Disappointed by the Parenting Magazine

Recently, my husband brought back one of the local best selling motherhood magazines as he had gotten it for free. I was disappointed to see that it was that particular pretty faced personality covering the front page again. Not one of those A lists, but that is not the reason why, nothing to do with her entertainment performance level. I was mainly disappointed by the chief editor of the magazine. Here’s why.

A couple of years back, I was a single fresh graduate who knew nothing much about parenting and babies. I walked past a newspaper stand and saw the media celebrity endorsing on the same magazine as she had just given birth to her first boy that time. Her words in bold, ” I want him to be a Casanova.” Even then, I frowned and revolted with some disgust inside of me.

So let’s define what is the full meaning of being a Casanova. I Googled and urbandictionary.com defines it as: A smooth-talking charmer who has mastered the art of finding, meeting, attracting and seducing beautiful women into the bedroom. One he accomplishes his goal, he leaves the woman in fear of having a relationship and proceeds to find his next conquest.

This year, she is on the coverpage again and she has 3 boys now. I read her story and readers are reminded that from the previous issue, she wants her eldest son ” to have Casanova-like qualities“. She went on to share that now ” He is good looking and quite the Casanova as lots of girls chase him. He also changes girlfriends often. ” The boy is only less than 10 years old now. The story even went on to say that she wants them to be CEOs in the future and she is in charge of moulding her sons’ personalities by controlling every aspect of their lives. I am not clear what is her rationale behind wanting him to be a successful yet a Casanova. In fact, I feel extremely ashamed that these are coming from the parenting magazine in my country.

Why is the Chief Editor even allowing someone who bares such statements to the parents? Especially in a parenting magazine where parents are looking for inspirations, encouragement and baby trends. My stand is that I am not against her personal wish to desire that for her son and neither do I have any personal prejudice against her as an entertainment artiste.

What is the message is the editor trying to send to the parents who are reading the magazines?

I know that parents are not so naive to tag along with such an aspiration but I believe there has to be a benchmark set somewhere. National media regulators have to play a part and be responsible for what they are saying, especially when it is a parenting magazine which may influence how parents shape and mould their children’s personalities. Though is is not the publisher’s job to educate the kids, they are responsible for what content that channels through.

It is sometimes little wonder that family values start to erode away because the mainstream media made it seem acceptable to do this and that. On top of that, they dress up the stories with public figures so that it seems like since they do it, so let’s do it too. We see this as a norm in fashion and the entertainment industries, but such moral degrading is infiltrating into parenting and families.

I am even more appalled that the Editor is a mother herself and I was not very sure what she was thinking exactly when she decided to let this thing go to print. I hope I havent distorted or exaggerated any facts, this is just my humble opinion when I saw this story.

Whatever it is, this magazine is now like downright dirt cheap to me. Better off to be recycled than stay on my shelf.


When parents consent kids to take it out on others when they get hurt

Matilda turned 8months old today. During one of our play sessions, she slightly bumped her head against the edge of her toy and cried. I comforted that it was alright and hugged her till she calmed down. And we continued playing. This mini event that seemed so normal made me recalled some of the incidents which I had witnessed and set me thinking about an issue.

You have seen some kids at the playground or probably a relative of yours trying to comfort a crying child who had hurt themselves while playing. But these were some of the things heard from the adults. For example, a child was frustrated at the mechanics of the toys and began to cry for whatever reason, ” Bad toy. Granny will hit the toy!”, ” That was a naughty boy, he caused you to fall down by leaving his toys everywhere.” etc…

With all good intention to appease the crying child, I think what they had said was trying to tell the child whatever bad consequence that happened, it was somebody’s or something’s fault but probably never their own fault for being negligent.

I had heard from a close friend that on a particular day, her mother in law, herself, her daughter K and her cousin W were out together. W was angry and started crying because he had hurt himself and her mother in law tried all ways to appease the boy. He threw tantrums for the mishap, wailing out loud in public. Next, hear that the appalling thing that her mother in law said to my friend’s daughter, K. ” K, just let W hit you a few times.” Both kids were about 5 years old at that time. My friend could not believe her ears and cut in” No way am I gonna let him hit my girl for anything she had not done.” I thought it was really ridiculous when I heard that. Both kids are her own grand children and I can understand that she favours the boy more because she takes care of him. But to ask your own beloved grandson hit another grand child so that he could vent it out and feel better was atrocious.

Fortunately, K was not hit by the boy. I couldnt imagine how K would feel if she had been whacked by the boy. In her little mind, she would be shocked and confused, why is she subjected to abuse and why did one of her immediate family members allow it? How hurting that would be! One of the scariest things is that the boy would soon learn that he is empowered to take it out on others because Mom or Dad blamed the other party too.

What messages are we sending to our kids nowadays when something does not go their way? In this century, we have seen the rise of ill mannered kids, adults bowing to the whims of their kids, use of violence and some who dont feel that they need to account for anything at all. Probably it is also time that parents or the family members should reassess what are we saying to kids when some things go wrong.

There is always an area for telling them that it is alright that we hurt ourselves at times, get up and move on.