The most popular parenting memes, blogs, and vlogs all seem to have one thing in common—they encourage parents to do what feels best for them.
What’s ironic about Caribbean parents following such advice, is the fact that the parents writing these blogs live in countries where it would be illegal to discipline in the way in which we “feel” it to be best practice.
These bloggers live in countries where child services WILL take your child if you consistently miss school. They will not be so lenient with parents that send children to school with no books, no food, and no bath.
So no, even these popular mom bloggers don’t parent the way that feels good to them. They live in countries where best practice is in fact law. These women are busy debating on whether to be gluten-free or not. They are not debating on whether daily shouting, licks or taking public transport alone is acceptable.
These mothers who feed you a false sense of comfort would be called in if the child started acting weird in school and cited seeing mommy and daddy fighting as the reason for the sudden change of behaviour.
Let’s stop being blind to what their acceptable parenting standard is versus ours. Of course, they can tell moms to mind their own business. They live in countries where the State is minding the business of everyone. Guess what, in sweet T&T, our children are BEGGING us to mind their business. Our women are begging us to mind their business for them.
The one thing that worked really well is the one thing we seem to have let go of quickly and that was the village raising the kid. We hold on to licks but we let go of the elderly neighbour speaking wisdom into you.
More than half of the children that are abused are done so at the hands of their own parents, so no, you cannot parent how you feel.
Your parenting decisions affect the society that I live in, so yes, it is my business and I will not apologise for making it such.
When you choose to spend on luxury items while your child goes hungry in school, that is my business because eventually that child will become an adult and come into my yard.
To think that the way you parent is your business, is to think selfishly. We live in a world full of people and we must raise our children to be contributing adults that aren’t hurtful to others.
The best athletes in the world have coaches. To think that giving birth gives you the certification to know how to parent is to be naive. Parenting like everything else takes hours of studies. Like business, sports, and trades, there are best practices based in years and years of studies done by professionals.
It is time we turn to them versus our own feelings. It is time we raise our game. Commit to learning and growing. Put our pride aside and be willing to hear that our way isn’t the best. Heck, our way may be downright wrong. It’s okay to have been wrong. It is not okay to shun the information and clench our fists at change.