Parenting with Expediency – Part I

One thing about still being relatively new to blogging is that it’s providing an opportunity for me to test out different styles, forms and voices. And today will be something totally new for me – an opinion piece to vent a little.

Here we go…

I read a light-hearted piece from fellow blogger Smiley like I mean it. If you don’t already follow the blog, you can read his post that I am referring to here.

These words are from his post and they provided me with food for thought on a two part piece of my own:

“I dislike the effect that the children of today have on the parents of today.”

I disagree.

In my humble opinion, I dislike the effect that the parents of today have on the children of today.

Though I am childfree, I’ve read plenty of articles about Tiger Moms, Free Range, Helicopter and Snowplow Parents and met them all in some form or another. For years, I have seen another group that probably has an officially assigned name by some psychologist or journalist, but I call it “expediency parenting”.

My definition of “expediency parenting” is a parent who:

– often does what is easiest in the moment;
– often does what is the quickest option in the moment;
– has forgotten that actions taken now have consequences later; and
– lay blame at everyone else’s feet except their own when those consequences rear their ugly head.

I fully understand that being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world and that you have to do the best you can with the tools you have. I also understand that you raise your children according to what you experienced or would like to have experienced growing up.

But regardless of the situation, the fact remains that when you make the decision to become a parent and sign on that dotted line, you should realize that there is a big difference between doing what is best for you and doing what is best for the child in the long run – no matter how hard it may be.

Sure, you will probably say that it is easy for someone like me to have an opinion because I am not a parent. I guess one could say that right now I am a daughter being a partial “parent” to elderly parents.

But not being an “official” parent to a child also makes it easier to see the forest for the trees. I am no psychologist but I don’t need a degree to be a student of human behaviour, especially when these situations are up close and personal.

When I see children or teenagers behaving badly, I don’t blame them. I look to the parents and more often than not, the root of certain issues stems from favouring some form of expediency. So when I hear complaints about a child’s negative attitude or disrespectful nature, I keep quiet because it’s not my place to point out the obvious. I am always more than willing to lend an ear but after a while, enough is enough. Arretez de vous regarder le nombril…

Weren’t you the one who wanted to avoid fighting with your child over what he didn’t want to eat for dinner so you let him have what he wanted with the bonus of dessert instead, night after night? Didn’t I hear you say, “At least he is eating something, right?” Now, you wonder why he is overweight and why his palate is limited to french fries and mac and cheese from a box. Hmmm.

Weren’t you also the one who laughed at your six year old’s f-bombs and didn’t stop her because you thought it was cute? Didn’t you say, “Oh, I let her be. She has to “develop” her own little personality”? But now that the teacher complains about her language and the other mommies no longer want their child playing with yours, you have a problem with that and claim that all of these  “b**ches be trippin'”? Hmmm.

And when you were giving in to your son’s every whim because you had no energy for a melt-down, you now wonder why he treats you like his personal concierge, ATM and like he is doing you a favor by just gracing you with his presence?

You have asked me with a straight face, “Why are the teenagers of today so disrespectful?”. And it takes all my willpower to not roll my eyes in the same way your son rolls his eyes at you.

Parenting is not easy task and no one will ever be a perfect parent because parents are human. And by no means would I ever be a perfect myself because I am human too. But at the very least, take a moment to reflect on why you are making the choices that you are making in the moment. If it’s really for your own short-term benefit, own it. It’s your choice, they are your children and in the end, it’s your call.

But admit it, own it, move on, and try to do a little differently at the next teachable moment. Don’t assign blame to everyone else around you.

But I am glad to see that all is not lost.

I have been coming across another breed of parents who I thought were on the verge of extinction. These parents have also noticed the expediency phenomenon and are fighting tooth and nail against it by kickin’ it old school style…

TO BE CONTINUED…Parenting Against Expediency – Part II.

©2015 Marquessa Matthews

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15 thoughts on “Parenting with Expediency – Part I

  1. Like Smiley’s post, I can see where you are coming from, and have actually had similar experiences but I do not totally agree with it all. I don’t think the reasons for some who seem to ‘parent with expediency’ are as cut ‘n’ dry as they appear from the outside; even if being on the outside seems to make it ‘easier to see the forest for the trees’.

    That said, I love that blogging provides space and freedom to air our views, experiences and opinions and in doing so we can inspire others to do the same. I’m looking forward to reading Part II. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I agree that there are probably many layers that make it “grey” and not so black and white. My perspective in this particular post stems from true encounters with acquaintances that I see on the regular who approach me to vent. Thanks for giving feedback on my first opinion-type post! 👍

      Liked by 1 person

      • You’re welcome 😊. Opinions are sometimes difficult insomuch as we are all entitled to our own and they are in turn, generally produced from our own experiences. I’ve just finished Part II and it was really well written. It was delightful to feel like I was at the table with the group. I did however feel somewhat sorry for the ‘mouse-like’ participant.
        Is it parenting groups you facilitate? I just wondered as I am a Parenting Group facilitator for Mothers Union in my area and it’s quite fascinating. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

        • Actually, one of the facets of my job is to help new managers develop skills on approaching complex situations with challenging employees and how to be proactive with resolving conflicts. Skills which could also be transferable to non-work related situations…

          Liked by 1 person

          • Awesome! Sounds very challenging though I’m guessing it must be very rewarding too. Transferable skills such as these are always beneficial, to teach them is on a whole other level, quite an achievement and a wonderful one to share – good on you and pleased to be getting to know you (as it were) 😀

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 3 Ways of guilt-free parenting | Finkelstein & sons

    • Loved your post and perspective! I also love how how one blogger’s perspective (Smiley) can have a ripple effect and lead to my post and yours. Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs in the world and having helped to fill in and help out with 10 nieces and nephews over the years, that wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg! ☺

      Like

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