The Rabbit Hole

theRabbitHole

I’m a bit older than a lot of people who breech the subject of child rearing. Most people who do so tend to be in the process of rearing children of their own. My children are pretty much grown, the youngest being nearly 18.

When my children were young I was punished for having such doubts as the ones posed above. The idea of leaving my son’s penis in tact was scorned. The concept of sleeping peacefully along side my children was ridiculed. Thinking that positive words were more effective than violence was mocked. In fact, my philosophy concerning child rearing was so outside the norm that I was deemed unfit. My children were taken from me and placed with my parents who had a more “conventional” concept of what child rearing should be.

Now, it seems, more and more experts are siding with me. My philosophy was not so “out there” after all. Unfortunately for my children, that social realization has come a bit too late. Perhaps other children can benefit from it. Many parents still hold tight to time honored traditions such as spanking, forcing their children to sleep alone and enforcing three large, separate meals in a day. All of these may have been practiced by their own parents, but none are healthy for children.

Violence begets violence. When you hit a child, the only things you teach that child are it’s ok to hit and I am bigger than you are, therefore I can hurt you. There are no life lessons that can be taught through hitting.

Fear can be all consuming. Being alone is probably the greatest fear a normal, well adjusted child has. To force that child to remain alone in a dark, scary room by him/herself is cruel. Allowing a child to abate those fears by sleeping in the bed with his/her parents instills a sense of trust and security. It also fosters a sense of confidence later in life.

I’m sure nearly everyone remembers being fed breakfast, lunch and dinner. Truth be told, large meals like that are unhealthy, especially on small stomachs. Children should be fed 5-6 smaller meals in a day with the nutrients divided to ensure that they get the desired health benefits from the meals.

I don’t even want to discuss my position on circumcision right now. Suffice it to say that I think each person should have control over his/her own body. It is not my place to alter anyone else’s body, regardless of who it is.

It seems funny to me that this meme makes it seem as if raising a child naturally were odd…something strange that should cause us to rethink things and then question what we were taught. When I had my children, what to do just seemed logical. Even though my parents harped on me about how I had no business sleeping with my child, it felt like the right thing to do. They threw a fit when I didn’t spank my children, but when I tried it for the first time, it was just wrong, so I didn’t do it. Everything just logically fit together, so that’s how I did it. Unfortunately for me, that’s not how everyone else did it. I truly feel that my abundant love for my children was detrimental for both me and them. Because my way of doing things was not yet main stream, my children were taken and put in a home where they were spanked, forced to sleep alone and not cared for nearly as well as I would have cared for them.

I tried to go down the rabbit hole described above, but my path was blocked by those who are afraid of the future. My children had to suffer the consequences. Who else is willing to dare that dive? All I can do is hope that our society has evolved enough not to block your way.

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