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Archive for May, 2009

Growing Up

What causes people to grow up, mature?  Is it their experiences, their parents, some invisible force that tells them screaming in public is no longer acceptable?  This is clearly a debatable topic, and I am sure there are people who have studied this issue more than I have, but in my 10+ years of experience as a babysitter, I would say that parents play a significant role in the maturing of their children.

Sometimes I come away from babysitting sad to leave the kids, but this was definitely not one of those nights.  In fact, tonight was the most difficult babysitting job I have ever had.  Three boys, all under the age of seven.  The youngest was no trouble, the two oldest were terrors.  Screaming (at me), name calling (at me), wrestling (me and each other), hitting, food throwing, crying, whining, tantrum throwing, you name it, they did it.  I have been in charge of more kids before, in fact a lot more, and I have never felt so frustrated.  The voice I normally use on occasion while babysitting to keep kids in line was the only voice I ended up using, and it had almost no effect.  From what I can tell, whenever the boys do something they are not supposed to, the mother says “No thank you” and if it is really serious has a “talk” with them.  This is NOT an effective method of discipline, and definitely does not translate into making other people want to be with the children.  In fact, I will not be babysitting for that family again.

Well, ok, so I had a bad experience.  The boys will eventually grow up, won’t they?  Maybe, maybe not.  It will be interesting to watch them during the teen years to see if it is any worse than the current situation, or if the boys have matured.

However, I think that acting maturely does necessarily have to do with the big decision people make in their lives, but all the little ones.  Buying a house or a car, going to college, getting married, etc. those are the big decisions, but the little ones add up to mean so much more.  Do you take out the garbage or hold off another week, do you do the dishes, or wait for someone else to do them, do you make that one tiny extra purchase, or hold off so you can make your spending goals.  Too many “little” decisions towards irresponsibility not only makes a person difficult or impossible to live with, but creates financial problems as well.  Real maturity requires constant sacrifice.

What I really started this post to say is that I am glad I don’t have kids.  Really, really glad.  To be able to leave a babysitting job like the one I did tonight and come home to no children is a great thing!  Not that in the future I won’t change my mind, but at the moment I am content for it to be just me.

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