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Wednesday
Jul222009

how to be a parent #2

You want to be the best parent since the cranial expansion of homo sapiens produced 'modern' man several hundred thousand years ago.

That’s a lot of generations that have preceded you.

Naturally they all knew nothing. Which is why you haven’t even bought Dr Spock, the bible your parents swore by. But then they probably didn’t take parenting quite so seriously as you do.

This is the paradox. You think parenting is incredibly important yet you can’t be arsed to read anything about it or even ask anyone for advice.

I know- the above describes me.

Finally, though, I cracked.

It came about when we were still up at 1am with our little son playing very happily at our feet. I cracked.

This had to stop. I needed time for myself. For my wife. For my life. Our life. Life in general was being threatened by that which we both loved to bits. Loved, but were ignorant of.

Next day, he went to bed at eight after a bath and a little story. Conditioning. Old as Pavlov and his dogs. Get ‘em used to baths and stories and sleep will follow. He woke, not at 4am as we expected but at 8am, the same time as usual- but was less crabby than usual. He’d had a good night’s sleep for a change.

We live in an over stimulated and over stimulating world. We have electric light and TV and noise and city hum- so kids don’t drop off when they are tired. You have to decide, these days, for them. It’s an opt-in world we live in. Not opt–out like the good old 1960s or before. (What I mean is, if you don’t opt-in to certain arrangements, routines, practices- nothing happens- it’s just you staring at your screen waiting, looking out of the window.) So you have to find out and then opt in to certain childcare practices. After you crack, of course.

 

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