I've been struggling with the concept of being a parent. Not just being a parent, but being a parent in today's society AND to a generation Millennial set of children. YIKES!
This week I stumbled across this brilliant article on HuffPost Parents and felt inspired to add my voice to this discussion.
ARE TODAY'S PARENTS GETTING A RAW DEAL?
A good damn question. A question I debate MY parents with all the time.
I had a discussion with a friend the other day trying to make sense of it all. I discuss things like this daily or else I will have a complete meltdown. LOL. For realsies! One of the points I brought up was...
Why do parents today feel that they have to give their children so much more than we had growing up?
Think about it for a second, it begins from the minute we find out we are pregnant. We want better doctor care, better vitamins to nourish our bodies and growing babies, better surroundings for delivering baby, oh and let's not forget the hospital designer bag packed to the nines! Time to bring baby home and you step into the baby room and all it's colour coordinated decor that you and hubby mulled over for months before baby's arrival. Shoot, by the time baby gets home his/her life is more on point than a grown ass man working 80 hours a week. Making other parents feel less than a parent because they didn't even have a room to put baby in! And you're just out of the gate with this parenting thing!
It doesn't stop there! Fast forward to school age and now the child must have the latest and the greatest toy, educational something (to make it look good), electronic device, games, clothes, footwear, etc. THEN....while, I understand it's an important decision on which school experience your child will embark on, however, these new boutique schools are now all the rave and the school you attended when you were younger is no longer good enough. Adding pressure to the parents in making sure their child is in the "right" school.
We've become a more neurotic society and in some instances too safe. Children don't play outside anymore, long gone are the days when kids can go ride their bikes around the neighborhood. Growing up, my brother and I made it in the house just before the sun set. Did my parents know where we were or what we were doing? No. Did they worry? I'm sure they did. But they gave us that. Now, we don't allow our children to go past the end of the driveway because we can't keep an eye on them. Don't play too close to the rusty playground apparatus now kids! Now, they are constantly in our faces soaking up the air condition we are paying for.
Why is there a constant need to make their life a gagillion times better than what we had? Why isn't what we had, enough? Are we setting them up for some serious disappointment??? This constant need to provide them with an amazing, epic experience. When we made forts, they were out of blankets, now they are one click away with an Amazon purchase. We performed self directed and produced skits for our parents. We took a sheet and sat on it while the other sibling pulled us violently down the long hallway not caring where in the living room we landed. We climbed trees and found ways to get on top of the roof. We didn't come inside for snacks, we picked fruits from the many trees planted in the backyard. We washed our hands using the tap on the side of the house. We turned the broken lawn chairs into speed boats. We bounced on the old mattress like it was the biggest trampoline ever. We used our imaginations and created our own fun.
It's become, the outrageous birthday parties, the extravagant gifts, the fancy family trips, experiences that I only was privileged to have as an adult. What are we missing here? Crafting on the weekends, taking our kids here, there and every where so they aren't in the house all day. Kids are simple. Parents not so much. We're doing this to ourselves. Why has parenting become so hard?? It's because...
We've become their most important (sometimes only) source of entertainment. Of everything.
What will these kids have to look forward to when they grow up if we've given them every kind of experience we can think of and only appreciate as grown adults???
I'm guessing we will have a generation of extremely bored, unimpressed individuals. Always seeking the latest and the greatest because they were never raised to experience the boring and the mundane, or learned to love the beauty of the simple things.
|Handlettering done by moi, quote taken from College Basketball, Buddy Hield's mother|
They will be just okay. They have enough. You are enough.
If we all could just ease up on the constant pressure of giving more and better, maybe, only then, will this parenting gig become less hard.