After watching a few-too-many episodes of Wife Swap, I am completely flabbergasted at how some parents think!! Though I completely understand that there are no rule books that come with a child, what ever happened to common sense when it comes to raising one? Now, I understand that I haven't had children yet, but I don't think you should have to give birth to a child to grasp the "basic fundamentals" of being a parent. So, with that being said, I'd like to officially share just a couple of my personal "Parental Guidelines from a Non-Parent". Ready?! Here we go...
1. YOU ARE NOT THEIR FRIEND, YOU ARE THEIR PARENT! - Since when did parents start answering to their kids?! When I was a little girl, and my mother told me to set the table... I set the damn table!! There was not a 20 minute discussion about why she asked me to do it, and why it had to be done. I just knew to do what I was told, or there were going to be consequences. Parents have forgotten that they are suppose to be teaching their children how to become respectable and responsible human beings. All throughout life, there are going to be rules you have to follow, and consequences if you don't. And guess what? They are also learning to respect their elders and future authority figures. It is your job to instill those qualities in your child, so stop babying them and turning them into disrespectful degenerates!!
2. BE THE KIND OF PERSON YOU WANT THEM TO BECOME! - Your child will inevitably emulate the same attitude to life you have. If you are continually being blatantly belligerent in public, yell and scream at your spouse/partner in their presence, and/or disrespect yourself by spending your nights partying, instead of investing time with your child... they are going to think that is an acceptable lifestyle. Why? Because, whether you want to admit it or not, you are not only a "parent", but you are the main "role-model" for your child. Be the kind of parent you want them to become in the future, and instill qualities in their life that will help them become a constructive member of the community, and their own family one day.
3. YOU ARE NO LONGER PRIORITY ONE, THEY ARE! - With grown decisions, come grown responsibilities, come grown consequences. That's right! When you decide to have children, your life is no longer built around your wants, it's about providing that child with everything it needs. Though children do need (and deserve) safe shelter, healthy food, and warm clothes, your "job" as a parent doesn't stop there. Though you may want to go out to "the club" and drink the day away, if your child is sick, or has a project due tomorrow that isn't done... STAY HOME AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILD!!!
4. YOUR PARENTS RAISED THEIR KIDS, NOW RAISE YOUR OWN!! - I'm going to make this one simple. That is YOUR child. It is not the grandparent's responsibility to make sure your kids have their necessities, and to drop their plans because you want to go out all the time. They did their time. Like mentioned in number three, with grown decisions come grown responsibilities. Take care of YOURS.
Now I know that I don't have children, and that some people are going to say, 'You won't know what it is like until you have kids'... but, I beg to differ! My mother has three children. She went without the things she wanted to make sure we had everything we needed. We didn't have name brand clothing, but we had respect. When we were all sick, at the same time, she took care of us all, on top of working five 11-hour shifts a week. She helped us with homework, cooked our meals, read to us, took us to our recitals/baseball games, punished us when we were bad, and hugged us when we were upset. You see, everything I've learned about how I want to be when I become a parent, I learned from my mother. It doesn't take a rule book to know how to raise a child. All it takes is loving them enough to make sure they are taken care of, and have the qualities of a respectable, and loving person.
-Brandy L. Favorite-Benmoussa