear the woman saying “calm down or I can’t help you, please calm down” then I realised I was hysterical, I didn’t even know I was, I’d gone completely into myself, just for a moment but it felt like hours, then my phone battery died.

It was as if her body was giving up

That was it, I snapped back to reality with the terrifying concept she may not have arranged an ambulance. I’d told her my address, I’d told her my baby was four months old, actually I think I told her that about 20 times, we quickly rushed to the house phone, by this time Nicole had come back round but she was still slightly limp and grunting, it was as if her body was giving up.

My husband got onto the house phone and rang 999 again, I could hear him pleading with them to just send an ambulance, but he later told me they wouldn’t until he’d been through the appropriate questions, all I could hear him saying “my baby is four months old and she isn’t breathing, please send an ambulance” and then he kept saying “just send one”, “please she isn’t breathing just send one”, by this time an Ambulance was outside our home, thank goodness the first call handler from when my phone had died had sent one.

She was going to be OK

I ran into the ambulance, I had no shoes on and Nicole was only in a t-shirt, by this time she had come round a lot but was still grunting, so we took her to hospital. I nipped into the house just to grab some nappies and baby grow for her and the realisation hit me like a wave, she was going to be OK, I mean for all I knew it could have happened again, but I don’t know how to explain it, I just felt it, she was OK.

She was checked over and cooed over by every member of staff in A&E and they reassured me this is just a thing that happens with young babies, they just have these little episodes, some come round from it, some don’t, so we’re very lucky.

The fact that this “just happens” terrifies me, I love being a mother, it’s the best thing I’ve ever done in my life, but since the moment my first child was born I have this unbelievable fear of how I could ever cope with life if something happened to one of my babies, as the saying goes “it isn’t worth thinking about” but last week Nicole made me think about it and that was my heart stopping moment and I hope I never have one again in my life.

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