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A mother writes us sharing a concern. It turns out that for a few months, a friend of her 8-year-old son, who lives near her house, has spent practically every weekend at her house. He just goes home to sleep. She no longer knows what to do, because her husband complains and she understands. She asks the child about what his parents say and the child says: 'my parents don't care, as long as I don't bother them ...'. And she asks us: what should I do?
I think there are different ways to exercise parenthood and parenthood. On the one hand, there are the attentive, careful, thoughtful parents who are always next to their children and even next to the children of others. On the other hand, there are those who perhaps love their children equally, but who are not aware of them, never have time for them and are always on the lookout for someone to entertain them.
If there is a mother who cares about her daughter, who likes to be, play and chat with her, this is my case. I am not proud of it because I see it as a pleasure and not as a duty or obligation, and perhaps that is why I do not understand the other way of being a father and mother. There are parents who, using any kind of excuse, are always looking for ways to slip away or sneak away from their children. If the child wants to go to the movies, the parents call the grandmother and invite her to see the movie as long as she brings her grandchildren. There are parents who, although having time, do not attend their children's school meetings or bother to move from their seat to take a walk with them.
I think that one thing is that, for some need, an urgency or even to give you a specific pleasure, you ask a friend to stay with your son, another thing is that as a general rule you make your friend or neighbor feel that he be responsible for your child every other day. There are parenting attitudes that seem 'from a movie'. I met some parents with a large family that when one of their children was invited to a birthday party, they took advantage of the goodwill of others and also left the other two children at the party, as if nothing had happened. Who was going to say no to them?
I know children who are not only with the caregiver all the time throughout the week, but also on the weekends. I am not here to judge or try to reason about the 'tough face' or 'nose' of some parents nor to put them against the wall, rate or judge them. What I intend is to tell these parents that what we are on the other side, we realize it, their passivity, their impatience, selfishness, their intolerance with children. The task of parents also includes sacrificing and giving up many personal things, to be with the children. Let them ask themselves why they decided to be parents, because they are.
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