I have given this blog the most unoriginal title. Go on, Google it. You will find a billion results with everyone’s take on the list. Of course, being the reference itself comes from religious dogma, invariably there are blogs, articles and general information websites produced by those of Christian faith, but in the absence of religion in one’s life, how do they find out the fundamentals of being the perfect/great/good/adequate parent they should be?
Following the public outrage over Kiesha Weippeart being murdered by her mother Kristi Abrahams I've been wondering: who was looking out for the mother to teach her how to be an adequate enough mother to HER child? Who was there to teach her not to bite her daughter when she was 15 months old, or not to intentionally burn her with a cigarette when she was three, or not to beat the girl so senseless that it causes her death at the young age of only six years old? And now at this point I know you've most probable gone back to read what I wrote just one sentence prior;
“who was looking out for the mother….?”
Why would we care about the mother? Part of her defence was that she herself was abused as a child at the hands of her father. I have seen it been referenced in the media as a “cycle of abuse,” a never ending series of abuse by a parent towards their child. And I also wondered, though I don’t want this to sound like Kiesha’s silver lining, nor speak ill of the dead, but had she not have died at the hands of her mother, had she have lived long enough to be the age where she could have her own child, would the cycle of abuse have continued with her?
Here are my Ten Commandments of Parenting
1. Before the conception, during the pregnancy and after the birth make sure you are bringing the child into a loving household.
Whether it’s a “traditional” mum and dad family, a same sex parenting family, or whatever your situation may be, make sure you provide the child with a place where they feel loved.
2. Provide a safe haven for your child.
Your home and all your surrounds need to be a place where your child not only feels safe, but is safe.
3. When times are tough, always seek external advice.
It takes a village to raise a child. It doesn’t matter whether that is an old African proverb, or one that an American writer attributed to the African culture to make it sound more significant, but it truly does take this global village of ours to help modern parents raise their kids.
4. Whatever you expected in your own childhood, simply multiply that by a million and provide that for your child even if your own expectations weren’t met.
Every parent should always want the best for their child and never be jealous of the child if they are provided with more than what you got as a child. This doesn’t mean spoil the child rotten, it means do not hold the child back because of some preconceived idea you have that your child doesn’t deserve to have a better life than you had.