Lying in bed looking across at a stretched out, sleeping cat my other half commented that it’s a hard life being a cat, then added I suppose it is if you’re not loved and looked after. Isn’t this the same for children?
As a child I often wondered what I was going to eat for my next meal, I never wondered if I was going to eat. I may have been shouted at for my misdemeanors, even occasionally had a short, sharp slap across the back of legs if I had pushed my parents too far but a hug, kiss and the chance to make amends were never far away.
My parents did not have much money, they really struggled at times with both of them working to ensure we had what we needed. We didn’t need new bikes, second hand ones would do, we didn’t need holidays, days out with a picnic are still remembered. They had no spare money so they didn’t smoke or drink.
It doesn’t always seem to be the same nowadays. I see parents who tell me about their monetary difficulties in one breath and then their children telling me about their new Xbox game in the next. Is it peer pressure or indulgence or just a fear of saying no that means that parents seem to have to provide their child with these material goods?
I would never want to deny children the opportunity to play or have fun but I do worry when it is at such an stress inducing expense. I would never decry a parent for wanting the best for their child but I wonder whether perhaps a nutritious meal and unconditional love might be more appreciated by the child when they look back on their childhood.
It isn’t my position and I have no right to even suggest how a parent should bring up their child but it it doesn’t stop me wondering.