I recently decided to dedicate some time to see what was "out there" when it came to "hot topics" on parenting. Like all good modern day individuals, I put my encyclopaedia to one side and decided to go with Google just this once. I soon began to realise that my search was going to be rather fruitless. Whilst I have very little opinion when it comes to whether or not children over the age of three should still be riding in pushchairs or strollers, or whether or not it is right for them to be carried around in a Baby Bjorn (wearing your baby as some bloggers and writers put it), I could not help but ask the question - Honestly, who gives a s***? Ok, so that sort of language would not get me recognised in the latest Parenting 101bestselling paperback, but I guess I really wanted to just stress the point.
My simple view is that we should be focussing more on topics which will strengthen the bond between our little ones and ourselves, or focussing more on providing a supportive home where they are made to feel loved, unique and special. Environments which stimulate cognitive growth and aim to improve self-worth and an appreciation for oneself and those around you, is surely worth spending more time over than deciding on deposable nappies (diapers) or natural cotton ones (this is a debate for the environmentally concerned, not an essential "hot topic" for the wellbeing of your child)? My concern here is not that these debates are worthless, but rather that there are more pressing things at hand when bringing up a child in this day and age. Sure, have fun debating whether or not to hire a birth photographer, but the fact that we as parents sometimes get so caught up in the (bordering on) ridiculous, we lose sight of the fact that our children are growing up in a age where "sexting" (the sending of sexy texts) is becoming an expected norm of young girls in the Western World by their male peers, and acts seen in pornographic material desensitise the youth at an alarming rate. I feel that spending our time investing in our children, allowing them the opportunity to develop a strong sense of self-worth and to value themselves as the unique individual which they are, is time far better spent than debating over gender specific toys (click here to see my blog post on gender specific toys) and the like.
The intention here is not to focus on the perceived doom and gloom which surrounds us (or doesn't), but more to draw our attention back to the basics of parenting; that is to love our children in a way which makes them feel loved. Equipping one's child with a sense of self-worth may just end up being the very gift which they carry with them for the remainder of their lives. Sure, debate these things, but do not forget to recognise that these minor issues will not alter or enhance your child's life in anyway; potentially they are merely time thieves, a way to pass the time without holding any real value and of little worth. Some might say that I'm being overly critical or concerning myself with something which really isn't worth investing any time in, and you know what, they are probably right - just don't forget what is really important, and that is the little one in front of you, not the plastic or cotton wrapped around their waist.
I guess the really big question is now is...should I pierce my daughters ears or not?