Saturday, October 22, 2011

A New Breed Of Child

This is one of those posts that may lead people to believe that I'm a heartless bitch.

For years now, I have noticed this startling trend of children being horribly unable to entertain themselves.  Even in the age of video games and several entire television channels dedicated to them,  I've observed multitudes of children unable to give their parents five seconds to themselves.  This observation has made me sort of take a look back at my childhood and wonder if I was just curiously self-sufficient, or if there has been a drastic change in the way people are raising kids to make them overly dependent on their mothers and fathers.

When I was a kid,  it was understood at social gatherings that my parents were there to see their friends/adult family members.  They were there to have conversation that did not involve instilling morals or patiently explaining simple things that they'd known for years to their children who'd never encountered such things before.   They were there to get some relief from every day responsibility.   So,  it was mine and my sister's job to be good kids (for the most part) and play with the other kids of parents that were looking for the exact same relief.  I don't know about the rest of you,  but I could go an entire day without talking to my parents because I was far too busy playing out the latest adventure that had come to mind,  either through Barbies,  My Little Pony,  or just flat out make believe in the back yard with sticks and any junk Dad said was okay to play with in the garage.

As a result of this,  I am a firm believer in the separation of Adult Time, Kid Time and Family Time.  There are times you just need to get a babysitter.  There are times you just need to kick the kids out of the house.  Your kids do not have to go everywhere you go.  Your kids won't learn to be self-sufficient if you don't cut the umbilical cord.  But at the same time, I'm not suggesting you leave them home alone if they're not mature enough to govern themselves.  Nor am I saying you should forget your children entirely and just live life as if they hadn't been born.  There's a fine balance.  I personally feel like my parents had it right.  To the point where even to this day,  I LOVE to spend time with my mother, but I don't HAVE to.  She doesn't wig out if I don't call her every day, or visit every weekend. She doesn't get upset when I choose to spend New Years with friends instead of family.  She doesn't shove emotional blackmail down my throat.  From what I've heard over the years, my mother is an exception to the rule.  Sadly, this makes it incredibly difficult for me to accept such behavior from other mothers to their children.

It's this weird, clingy, unable to let go pandering to these kids that have this entire generation of spoiled, kinda  dumb, early twenties/late teens believing that they are masters of the universe and their iPhone will provide for them everything Mommy and Daddy did (or still do and always will).  Now before you get up in arms,  there are always exceptions.  There are always smart people with common sense that get it right despite everyone insisting that their way couldn't possibly be the right way because the Internet said so.  But sadly, smart is not valued like it used to be.

I'm sure there are those who will read this and dismiss it entirely because I don't have children and couldn't possibly know what I'm talking about, hell some of you may even get mad.  But it doesn't take having kids to be able to observe behavior, and what I'm seeing lately makes me fear for the human race.

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