Saturday, January 12, 2008

The hard task of parenting

My upstairs neighbours have a 2 years old child, who is by anyone's definition, a living hell. The kid screams, yells, throws tantrums, smashes things on the floor, argues with his parents (!?!?!? - yeah, incredibly, the kid argues with his parents at 2 yrs old, and they argue back!) and has absolutely no sense of when to stop crying.

In my opinion, this isn't the kid's fault, but the result of bad parenting. However we want to look at it, a child is the product of his or her parents. I see my nieces and nephews, and they're all great kids. That's the result of my brothers' and their wives' efforts, not some random DNA strand.

Naturally, some of my brothers are more strict than others. There are specific circumstances that have colored each kid's life. But the overall result are great girls and boys. In the case of my neighbours' little guy, he can be cute as a button, but it's a pain and a torture to live in my apartment when he is around.

Is there anything that can be done? Yeah, for sure. Teach his Mom and Dad how to be better parents. However, there is no real school that prepares you to be a Mom or a Dad. My parents weren't prepared either! Nevertheless, I am proud of what my parents made of me and my brothers, and I'll have to admit that it was pure damn luck combined with a great dose of love.

My parents might have been very strict, sometimes dominant and at times overwhelming, but they loved me and my brothers very much (they still do, because thank God, they're still alive!). They were visionaries in that they wanted to create diamonds out of us, and I believe they succeeded. I don't know how to pass my Mom and Dad's parenting lessons to my neighbours, but one thing I can tell you is that my parents were very disciplined and taught us to behave properly under every circumstance. Maybe my neighbours will learn the lesson sometime.

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