When the baby is first born he is so cute and cuddly! He lies in the cot and gurgles a lot and has the most charming smile (even if the experts tell us its wind –what do they know anyway!). Everyone who sees him just goes googly over him! Life is just wonderful …and then it happens, almost unseen and unknown, their innocent, loveable baby becomes the child from the deep! He has discovered his role- to make life impossible for his parents!
Have you noticed parents sitting around consoling each other? They feel poorly prepared for this challenge and have more than a sneaking suspicion that their children have a much deeper understanding of how parents work than they have of what makes children tick! The parent feels a distinct disadvantage! They thought that raising babies was all about physical effort – nappies, food and trying to cope in a zombie state through lack of sleep. They were ready for all that but they never counted on the emotional and psychological challenges they would have to face.
Parents are often at a loss to know how to cope with their children. It is not unusual to see a strained acceptance of the rule of the child in the home. You know the kind of thing –the parent trying to appease the child in many and varied ways. We need to be aware that a power struggle is taking place within the family. It is simply this –who is going to be in charge within the home, the child or the parents? It is not good either for the parent or the child if the child is allowed to rule!
It is wrong that mothers have the sole responsibility in caring for children - fathers must be involved as well. Is the typical Irish family still in vogue? The father is the provider, goes out – comes back and has his dinner and then functions only as a ghost within the family structures preferring to spend time outside of the home rather than having any real connection with his children. Ask your Mother is the response to many questions thrown at them by their children. It is vitally important that both Mother and Father are involved in an agreed way when dealing with their children. Parents need to be singing from the same hymn sheet when they are dealing with their children, otherwise the child will soon learn the individual lyrics of the parents and outmanoeuvre them.
Have you heard the saying Madness is hereditary; you get it from your children! As in much humour there is some truth in it. Parents can be ruled by their children and if that is allowed to take place normal relationship structures are changed which is harmful both for parents and children.
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Charity Commission No. 109336
Sundays at 11.00 am
Wednesday 7.30 pm
Newry Baptist Church
31-33 Lower Catherine Street