4.) Name a pet peeve you have about how other parents raise their kids. Go on…stir the pot.
Oh, man. Oh man oh man oh man. I could write a book based on this topic. So maybe I'll just narrow it down to my top five pet peeves. I see a lot of different parenting styles from working with families as a teacher. I get to see a lot. Honestly, seeing some examples of not-so-fine parenting has helped me as I parent Raegan. I have thought of specific children from my classroom and it motivates me to not let her get away with x-y-and-z because I know what can come from permissive parenting.
(1) It drives me craaaaaazy when I see people giving their small (I'm talking babies and toddlers here) children soda. I hate it! I have had so many children come through my class with the most horrible cavities, and it usually comes from a combination of sugary drinks and not enforcing brushing their teeth. Raegan to this day has not had a sip of soda (that I'm aware of, and she better not have!!!) and it's going to stay that way for awhile. I am a soda drinker. I drink a looooot of soda. I really need to cut down. But I'm an adult, and I am making that choice, knowing what it does to my teeth and my body (and I do brush my teeth - ha! - and I drink diet, so thats a smidge better). There are plenty of other much healthier alternatives for kids (even school aged kids) if they're thirsty. Raegan loves milk and water. She just doesn't need pop.
(2) Another parenting pet peeve of mine is parents who enroll their child in every activity under the sun, and don't allow their child any downtime. I've read several articles about how it's not healthy for children to play sports non-stop from a young age, because of the damage it can do to their joints and muscles. Sports aside, I think that children need to learn how to entertain themselves. I think that there is a lot of benefit to extracurricular activities and sports. I think children should try out their interests and be introduced to teamwork and fair play. But I don't think that they shoul be going, going, going all day every day. They need time to use their imaginations and learn to just be.
(3) One more would be letting your child stay up all night. I know a lot of parents who keep their child up late at night (11:00, midnight, sometimes even later) so that they will sleep in the next morning so the parent can sleep in too. Kids need sleep. It's how they grow! It's how their minds develop!!!! Raegan goes to bed at 8:00 (sometimes earlier in the school year if she doesn't get a good nap at child care) because (1) she needs her sleep, and (2) I need Mommy time. I think it makes me a better mom to get some time to myself. I can love her and not need to spend every moment of every day with her. And I can be unselfish and an adult and go to bed at a decent hour so that I can get up with her in the morning. Part of the decision to have children, I say.
(4) And my last one (I couldn't really think of a fifth one, at least not a major one). If you know me very well, you should know this one - excessive television. Turn off the dang television and send your child outside! Do you know that the average preschool aged child (meaning ages 2-6) has 32 hours of screen time a week? And the average school aged child is getting about 6 hours a day of screen time (including about an hour and a half daily at school!!!)? And about one fourth of children under the age of two have a television in their room!!!! IN. THEIR. ROOM!!!!!!!! Ludicrous! I think it's nice to watch cartoons all morning on Saturday morning. I certainly laid around in my pajamas doing that when I was a kid. But it wasn't an all day, every day marathon of television, video games and computer. Talk to your child! Read to your child! Have them entertain themselves with their imagination and toys! Ooooooh, it drives me crazy! Can you tell by my excessive use of exclamation points?!!!!!!!! :D
Ahhhh, that feels kind of good just to rant it all out. Good prompt this week!