Sunday, January 08, 2012

A child's eye view

Over Christmas I spent a lot of time (as many of you will have done) re-connecting with my children. As adults, priorities over the year wax and wane between getting kids to and from school or day-care, working, traveling to and from work, cooking, cleaning, gardening, bathing.. It is an incredibly hard balancing act sometimes especially as a parent.

It sounds so crazy, but it isn't until the quality time happens that I realize how little time and energy I spend with my children .. and what I am missing out on.

With this is mind, I decided to spend the last few days looking at my world and day to day existence through the eyes of my four children, rather than my own - reflecting on who they see and what they feel, when they interact with or think about their Dad.  Boy, did I learn a lot about myself, about how selfish I can be and about how little effort and energy it really takes to bring up a child if you follow your common sense and do not let your head (or personal frustrations!) rule your heart and actions.

No child in my opinion, ever does anything to aggravate or annoy their parents or caregivers maliciously, unless they have been subjected to some similar behavior themselves that they have picked up on and that has been left unchallenged.

In New Zealand, our child abuse rate is terrible - every week there is a news item about one child or another being abused or even killed by members of their family .... how absolutely crazy! Maybe if those people who feel the need to act with violence against their children stopped and viewed the world through their child's eyes, they might stop and think before they cause harm.

I recently had a conversation about a foster child who had to go and see his family to comply with legal 'access rights' - thing is, it was this family that abused him, resulting in him being taken away in the first place. Whilst it may be a sensitive topic, surely taking a child back to the place they were abused just brings back memories of an unhappy existence for the child (or even reinforces the connection between the child and the abusers)? Many of these children have also already been in some kind of foster or social care ... so what is going on!?

There is probably a huge chunk of psychological research and wot not out there (and which is beyond my intellectual capacity!) that all our social policies are based on, but for me common sense seems to get completely lost somewhere. Maybe adult society has to step up and take responsibility to correct what goes on in a better 'common sensible' kind of way? One way could be to get the officials involved in these situations to view the world through a child's eyes...

If what I have learnt over the past few days is anything to go by, then our social policies and the lives of children at risk will undoubtedly benefit by doing so.

Happy new year and may 2012 bring the children in our lives the love, joy and commitment that they so, so deserve.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Common sense is an item sadly lacking in today's world. People have adopted a 'mob mentality' and therefore society is being 'dumbed down' to the lowest common denominator. School reports are tick box standards and cryptic levels, some appalling courses are NZQA approved, police stop mine rescue personnel taking charge in a mine disaster, the state makes rules about hitting children, Christchurch people get reports varying by $250,000 in the repair costs for their earthquake damaged properties.

Even managerss and school principals contract out complete services at great expense, rather than accept any advice and take responsibility themselves. They have failed to lead or managed and have ticked the 'not my problem' box.
[apologies for typos, text is minuscule and I could not edit it]