Bringing up children does not come with a guidebook and there seems to be obvious parenting confusion within our modern society. More parents than ever admit to have parenting problems at some point. This is reflected in the boom of the baby & child market, with increasing numbers of products launched claiming to help with day-to-day parenting tasks.
Is it that parents are being made incompetent? The baby product market expects us to be incompetent for the sake of inventing and selling us unnecessary gadgets. For every situation imaginable we are able to find something that will help us overcome it.
A good example of this is the new “time-out” pad. Equipped with a timer, the parent simply sits their misbehaving child on the pad, sets the timer and leaves the child to ‘contemplate'. It takes the concept of the “naughty step” to a new level; parents should be the ones setting clear boundaries and disciplining children in order to teach respect and understanding. If parents rely on technology to do this, how will children learn these key skills without clear explanation and patience?
The time-out pad, harnesses, computer games and many more products help keep our children safe and keep our parenting skills in line with what is the accepted social norm. We should come to understand that all these gadgets in fact help distract the parent from the actual situation where true parenting skills are most needed. The manufacturers claim to have invented another helper to make a parent's life easier but in reality these things remove the natural parenting skills we are so desperately looking for.