Kapi-Mana News : June 18th 2013
12 KAPI-MANA NEWS, JUNE 18, 2013 OPINION • Garden Equipment • Generators & Pumps • Diggers • Scaffolding • Tracked Barrows • Trucks • Car Trailer • Concrete Equipment • Augers and more... HIRE www.am-hire.co.nz PH 04 237 0308 6 Makaro St, Porirua (OFF RAIHA STREET) To Prosser St HIRE 4021037AC 5414093AA www.kapimananews.co.nz ONLINE DIGITAL EDITION 5443184AA We're not raising an inconvenience PAREN TALK NT T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T T ELEANOR CATER Kids being kids: They're not young for long, so enjoy them, but remember that kids are people with needs, too. Just as the news hits the headlines of a Porirua mother leaving her one-year-old and four-year-old home alone while she went shopping, Pinky McKay, Australian author and respected baby expert, lashes out in her blog at today's selfish, lazy parents who view their babies as an incon- venience''. She writes that, after 30 years of working with parents, she is fed up with those who want their babies to fit in with their life- styles. I am sick of the sense of entitlement that makes them think that the baby should fit in rather than be a priority.'' Actually, she uses much more colourful words than that. And she has a point. We see it all over, it affects parenting across demographics. The parent who turns his back and shuts the door on his dis- tressed baby (babies cry to communicate folks, not to manipulate); the parent who sits her preschoolers in front of the tele- vision for hours on end; the parent who whacks his child rather than listening to what is troubling them; the parent who leaves her sleeping baby at home alone while she does the kindy pickup; the parent who straps her frustrated toddler into the car so she can have a hassle-free wine with her mummy friends; the absent parent who plays the pokies (or golf) for much of the weekend. Yes, all true stories and all hap- pening in a neighbourhood near you. But children are only little and totally dependent for such a short length of time. So if parenting means sacrificing or chang- ing the things we all like to do, like spon- taneous shopping trips, the way we eat, the places we visit, the activities we pursue, it's only for a short time. Life as a parent has to become more about focusing on building new relationships, listening to cues, meet- ing real needs, planning shopping trips, outings and adult pursuits. It's about mak- ing the most of teamwork -- if you are lucky enough to be in this as a couple -- and relying on support networks of other parents and family. But mostly it's about respecting these little beings as people with real needs that, actually, must come first. It really is only for a very short period of time that our children are little -- blink and it's gone -- and it's our privilege to be guid- ing them respectfully and responsively. Pinky McKay is right, we are raising a per- son, a little miracle, not an inconvenience. Eleanor Cater is a freelance writer and works for Parents Centres New Zealand as their national brand manager. She has three chil- dren and thinks they are small miracles, even if they've led a life of more dinners featuring chicken nuggets, more outings to playgrounds and more familiarity with the adventures of Hairy Maclary's rhyming friends than she ordinarily would have chosen.
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