Here presented views on how to raise a person are entirely personal, but certain conversations I’ve had with several of my friends and acquaintances made me realize that many of us think alike. However, things happen, things which are not in accordance with the beliefs I personally hold healthy and that’s why think it is essential, at least from time to time, to raise topics like how to raise a person. Maybe it’ll help you and me in order to find answers, to be wiser when making choices and finally, to make our life as pleasant as possible.
Problematics – how to raise a person
In the heat of demographic issues (in Croatia), pro & cons of the Catholic Church’s view on families with more children, I can’t help myself but wonder – is the number of children in a family what really matters? Even if you have financial issues all settled, it is still not a guarantee yu’l make a good parent. I’ll give you a simple example. Give a child what he wants and see what happens – undoubtedly, the child will ask for more and more and more. Like there is no end, never satisfied. It’s hard to talk about greed when children are in question, but I think you get my point. However, taking things for granted impoverishes us, people around us, life, everything. We simply don’t try as much as we can, don’t have a clear goal or a goal to strive for, only robotic behavior which is in line with demands of the majority.
Once you have a baby, you find yourself surrounded with endless tips and comments which you had not even asked for. True, some of them may be wise, but other are the result of pure pragmatic behavior. You’ll hear advice on breastfeeding according to which breast milk is the best food you can offer to your child while other will say that there is nothing wrong with commercial baby milk which is even better because it allows woman to go freely wherever she may fancy without worrying she’ll be scorned by some people who think it is a woman’s duty to remain at home if she opts for breastfeeding. I don’t think everyone realizes that mother-baby bond, but that’s another topic. Of course, there are many reasons for and against breastfeeding, but a majority of them are, not so plausible to be “justified” to say the least. Those who refuse to breastfeed their child because it’s too painful or inconvenient should know that only 2 % of all new mums are not able to produce enough milk to satisfy THEIR baby’s needs. This means that 98 % of have excuses. Not everything is black or white, I know, yet, even when you cut down this number for various other reasons, there are too many women who fail to overcome one of the earliest “obstacles” in a person’s life.
Growing up brings along numerous drastic changes, especially when it comes to preschool children. Adults forget how many drastic changes a child needs to undergo in order to be ready to cope with the grown-up world. Think for a minute. Taking off diapers, pacifiers and similar manifestations of some kind of devotion up to coinaging brilliant new words and form unique children’s dictionaries (each child has its own but surprisingly they seem to understand each other very well). Then comes the socializing, friendship formatin, sympathies for someone etc. And in all that it is possible to discern different characters already in child’s early years. You become more and more aware of the fact that it is not that easy to mould a child’s behavior because, as you’ve probably realized at some point, every child is born with a certain personality!
Then, there is a matter called healthy nutrition in early childhood. Maybe you are proud because you’ve accomplished to accustom your child on healthy stuff like greens, but as soon as your child starts to attend kindergarten, everything you thought your child seemed to had acquired, be sure, goes down the drain. We have society and “barren” structures that supposedly take good care of this matter to thank for. What happens is that kindergartens are places where children meet different trends – regarding toys, clothing, treats like candies, food, behavior, just name it. And if you do not want to be “in” at all costs, you automatically become that weird mum who always has something to complain about. He/She is a child, what bad can happen to him/her from a couple of candies, or He/She has a right as a child to…, is all you hear about while trying not to lose your mind for attempting to RAISE YOUR CHILD. I mean, I’ve never sent my kid to a kindergarten thinking this is it – I’ve finished with my up-bringing methods and now it’ kindergarten time. However, very soon I realize that the more children and parents I meet the more it becomes clear to me how I need to plan several moves ahead and adapt to recent changes, i.e. trends and try to find a compromise. I do not believe that I belong to society which is that liberal as to let me live my life the way I would like. And it makes me sad. And it frustrates me too. Because on one part, you try with every fiber of your own being to do your best, and on the other you realize you’re not strong enough to resist the stream for which you know it’s wrong so in order to preserve some (artificial) peace, you take on the pacifist attitude, being aware at the same time that direct or even slightly more challenging approach to a problem may cause extra problems, not even realizing you’ve already a member of the same group of people you, in a way, judge. Take children quarrels for instance. Should they resolve it on their own? Or should I let my child to be bothered by another child who obviously has certain behavior problems? Or, should I advise my child to work it out in the Old Testament way -eye for an eye…? Really, what would be the right choice?
Million questions with no answers. Nothing new, I know. I was taught to be decent and polite, to respect elderly, not to be obtrusive and similar. Yet, when I try to teach my child to the same values, I find myself lonely in practice, although other people’s claim to the contrary. Then again, putting demographic issues aside as well as your child’s need for a brother or a sister, how much energy one needs to have to be successful in parenthood? As the time goes by, this seems to me like an impossible mission. Although, I must admit that for a smile, the softest kiss ever or words like “thank you mum” with no special reason, everything is worth a parent’s effort.
Translation: G. Dujmović