Confusing Messages

Advice for the Young Child

Shhh.

Not now, just wait.

I’m trying to work

and I can’t think straight.

 

Careful!

Don’t drop that cup.

You’ll spill all the milk –

I’ll have to clean up

 

Stop!

Don’t run ahead.

You’re too fast for me,

walk slower instead.

 

Gentle!

You play too rough.

It’ll all end in tears

and I’ve had enough.

 

Attention!

You’re dreaming again!

You won’t pass that test;

what will you do then?

Advice for the Adolescent

Speak!

Please use your voice.

Give your opinion

or you won’t get a choice.

 

Relax!

Stop stressing out.

Must live a little;

stop living in doubt.

 

Run!

Pick up your speed!

You must try harder

or you won’t take the lead.

 

Fight!

Don’t be their prey.

If you don’t fight back

you’ll just fade away.

 

Imagine

where you could go.

If you never dream

then you’ll never know.

(Un)helpful Advice

via Daily Prompt: Criticize

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I have friends with children who often come across overly-critical relatives/friends/random folk in shops,  who believe their advice is best.  I’m sure they often mean well, but many friends have felt like failures because they feel they aren’t doing the parenting thing right.  Here is a poem to reflect this scenario:

 

No bottles love, the breast is best!

When baby sleeps, you must have rest.

He’s only small, don’t let him cry.

You must ensure that nappy’s dry.

No wipes on him, his skin in new.

You can’t do that, I thought you knew.

Not walking yet, I’d check that out.

Oh naughty boy, he must not shout!

You need to clean, house is a mess

You must calm down, he’ll sense your stress

He bit again, need that to stop.

Look there he goes, another strop!

When back to work, you must be bored?

You’ve fancy stuff you can’t afford.

Her down the road, she’s never home.

Her mother’s got those kids alone.

You’re such hard work, what’s wrong with you?

I’m not allowed to say what’s true!

Not critical, just good advice!

You’ve hurt me now, you’re never nice!

 

I’m fortunate that I have an amazing mother who doesn’t get offended if I take or leave her advice. I often leave it 🙂

 

 

Bully

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You think it’s fine to punch

and slap and kick

and spit?

You feel like such a big man.

Hard as nails –

I get it.

 

He didn’t want to fight.

Scared and frozen

to the spot.

You went back to get some more;

big tough guy –

he’s distraught.

 

I taught him gentle hands.

Be kind and nice –

don’t hit.

But things are gonna change now –

had enough

of your shit.

 

He’s started sparring training.

Self-defence will be his saviour.

He’ll fight

against you bullies –

so think twice about

behaviour.

 

If you dare touch him again,

don’t think I’ll let it go.

Be afraid

when you’re alone.

I’ll ensure your

debts are paid.

What we Teach our Children

TANKA

 

Please son, always be

compassionate, kind and true.

Loving, thoughtful too.

Whilst caustic, hostile bigots

are celebrated in view.

 

Tonight I attended my sons parents night. He’s doing great academically but needs to work on handwriting and he’s a dreamer.   What I was most proud of is that he’s a nice little guy. He has a sense of humour and is full of empathy for others. Always the first to offer help if someone is struggling in class.  If he wasn’t doing well academically but tried and was a kind considerate child then I’d still be as proud.

I didn’t want to go into politics, but it’s been playing on my mind. In my home life and work life as a childminder, I prioritise empathy and consideration for others. Intimidation, threatening behaviour, bullying and intolerance are dealt with and the affect on others explained. Kindness, compassion and helping others are encouraged. This is just decent behaviour though, isn’t it? The way most people are brought up?  To be nice and caring and truthful.

I’ve been watching the American election coverage out of my sons view recently. So many clips of Trump using hateful language had me worried that he’d view this as acceptable behaviour.

Now that Trump is moving in to the White House I suppose I better get used to seeing him on my screen. My boy knew who he was and had seen him; but today watched a few clips and we’ve discussed what our views are of him. We’ve told him that some adults don’t use very nice words or actions to talk about others.  That even though he has a powerful job now, it’s still not acceptable to act in this way towards others.

It’s great to live in a democracy and half of America are happy with the result at the moment. Trump is now (probably) the most powerful man in the world.  He’s managed to get the top job without showing any of the qualities I encourage my son and other children to possess.  I hope children don’t begin to think that this language and hate filled behaviour is the mark of a successful person.

I live in Scotland. Trump loves Scotland and his mother was from the Scottish Highlands. Most of Scotland doesn’t love Trump though.

 

 

When Superheroes Ruled

wonder-woman-533663_12801Source: Pixabay.com

A group of 5 year old girls told me they can’t be doctors. They would have to be nurses instead if they wanted to work in a hospital. When I questioned this, they said there are jobs for boys and different ones for girls. Even after reminding them that my female friend is a doctor (they’ve met her); they still couldn’t grasp that those opportunities are there for them. Those children didn’t always think like this. A year or so before, they believed they could be anything they wanted to be. Why are our young children conditioned to think in this way? Boys also have similar issues with gender inequality, however as it’s ‘International Day of the Girl’ I’ve written this poem:

When Superheroes Ruled

You were drawn to shades of blue

Loved the ocean and the sky.

Many plans for when you grew –

opportunities you would try.

 

Pink’s now your favourite shade,

not as bold as vibrant red.

Mums and princesses now played –

dreams of making home instead.

 

Superheroes ruled the roost,

battles fought and peace restored.

Fighting power’s now reduced –

Princess Anna’s now adored.

 

Forthright and full of spark,

always first to say your piece.

Now less keen to make your mark –

I watch your confidence decrease.

 

Brilliant doctor you would be,

boundless limits there for you.

You’ve lost ability to see

girls like you can do it too.

 

Superpower’s not so strong –

future vision’s lost its way.

Originality has now gone –

wish your doubts would fly away.

 

International Day of the Girl is an initiative started by the UN to promote the rights of girls across the globe. Statistics are sobering. Here a few:

  •  More females are aborted than males
  • Twice as many girls as boys will never start school
  • Millions of girls are at risk of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
  • One in three girls in developing countries, excluding China, is forced to marry before she turns 18.
  • One in seven girls are married before the age of 15.
  • In some countries, girls are forced to sleep outdoors during their period
  • As a girl, you’re at greater risk of HIV than boys
  • Worldwide, the biggest killer of girls aged 15-19 is suicide
  • Maternal death is the second biggest killer in girls aged 15-19
  • If a girl makes it through all of this and manages to start a career, she’s likely to earn less than her male colleagues
  • Currently it will take 100 years to end inequality between boys and girls. World leaders have promised an end to it by 2030.  That’s 14 years from now. We’ll see.

Sources: The Guardian and The Metro

Living in the UK, the majority of girls have an easier start in life, although female abortion, forced marriage and FGM sadly still take place.  The issues many young girls here face, may be classed as minuscule in comparison to those in other places in the world.  I still feel they are important and need to be addressed.  I’ve watched little girls go from strong independent characters, to shy children unsure of who they are. I hope things have turned around for the better by 2030.