posted on Oct, 22 2015 @ 11:55 AM
Our society has made parenting a more complicated task then it used to be. Convenience, technology and the ability to fill every second of our kids
lives with activities or academics have greatly contributed to their inability to just be kids. Half of the kids I know are too exhausted to be
creative or go run around in the woods at the end of their ridiculously long days or they are so constantly involved with a screen of one type or
another that they don't have any awareness of the world around them.
We as parents are expected to constantly hover in so many of these situations that we are looked upon as bad parents for not controlling their every
move. Point in case, our dentist actually told me to brush my son's teeth for him until he is ten. I find that unacceptable, he is capable of brushing
his teeth just fine. After his food allergy diagnoses he stole a bunch of Christmas candy someone gave us and I had stashed on top of the fridge. In
an effort to be sneaky, he doesn't like the consequences for lying or stealing, he stuffed his cheek full and slept that way every night for about a
week until the wrappers gave him away. Needless to say that after sleeping with a mouth full of chocolate for an extended period of time he developed
a cavity that had not been there at the previous cleaning. Instead of educating my son on his poor decision making and pointing out the unpleasant
natural consequences of his action, he chose to sit in the waiting room and lecture me in front of my kids. Not only did my son have to deal wih the
punishment for lying and stealing, he also got lectured on personal responsibility in return for the one I received.
I try hard to help my kids to understand that we are responsible for our own actions in this world, good and bad. We can't control anyone but
ourselves, and we can chose to learn from mistakes or not. Last school year, I homeschool my kids, my son's assignment was to read the The Diary of
Anne Frank. He spent time doodling and doing other things during the time he was supposed to be reading. He told me one day he was done so I gave
him the writing assignment that was set to follow the book. He sat and very neatly wrote up a well thought out essay on the very first and very last
chapters of the book, and turned it in. To his shock and horror, I pointed out that I have read that book several times myself and asked him a few
questions. He realized immediately that he was busted. He spent the next month and a half rereading the book and writing a proper paper for me. We
were done with school at the start of May, and he handed me the final paper halfway through June. He learned the hard way through his very own
choices, his consequence for that was natural. He has school work to do while we played in the yard and fished and did other things. He missed a
couple of baseball practices and a game because of his own choices. There were parents that didn't agree with me because the sport was so important. I
feel differently, kids eventually grow up to be adults that need to know that pleasure seeking does not trump the work that we have before us.
People are so rarely taught to be responsible for themselves. I know people who pretty much let their kids run wild with few consequences, but oh
goodness if someone comes in tattling the world halts until the parents sit and pass judgement on a situation they did not even witness. It's teaching
the kids to bring every gripe to authority instead of learning how to work things out amongst themselves. I love the varied reactions I get from
people when my boys run up to me about something. I always ask, are you bleeding or broken? Nine times out of ten the answer is now yes because they
learned to work it out themselves. A bandaid and a kiss are all that's needed. Otherwise they are told to work through it or there are always chores
that need to be done. Hahaha, they have learned to never tell me they are bored either.
This topic frustrates me so much. As another poster mentioned the lack of extended family makes it so much more difficult. When the only reinforcement
you get as a parent are the attitudes of an entitled peer group, it's easy to be swayed. Standing up for yourself and not following the herd leave a
person alone in a crowd of people. That's hard to do wihout some kind of support system. But it is possible. Kids need the freedom to roam and make
mistakes. They need to know what it is to fall and skin a knee as much as they need to understand how to deal with people around them face to face.
Let's make sure that our kids are capable of making a meal and doing a load of laundry. Let's follow the example of the parent taking her kids to
volunteer instead of the parent who enables their child to be entitled. I understand the reasons behind the helicopter parents, but the outcome has
already proved disastrous to people. Mistakes are our greatest lessons in life, those who do not learn from them are destined to repeat them.