Ok other mothers out there who constantly whack me across the head with their opinions then take those opinions and shove them down my throat. Here are my answers to those opinions you impose upon me and some opinions of my own I would like to share with you:
1) Yes the car seat is necessary and no it’s not ‘falsafa’. The paramedics call Saudi children Saudi airbags because they are the ones who go flying out the front windows in a crash. Or get crushed against the steering wheel when they are sitting on Baba’s lap while he’s driving. Or get dismembered when they are hanging out the window. So yes I will stuff my child into a car seat, screaming a crying if necessary, and my older children will sit in a booster seat until they are 140 cm tall and the seat belt fits them correctly.
If the seat belt doesn’t fit correctly it will seriously injure your child. Please look at this page for more information. Click on the 4 videos on the page. Anywhere else in the world a parent would be charged with neglect for letting their child roam around in the car outside of a car seat or booster seat. And by the way it’s the law here as well if you care.
If you think the roads here are safe enough for your child to not be properly strapped in then tell that to the thousands who die every year in Riyadh in car crashes. Read this article published recently by Saudi Aramco about traffic accidents in the kingdom. According to the World Health Organisation 17 people die DAILY in Saudi Arabia from traffic accidents. I don’t care if ‘kl ilnaas’ (everyone) put their kids in their laps in the car. No it’s not safer. I don’t care if I’m keeping the cars behind me waiting while I put my child in his seat and it is not ‘wiswaas’ and I really wish you’d put your children in car seats because it’s scares the hell out of me that they are not in one! If this is ‘falsafa’ then please, please ‘tfalsafu’!
This is the new booster seat evaluation image from Farmers (click on image for link)
2) No my child is not too cold/hot. I have 4 of them and so far I have managed to keep them safe from the elements. None have been sun burnt or frost bitten so far and we have visited both hot and cold places in the span of their lifetime. It’s 2 pm and 22 degrees outside and I didn’t ask you if your sweating child is too hot in the wool hat and puffer jacket you have them in so mindjaown business.
3) Yes my child is going to sleep ‘this early’ and no it’s not ‘7aram’ he actually needs that much sleep. And why oh why does it bother you that much what time my son sleeps? My 3 year old needs a minimum of 13 hours a day. My 6 year old needs between 11 and 12 and my 9 year old needs between 10 and 11. Who says? Doctors who have done research in how much sleep a child needs in order for him to actually grow properly and for his brain (yes his actual brain) to function at full capacity. Sleep deprivation (anything less that the recommended hours mentioned above. Even less by one hour) has devastating effects on children. Oh and again why is it bothering you so much! I have never discussed how little sleep your children get why do you feel the need to discuss how much mine do?
An interesting fact is that sleep deprivation in children (as little as one hour less than the recommended time is considered sleep deprivation) manifests it’s self in different ways than adults. Children get hyper, are unable to concentrate on anything for very long, they become easily irritated and prone to emotional outbursts. I have read in a few articles (a couple are 1 and 2) that the symptoms can mimic those of ADHD and can be fixed with something as simple as an extra hour of sleep. Depression in teenagers (who need to sleep 9-10 hours by the way) has been linked to sleep deprivation.
Want to know what your brain is doing when you are sleeping? check this out.
4) Ummm in what world is it ok for you to discipline my child in the middle of me disciplining him? And in what world is it ok for you to tell me not to / how to / when to discipline my child in the middle of me disciplining him? In the world of ‘everything is my business because I choose to make it so’. Mindjaown business.
5) no my children don’t drink/eat that. Why? If the ingredients have numbers in them it can’t be good for you. And yes I know they eat things that are not allowed in my house on the weekends because that’s the whole point. If I can make sure they are eating healthy 80% of the time then they can get away with (their bodies can get away with I mean) eating less healthy options 20% of the time. That’s just the way we roll so chill, they won’t die if they don’t have a coke with their meal or neon coloured slush. We do whole grain, brown rice, no sodas, no sweets, honey instead of sugar, hidden veggies in the sauce, balanced portions on their plates and then on special occasions anything goes.
6) We eat at the table and only at the table and this shouldn’t bother any of you so I don’t understand quite why it does! Again to each his own and I don’t stand around telling you the link between eating in front of the TV and obesity or the effect of artificial colours on the children’s insides or just how much sugar is in a soda. You are all adults and are more than capable of making your own decisions don’t be bothered if mine are not the same as yours. They don’t have to be! I may be totally wrong! The beauty of it it’s my choice.
So there you go. Here is the beautiful thing about opinions, everybody has one. The rule is to keep them to yourselves unless you are asked for them. And I know every parent thinks their way is the best way otherwise they wouldn’t be doing it that way in the first place. And we are built to make ourselves feel better about what we are doing by judging what other people are doing wrong. But remember that what works for you and your family may not work for others. So mindjawon business please.