Eva HoekeJune 23, 20224:00 pm

    This isn’t going to be a fun piece.
    It’s about parents who have a strange kind of awe for their children, act as servants and then forget to raise their children, and there are a lot of them. Some choose it, based on the vague idea that saying no is pathetic, others simply do not succeed, but the largest group does not even realize it. This piece can be useful for the latter category, but it still won’t be fun.

    Before we go any further, I’m not a strict mother. Well clear. No means no, while you are talking you look at someone, in the evening it is quiet, food is not played with and if you want something, you can also ask with a normal voice. I always thought that was normal, but every time I think we don’t have the whole thing under control ourselves – even our house is lived – someone comes along and does it much worse.

    Children who scream.

    Children interrupting conversations.

    Children who whine, children who leave their eaten cadet behind but want (and get!), children who from their mother’s womb first look around hostilely for half an hour, children who do not answer when you ask them something, children who walking upstairs uninvited, opening cupboards, looking for cake, children whining that they want to go home, children whining that they do not want to go home, children who demand plasters on invisible wounds, children who fall and then cry in such a way that everyone in the far and wide hears it’s an affectation, except Dad and Mo—no need for more examples, you know the stories.

    I myself was once called a bad mother when I came to pick up my daughter after an afternoon of playing, ending that fun caused some short circuit in the child of the house. I didn’t care about the comment, more interesting was the mother’s response: a kind of mumbling admonition, an act meant more for me than for her daughter. I don’t know, but if I’d done this before, my mom would have grabbed me by the head and sent to my room right after the apology. Big waffle? Short work. Hitting or kicking your father or mother – unthinkable. No, then now. A sigh, a question (‘What’s wrong with you’), and in the worst case scenario, they even help the rebellious larva with an apology: child is tired, child is sick, child is overstimulated. No dear, your child is not sick, your child is annoying.

    For the record: children are sometimes annoying. Mine too, that’s what kids are for. But that’s exactly why it takes a parent: to correct that behavior so that they have a level up in life and become a nice person later on. The strange thing is that parents who do not enter into confrontation are often parents who go out of their way for their children above average (amusement parks, baking cookies, it is impossible) and they are almost all highly educated. And that’s where it gets serious. Because where most children sooner or later bump into an outside world that says no, they have a chance to escape that dance – everyone knows that children from certain classes are not told no at all, not now and not later, without it having consequences for their job, status or capital. It is the children who now offend their parents, and later their staff.

    Like I said, this isn’t a fun piece.

    But someone has to say it.