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Becoming A Mature And Responsible Adult Starts In Your Childhood

Becoming A Mature And Responsible Adult Starts In Your Childhood

Technology has brought all sorts of conveniences and possibilities before us – things that our great-grandparents would have simply been amazed to see. However, one thing that technology will never be able to simplify is the process of helping children learn to grow up into adults who take care of their obligations and behave with maturity and civility in all areas of their lives. In this article, we discuss some ways that parents can teach children the right way of living, just by going back to some of the basics of child-rearing that were once a given but now have almost vanished from modern culture.

The Family That Eats Together, Learns Manners Together

There was a time when families would sit down at a table in the evenings and eat dinner together. Of course, that was also a time when many women did not have to work outside the home, and so they had time to prepare a meal for their husbands and children, instead of rushing home from a job of their own. In more modern times, when both spouses are much more likely to have jobs outside the home, neither parent wants to go to the extra effort of slaving over a hot stove to cook, and no one feels like cleaning up afterward.

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However, there are ways for families to still enjoy this time together instead of rushing through a drive-thru on the way home or heating up a frozen pizza and then plopping down on the couch, watching whatever is fresh on the queue from Netflix.

When families sit down at a table and eat together and they talk about the day that they had, they learn to know one another. Children will feel the love when you start caring for them, learn proper table manners, and also learn the art of conversation. As simple as it is, through this way you can avoid irresponsible teenagers that get into doing the wrong things and hang out with the wrong people. When you just talk to each other while hopping in and out of the car or in passing in the hallways of your home, you just get those one-word answers that tell you nothing.

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Deep conversations enrich family relationships. And they teach valuable social skills.

Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child

Long ago, corporal punishment was a part of every child’s life growing up.

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I’m definitely not saying that physical abuse is something that should ever happen. However, there is an age in a child’s life when spanking is not only appropriate, but is the best way to teach obedience. When a child reaches adolescence then the time for corporal punishment has passed. At that point, the child has already formed his or her morals and ethics on a basic level.

However, in early childhood, the fear that a spanking could be the result of an action is a healthy one. At that age, children are not ready for complex moral reasoning, but knowing that doing something that they want to do, but that they know is wrong, can be counteracted with the notion that physical punishment will result. It is a quicker, more visceral punishment than taking away a smartphone or a handheld video game system. Likewise, it inculcates through their minds that sense of instant obedience is far more important than a fear of grounding.

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Support Your Child’s Dreams and Watch Them Flourish

Raising a child so that he or she becomes a mature and civil adult isn’t that easy. Honestly, it takes more than just setting rules and administering discipline. Children need structure in order to flourish and grow. Nevertheless, structure is not all that they need. If you think about a tomato vine and how it grows, then you get a sense of how this process works. When you first plant a tomato vine, it needs a trellis or other support system in order to spread out and start developing. The structure that you provide for your child gives him or her the framework of limits in which development can take place safely.

With a tomato vine, there comes a point where the vine starts to go its own way along the trellis, spreading out in multiple directions and becoming even stronger. Once your child has achieved the maturity that will thrive under full independence, it is time to let go.

Understanding when it is time to extend trust is important. Children want structure, but they also want you to trust them, so when you see that your child is ready for that trust, you have to be prepared to extend that trust to them. That gives them the freedom to pursue their dreams and it also gives you the perspective to watch them blossom into the successful adults that you always knew they could become.

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Junie Rutkevich

Game Developer of iXL Digital

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Published on January 30, 2019

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

How to Support a Working Mother as a Working Father

In roughly 60 percent of two-parent households with children under the age of 18, both parents work full time. But who takes time off work when the kids are sick in your house? And if you are a manager, how do you react when a man says he needs time to take his baby to the pediatrician?

The sad truth is, the default in many companies and families is to value the man’s work over the woman’s—even when there is no significant difference in their professional obligations or compensation. This translates into stereotypes in the workplace that women are the primary caregivers, which can negatively impact women’s success on the job and their upward mobility.

According to a Pew Research Center analysis of long-term time-use data (1965–2011), fathers in dual-income couples devote significantly less time than mothers do to child care.[1] Dads are doing more than twice as much housework as they used to (from an average of about four hours per week to about 10 hours), but there is still a significant imbalance.

This is not just an issue between spouses; it’s a workplace culture issue. In many offices, it is still taboo for dads to openly express that they have family obligations that need their attention. In contrast, the assumption that moms will be on the front lines of any family crisis is one that runs deep.

Consider an example from my company. A few years back, one of our team members joined us for an off-site meeting soon after returning from maternity leave. Not even two hours into her trip, her husband called to say that the baby had been crying nonstop. While there was little our colleague could practically do to help with the situation, this call was clearly unsettling, and the result was that her attention was divided for the rest of an important business dinner.

This was her first night away since the baby’s birth, and I know that her spouse had already been on several business trips before this event. Yet, I doubt she called him during his conferences to ask child-care questions. Like so many moms everywhere, she was expected to figure things out on her own.

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The numbers show that this story is far from the exception. In another Pew survey, 47 percent of dual-income parents agreed that the moms take on more of the work when a child gets sick.[2] In addition, 39 percent of working mothers said they had taken a significant amount of time off from work to care for their child compared to just 24 percent of working fathers. Mothers are also more likely than fathers (27 percent to 10 percent) to say they had quit their job at some point for family reasons.

Before any amazing stay-at-home-dads post an angry rebuttal comment, I want to be very clear that I am not judging how families choose to divide and conquer their personal and professional responsibilities; that’s 100 percent their prerogative. Rather, I am taking aim at the culture of inequity that persists even when spouses have similar or identical professional responsibilities. This is an important issue for all of us because we are leaving untapped business and human potential on the table.

What’s more, I think my fellow men can do a lot about this. For those out there who still privately think that being a good dad just means helping out mom, it’s time to man up. Stop expecting working partners—who have similar professional responsibilities—to bear the majority of the child-care responsibilities as well.

Consider these ways to support your working spouse:

1. Have higher expectations for yourself as a father; you are a parent, not a babysitter.

Know who your pediatrician is and how to reach him or her. Have a back-up plan for transportation and emergency coverage.

Don’t simply expect your partner to manage all these invisible tasks on her own. Parenting takes effort and preparation for the unexpected.

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As in other areas of life, the way to build confidence is to learn by doing. Moms aren’t born knowing how to do this stuff any more than dads are.

2. Treat your partner the way you’d want to be treated.

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve heard a man on a business trip say to his wife on a call something to the effect of, “I am in the middle of a meeting. What do you want me to do about it?”

However, when the tables are turned, men often make that same call at the first sign of trouble.

Distractions like this make it difficult to focus and engage with work, which perpetuates the stereotype that working moms aren’t sufficiently committed.

When you’re in charge of the kids, do what she would do: Figure it out.

3. When you need to take care of your kids, don’t make an excuse that revolves around your partner’s availability.

This implies that the children are her first priority and your second.

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I admit I have been guilty in the past of telling clients, “I have the kids today because my wife had something she could not move.” What I should have said was, “I’m taking care of my kids today.”

Why is it so hard for men to admit they have personal responsibilities? Remember that you are setting an example for your sons and daughters, and do the right thing.

4. As a manager, be supportive of both your male and female colleagues when unexpected situations arise at home.

No one likes or wants disruptions, but life happens, and everyone will face a day when the troubling phone call comes from his sitter, her school nurse, or even elderly parents.

Accommodating personal needs is not a sign of weakness as a leader. Employees will be more likely to do great work if they know that you care about their personal obligations and family—and show them that you care about your own.

5. Don’t keep score or track time.

At home, it’s juvenile to get into debates about who last changed a diaper or did the dishes; everyone needs to contribute, but the big picture is what matters. Is everyone healthy and getting enough sleep? Are you enjoying each other’s company?

In business, too, avoid the trap of punching a clock. The focus should be on outcomes and performance rather than effort and inputs. That’s the way to maintain momentum toward overall goals.

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The Bottom Line

To be clear, I recognize that a great many working dads are doing a terrific job both on the home front and in their professional lives. My concern is that these standouts often aren’t visible to their colleagues; they intentionally or inadvertently let their work as parents fly under the radar. Dads need to be open and honest about family responsibilities to change perceptions in the workplace.

The question “How do you balance it all?” should not be something that’s just asked of women. Frankly, no one can answer that question. Juggling a career and parental responsibilities is tough. At times, really tough.

But it’s something that more parents should be doing together, as a team. This can be a real bonus for the couple relationship as well, because nothing gets in the way of good partnership faster than feelings of inequity.

On the plus side, I can tell you that parenting skills really do get better with practice—and that’s great for people of both sexes. I think our cultural expectations that women are the “nurturers” and men are the “providers” needs to evolve. Expanding these definitions will open the doors to richer contributions from everyone, because women can and should be both—and so should men.

Featured photo credit: NeONBRAND via unsplash.com

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