Parents are raising brats

Tsale Makam

Tsale Makam

While most parents will agree that raising children is not easy, the biggest question is why has parenting become such a minefield?

Older generations are lamenting the poor quality of parenting and how children are turning out today? Is it simply the sign of the times we live in?

Sowetan posed this question to Pearl Yende, a Johannesburg Wellness Consultant.

"Parenting and its challenges are all broad concepts. Culture, religion, the era that we live in, personal parenting styles and technology, just to name a few, all play a role," Yende said

She says a lot of the support structures and systems such as the support of the extended family, have changed. Mothers, who used to be housewives, are out there earning a living. Children are left to their own devices most of the time, and, worst of all, to the devices of technology and TV.

"We cannot ignore the influence of technology on our children. Are we equipped to deal with it?" asks Yende.

Thandi Mkhabela (not her real name), a Johannesburg PR consultant, says parents should also take responsibility for their lack of good parenting skills.

"We are raising brats. Children who at ten can't polish their shoes or tidy up their rooms. We are raising kids who don't know how to give an old lady their seat on a bus. Where are our simplest and most basic values?"

But brats and spoilt are such relative terms. What is a spoilt child? Simphiwe Msibi, a no-nonsense Johannesburg businesswoman and mother of two, summed it up: "Kids whose parents say yes and give in to all their demands. Kids whose parents lay down the rules and when they (the kids) break them, their parents do not reprimand them and sometimes are even scared to reprimand them, not wanting to hurt their feelings. Kids whose parents always take their children's sides."

But like everything else, when it comes to parenting, people are unique. Families are unique and will have unique rules. Find your own parenting style.