A Child Who's Always Good? Must Be Suppressed...

United Kingdom
December 16, 2016 8:37am CST
Note: I used the word 'suppressed' because that was the word used by the original commenter. It has been pointed out to me (because, apparently, my grammar Nazi brain is broken and didn't notice) that it should read 'oppressed'. Children are strange creatures, but parents can be stranger still. It is a sad indictment of society when it is seen as normal for a child to have continuous tantrums, to require bribes to simply behave appropriately, and when more parents think that their only option is taking away all of the child's worldly goods. When reading articles, questions, and social media items regarding children and parenting, there is a lot of negativity. There is a lot of 'don't worry, it's normal' which, in reality, only gives the parent an excuse not to parent. It does not help to solve the situation. Of course, children do have their moments. They will, probably, do something they shouldn't at some point in their lives. If it is dealt with appropriately the first time, and parents are consistent with appropriate teachings and discipline, then it will be less likely that a child will repeat the unwanted behaviour. Sometimes, the biggest problem is with a parent doing nothing. If it is 'normal' for a child to have a tantrum, then some parents will simply dismiss it. This is problematic because the child has learned nothing from it. While I may be biased in this assertion, my children are absolutely awesome so I think I've done a good job of raising them. What prompted me to write this post was someone on a thread about toddler tantrums. Yes, it is not an unusual thing for a toddler to have a tantrum. It is, however, sad that so many people viewed children being brats as the same as children being children. It is also sad that one commenter stated a belief that a child who is always well-behaved must be suppressed, and the commenter worried about how that child had been brought up. To me, I worry that such an attitude exists. Another commenter suggested that everyone goes through public tantrums and the like, and that anyone who hasn't been through it should not be judgemental because their time will come. Well, I can only speak for myself and my own children but, at 16 and 11, I don't think it's likely I'll have those issues now! The worry I have is that children don't seem to be taught how to behave, and parents would rather let them get on with what they see as 'just being children' than actually explain to them that their behaviour is not acceptable. Being well-behaved is not the same as being suppressed. It is, in my opinion, a simple matter of manners, of knowing how to behave appropriately. Perhaps my attitude is different because my children have the freedom and ability to talk about anything, meaning they can simply ask if something is or isn't appropriate. Perhaps they've simply never felt the need to have a tantrum because they are articulate enough to voice their feelings. Not being allowed to get away with things does not mean that a child is suppressed. My children are certainly not suppressed. They have far more freedom than a lot of children. They choose to use it in their own way. I actually found it really sad that someone would presume to worry about a child's upbringing just because they were always good. I shall leave it there for now. Please feel welcome to comment your own opinions and experiences.
2 people like this
3 responses
@marguicha (94870)
• Chile
16 Dec 16
It is difficult to answer this post for me as the way of bringing up children has changed a lot since my own children were kids. My children never had tantrums outside of the house and I don´t remember them having them in the house. My 2 granddaughters cried in the house when they were little. I told them to go to my room, open the door of the closet where I have a big mirror and look at themselves until they found a smile in their faces, Then they could come out to show me the smile. I believe in talking too. I had that in my own house even though then it wasn´t usual.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
16 Dec 16
I have often said that just because something is old fashioned, doesn't make it bad. I think that applies to child rearing too. Certain things have changed for the better, but people used to bring their children up to know how to behave. It was unusual for a child to misbehave (at least in public) but now it seems normal. Sadly, people don't seem to realise that a 2 year old who is allowed to misbehave without consequence will likely become a 12 year old who still has tantrums and expects his/her own way.
1 person likes this
@marguicha (94870)
• Chile
16 Dec 16
@pumpkinjam I don´t blame it all on the parents. Now it seems that you can´t touch a child or it is child abuse. I have given a pinch or a slap on the butt at my daughters or grandkids if they try to cross the street without looking. If that´s child abuse, I say: call the police.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
16 Dec 16
@marguicha I do think some parents fear disciplining their children. Although, as smacking is something I don't do (no issue with those who do it within reason, though), I can't agree, at least from my perspective, that not being able to do it would make things much different. I do, however, think there are some children, specifically those with (for want of a nicer phrase) lower intellect, who actually do need a slap because it really is the only way they will learn.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123429)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Dec 16
I couldn't agree with you more. The word 'manners' could be replaced with 'consideration'. Some parents nowadays can't seem to be bothered with parenting. It certainly isn't the easiest job in the world but if you bring children into the world the least you can do is help them grow into considerate, useful citizens.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
17 Dec 16
There's something which I've said regarding the sayings like 'what's wrong with kids of today?' That is, that kids of today are the product of parents today. A generation of ill-mannered children comes from a previous generation who did not show a good example. There are, as always, exceptions to the rules. Parents don't always bother with parenting, you're right, but parents lead by example. Parenting isn't always easy, even with the best children! But I agree with you, that with the right input, guidance, and role models, children will grow up (usually) into respectful and responsible people.
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (123429)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Dec 16
@pumpkinjam Certainly the kids are the product of the parents. And sometimes I think the blame goes back to the baby-boomers. They had it so good and wanted to give their kids a great life so I think many of the next generation were pretty spoiled. They in turn were too free and easy with their kids and so it goes on.
1 person likes this
@nomus24g (22979)
• India
16 Dec 16
children should be mischievous as well...that's their natural instinct
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
16 Dec 16
Yes, I agree, children should be mischievous and cheeky. But there is a difference between that and behaving inappropriately/unacceptably because they haven't been taught how to behave. There is also the matter of the behaviour being age appropriate. I mean, for example, there are things we'd accept from a 2 year old, which most would not accept from a 4 year old.