Parenting today is SO different from when I was raised. It’s a whole different ballgame and I look at parents of today and think, “I’m sorry”….
Times change. It’s inevitable. We try to do better than the generations before us. When I was raised, it was perfectly acceptable to throw kids in a crib in a room, shut the door and clean the house for hours with no regard to the kid. And the kids survived. I mean…the house HAD to be clean for the man of the house, so you did what you had to do. If kids cried, you’d tell them, “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll GIVE you something to cry about!” We drank from garden hoses, rode bikes and skateboards without helmets, and somehow lived to tell about it….
And discipline was a REAL thing… If you did something REALLY bad…the belt came out. You bent over, and you took your punishment…. no police called… No CPS… you just took your licks, went to your bed with your sore butt and cried your eyes out. You learned darned quick that you won’t do THAT again!
Fast forward to today. You pull out a belt for your kids and soon, you are in court standing before a judge. Kids aren’t allowed to be at the park alone if they are under 12ish. Judgements run higher than ever if one parent sees another yelling at their own child. I see Facebook Mom pages blowing UP with questions about, “What would you do if you saw THIS?”… And MOBS of angry moms ready to come with their hanging ropes because a mom sternly stated to someone else’s child NOT to do something that was hurting their own.
Kids are taught stranger danger from the word, “Go.” Recently I was walking down the street near an elementary school and passed kids who wouldn’t even look at me. Apparently, I’m the stranger danger their parents warned them about. And so is everyone else in the world.
Parents are working twice as hard and running interference, instead of letting their kids figure it out. I have dozens of stories where parents are running to teachers because their kid is unhappy and “what are you gonna do about it?”.
I’m on many parenting groups on Facebook, and I’m constantly running interference on the PARENTS who are trying to run interference on their kids and I just need to say it, because it needs to be said…..
LET YOUR KIDS BE… LET YOUR KIDS HURT….LET YOUR KIDS TALK TO YOU….LET YOUR KIDS LEARN!!! And the biggest at the end of it all…..
LET YOUR KIDS GROW!!!!
I know kids who are teenagers and who cry at the terrible behavior displayed by their peers. And I know college parents who are asking other college parents, “What should I do?”
……What should I do…. Not, how can I help my kid through this. But what should I do?
COLLEGE KIDS PARENTS….. “WHAT SHOULD I DO”
By the time I was 18, I graduated on Thursday and started a full time job the next Monday. I was On.My.Own. (okay, I lived with my parents, but I was carving my way). I remember working at my new job and there was this nasty lady, who was so crass. I told my mom about her and said, “She’s such a BI*CH”…
My mom’s response was short, but concise…. She simply said, “There’s a PRICK in every bunch, Catherine. You JUST need to LEARN to deal with them!”
BOOM! Lesson learned. I wasn’t the first and I wouldn’t be the last to have to deal with a nasty person. And as a result, in every job I started, I literally looked for “the prick” and found it every time! I learned to kill them with kindness and more often than not, became friends with them.
No helicopter parenting needed there!
“Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. TEACH a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime.” ~ Chinese proverb …and words to live by.
Our job as parents is NOT to keep our kids from getting hurt. Our job as parents is to get our kids through the times of hurt! (this isn’t to say throw some tacks on the ground and hope your kid survives, but guide our child around the tacks of life and help the see beyond the pain to the reward).
This week there have been many instances where I’m left scratching my head. If we aren’t teaching our kids how to deal, how do we expect them to get along in the real world with all the vultures who are waiting to devour their souls. (yes, harsh I know, but just trying to drive it home).
Our kids need to be shaped and molded and grown in to decent human beings that will one day, shape the world we live in. Yet parents seem to be working harder to shape the world we live in to suit their kids….
That’s not the way things work, people…. The world is a scary place, and to try to take down every teacher who pisses you off, or every employer who fires your child… OMG STOP THE INSANITY!!! At some point, it’s NOT your battle ANYMORE!!! If your child doesn’t have SOME sort of life lessons to lean on by the time they graduate then shame on you…
(insert Botox here).
As I write this, I can think of at least 50 people who will read this and think it’s about them. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. But if you are reading this wondering if it’s about you, maybe it is! If you have children anywhere from Newborn to at least 55, then YEP…it’s you!
My kids call me scary. I’m okay with that. Am I perfect? Ummmm NO…
Will you 100% agree with me and what I’m writing? Probably not. All I know is that the parents of today, moreso than years or decades before, are chasing their tails, doing their best to make sure there is NO upset in their kids lives. And I’m here to beg you, on some level…. LET your kids get pissed. Let them HATE you (truly, you aren’t a winning parent til your kids hate your guts). Let them be BORED (ya, I said it). Take their phones away for a day and watch them wither away like burnt bacon. Let them pound their fists on the floor as you take everything away from them for a time to let them know what it really means to struggle a bit. There isn’t enough of this anymore. Their resilience depends on it!
Kids are entitled, drug addicted, suicidal, disrespectful and down right apathetic.
Sound harsh? Well, it’s nothing to what I grew up with. And I’m okay with conflict in my life. I hope that one day, your kids are too!
This was written out of pure frustration and one too many stories of “my poor kid” …