Opinionated, Rants
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Raising a helplessly weak generation

When I say weak, I’m not talking about physically weak but weak in character.

I was sitting at a lunch, joking around with my friend’s 9-year-old daughter who had a wiggly tooth. I stated that I could get her more money quickly if she really wanted to add to her candy drawer. With excitement she asked me how. I told her I’d tie her tooth to a door or a car and quickly pop it out. I assured her she wouldn’t feel a thing and that I did that once as a kid. She cried, I got in trouble for the conversation. This isn’t the first time I’ve said that to a kid with them almost in tears or actually in tears. There have been other children, younger actually who thought that concept is great because for a second of inconvenience they saw that the return was worth it.

Anyways, my first point

Why are we creating a world that is terrifying to children. We’ve created a world where children are afraid of everything. No matter how small the risk and how big the reward; they still don’t have enough faith in themselves as human beings to take that initial action of stepping outside of their comfort zone to achieve something.

The other day my friend and I were talking about this and he brought up a very true statement. This generation, our generation is the first generation that grew up (if in a first world country) without the threat of being drafted into a war or a disease, wiping people out. Therefore we are raising children who (knock on wood) don’t have to feel the threat of something as real as war, or the after effects of a war.

Although yes, we live in a world full of monsters; why is our generation making sure the next is too afraid to walk two blocks alone instead of being taught what to do if they were presented with a dangerous situation. I would rather my children be smart enough to know how to react when in the middle of conflict and know what is right or wrong, than think I will always be there to dig them out of any painful experience in life.

I will always be there for the people I love. Sometimes you aren’t there the moment you are needed and that is life. We need to teach our children that they need to depend on themselves for conflict resolution and not to be too scared to at least try and fail because life is about experience, trail and error.

As a child, I would always threaten my parents that I would run away, I’d pack a backpack and go to the park. Every time I threatened, my Dad would say “Great! Bye!” I’d always come back. I knew that if my dad wasn’t too concerned about whatever I was upset about, it really wasn’t worth it. I always had to prove a point though and always left then came back. This doesn’t happen any more, because our kids can’t even go to the park alone. Instead children threaten their parents in a more scary way. With their lives.

It worries me that children threaten to (and do) kill themselves for reasons like

– Having their cellphones/electronics/social media taken away
– Failing grades at school
– Being bullied

The threat of killing yourself shouldn’t be taken lightly. Mental illness/ depression is not a joke; it is not something you throw around as a threat. We need to teach our children that their life is more important than missing out on a grade, or an hour of video games and even though failure sucks, it happens, so deal with it and learn from it. I’m not sure if more and more child are threatening those around them with ending their lives because of true mental illness, a feeling of complete hopelessness, or just because they can’t take no for an answer. These things need to be addressed and nipped in the butt. (Please do not think I am taking away from the severity of suicide in youth, it’s a painful thing, I’ve had many friends pass this way but it isn’t in reflection to anything I am saying here- Note- Mental illness is a serious issue, this is not the discussion on hand)

Bullies
The age of cyber bulling, internet shaming, whatever you want to call it. It’s tough, I get it. People hide behind a screen and say horrible, cruel things because they feel protected. Does it mean it’s any worse from when we were kids? No, there were still bullies then. I remember being 14 and having someone I believed to be my best friend make a fake myspace account to try and convince me to kill myself and go “play in traffic”. When I started getting those messages, I blatantly told her to “fuck off” and she did exactly that. There were bullies growing up from 5 years old till now at 25 years old. I’ve found how you deal with them when first encountered, determines your strength and self-confidence. Kids are mean, little girls relationships with other little girls need to be monitored as they can be horrible little bitches. I want to teach my kids a few things that I believe will help them build good character. Have them be so confident in themselves and who they are that no one else can dictate their success and their stress that future is in their own hands. Teach them that they do indeed have control. I would want my children to also be able to communicate with me as a human being, an equal. Where if they felt threatened by bullies and truly couldn’t handle it, we could have a conversation and address what is happening rather than it reach a point of depression and loss of self-worth.

Dealing with conflict and learning to resolve incidents on the playground creates stepping-stones for their future in not only conflict resolution but also dealing with the constant rejection life brings us.

Spoiled brat syndrome

Parenting by shielding your children (helicopter parents), providing too much of everything without requiring any work or input from the child themselves, never saying no, making our children believe that everything they do is great and improvement is not needed. Things we do that make our children’s expectations of their parents unachievable. Why make your life harder just because you can’t say no to your child? Having your child slap you across the face because you won’t let them have your phone but you still can’t muster up the words “no”. You know what will never happen? My future child trying to bully me into something by thinking its okay to be physical with me because I am seen as weaker than and they have no fear of me at all…. Yeah right.

I just recently read/watched a news piece about a restaurant owner yelling at a child for constantly screaming inside the restaurant for over 40 mins, while the parents did nothing and even refused to do anything when asked. How can you be so selfish and teach your child that interrupting other peoples experiences in life and being an annoyance is okay because the world centers around only you. Pack up your stuff, go home and teach your child that fun things end if they cannot listen/respect others. There have been many conversations, debates and interviews conducted about this incident. There is always two sides of every story. From the facts and lots of research here are my personal views:

  1. The restaurant owner should have just screamed at the parents because it was their fault the child was in distress
  2. It has been reported by a few patrons that the parents in fact were eating in front of the child and not feeding it… causing the screaming to occur. The parents should have been screamed at by not only the owner but other patrons. Time to stand up for what is right.
  3. Children should be taught (no matter how young) that being out is a privilege and if they cannot conduct themselves properly, the parents need to remove the child from where ever they are.
  4. There is always a consequence to any action. Both sides were in the wrong and frustration tends to make people act unreasonably.

Parents

Maybe you could try:

  • Saying no
  • Teaching your children that they are equal and can express themselves with conversation rather than dramatics (my parents did this with me)
  • Teaching boys that it’s okay to be emotional and not to be ashamed of expressing their feelings
  • Teaching girls that being pretty isn’t the most important thing in life
  • Telling our children to defend themselves if assaulted first
  • Having our children not be so gullible with strangers ( ie- if someone says they have to go with them or else they will hurt their family, scare tactics are what a lot of pedophiles use on children)
  • Teach our children that the world is a huge, yes scary place, but they have the strength to concur the world if they wanted to
  • Teach our boys that “boys will be boys” is never a good excuse for anything
  • Teach our children that as parents we are here to aid them, teach them, protect them and love them. That is all. Everything else is an added bonus.

Respect yourself enough as parents, to not be bullied into being that person you never wanted to be to your kids. You are the ADULT, you have the upper hand and when it comes down to it, what ever you say, goes.

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