feminism

Raising Kids

Guten tag!

I haven’t blogged for a long time, so I thought I’d reopen my account with a convoluted account of things that have been ambling through my brain recently. Its a little all over the place, but I find it helpful to just chuck things out there every now and then… A long time ago in a galaxy far far away…

I recently read an article on a mothers fears about raising a young girl in the 21st century in western society. The article is all about her worries surrounding the way girls are currently exposed to such sexually charged material at such a young age. The author also goes into the ways she believes they are influenced by their surrounding elders ”ohh shes so cute, shes such a princess” and so on… it irks me and it probably irks you. From my experience ‘Family elders’ for want of a better term (think uncles and surrogates aunties etc…) have a knack for casting aspersions and opinions hastily, well there’s a difference between knowledge and wisdom. Alas sticks and stones…

Back to the point at hand, having a child and leading them into adulthood is very interesting and something I find myself thinking about a hell of a lot. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t see myself having kids any time soon, but naturally coming from a family home that has been fostering young children since I was 13 years old, raising kids is probably going to cross my mind every now and then. Personally (before all these shenanigans) I would want to be financially stable and be in a loving long term relationship, before I even start thinking about having kids (I must say that I appreciate that circumstances can get in the way of idealism).

Social conditioning and gender bias is something I find equally as fascinating and as it is irritating. The term ‘princess’ in particular really gets on my nerves (I know I’m not alone on this one). I must state that I don’t consider myself to be a ‘feminist’, but that’s only because I consider the term to be ridiculous. To me it simply says I believe in equal rights for everyone, soooooooo why do we need this label to convey a simple (and frankly obvious) message? What a ridiculous state of affairs we find ourselves in. Anywaaaaayyyyy…

Once I have kids (and hopefully that will be the case), I naturally want to give them the best start possible. Regardless of gender I’m going to aim to treat them like blank canvasses and see how they develop, whatever interests they have, I will try my best to encourage. When I was younger I used to get really upset that I didn’t play football (like a proper LAD should), my dad talked about football all the time (and still does haha), but I was in scouts and played tuba in a flipping brass band (not the coolest cockerel on the block). Scouts and music were the things that I wanted to do (and enjoyed!), but I fell in to the trap of feeling like I didn’t fit the bill (the MAN was on my back in a big way). I don’t think kids should ever feel this way, my parents didn’t cause this problem, this was down to a number of factors that ultimately attributed to me feeling upset and small. Once I raised it with my mum and dad, we had a huge chat about it all and I felt infinitely better afterwards. Individuality has to be encouraged in a child, who cares if we don’t fit the bill (f*** the bill I say, terrible TV programme). We should teach them to make their own decisions and to understand why they did.

I’m afraid this, as I warned at the start, has been a wafflely post, its such a huge topic and its really hard to nail down. There isn’t a manual on this sort of thing (that works). If there’s one thing I have learnt from watching my parents (and attempting to help, not hinder) over the years is that parenting is in reality a lot about the moment, best intentions can go awry when you’re exhausted, you just have to do your best and hope it’s good enough. Basically try not to mess them up too much and handle the problems as they arise with a view to a positive overall picture.

Anyway that’s my waffling over for now.

Peace out ya’ll,

Phil