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Grandparents must get second shot at raising children

Image: 123RF/Cathy Yeulet

In light of the Constitutional Court ruling against corporal punishment in the home, there is a conversation I wanted to bring to the fore.

It's an important ruling given where we are with violence as a country and the rate of murders committed by children. We need to do a little more than share jokes on social media. We need some introspection and new ways of thinking and being.

The argument against spanking in the home is that not only are you assaulting your child, but you are teaching them that a rational and least complicated way to resolve a matter is through violence.

I use the word "teach" intentionally there because it is our job as parents to teach our children to perceive the world and then navigate it. Many a parent on a daily basis arrives home exhausted, rushed, drained and tested.Over and above teaching the ways of the world to our children, we have to keep the little buggers alive. And in this economy it means overextending ourselves to meet the basics.

This state of mind is not healthy as a launchpad for any relationship, let alone with a child who doesn't understand much.

In this past week, I have been thinking a lot about a takeaway I had from a book many years ago. Neale Donald Walsch, a white American man, wrote a trilogy of books under the title: Conversations With God.

Walsch claims he had visions and visitations from God, where the latter told him of his grand idea when he created the world and pointed out where and how we had deviated from that idea and allowed suffering in the world.

I use the word claim because in the world of 419 scams, there has still never been a bigger scammer than a white man.

The books are questionable but there are some thought-provoking ideas in there. Like where he claims that God maintains humans have a biological time window that allows them to be parents. What we have done wrong, apparently, is to assume that people of child-bearing age should be the ones to raise children.

According to the God who visited Walsch, children should be raised by their grandparents in a world where grandparents are a feature in the home and not locked up in an old age home.

To this day I have never heard more sound parenting advice. In a learning environment, one needs to feel like their teacher is patient with them. Children wake up each day to learn something new about the world. They deserve calm teachers who are not pressed for time to get to a meeting and finish a proposal.

People always talk about how grandparents spoil kids and it's true. My own child gets away with saying things to my father and stepmom that I would never have dreamt of uttering to my dad when I was that age. He's just calmer now.

I am in no way advocating for dumping children with our parents. If you are lucky to have functional relationships with your parents, you need to allow them some involvement in bringing up your child. Lean on them.

I am also not trying to say that we smack our children because we are too busy and too stressed.

In our constantly rattled states, we resort to what we were taught was right. Chasing the rat race and raising children is killing our children.

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