Values are not just words, values are what we live by. They are about the causes we champion and the people we fight for. ~Sen. John Kerry
When I grew up we respected our parents. We may not have liked them all of the time, but it would never have crossed our minds to cuss at them, or call them names, or threaten to call CPS on them. That would have been totally unacceptable. Today, many parents endure regular verbal and physical abuse and/or intimidation from their children.
When I grew up we played outside in the backyard, on our rickety metal and plastic swing set. Or, we rode our bikes around the neighborhood. I wouldn't go so far as to say kids don't do that today, but they do so a lot less then when I was a kid. And why would they? With all the tech toys in existence, who the heck wants to ride a bike?!
When I grew up, if you wanted to play with a friend you walked or biked. And if you wanted to call someone you did so from home. If you wanted to join sports you played on a school team or a rec league. Practicing generally once a week with a game thrown in as well.
When I grew up, my mom was home when I arrived from school. After some down time, she helped me with my homework. My mom made dinner every night (meat, veggie, fruit, side dish) and when my dad got home from the office we sat together, around the table, and shared the events of our day. When we were old enough to help, we were expected to clean up the kitchen and do other chores around the house.
Family life has changed a great deal in the past quarter century. More kids than ever are coming home to an empty house or having to put in twelve hour days because of daycare before and/after school, more kids than ever are living between two houses. I am not looking to blame or judge anyone in particular, but am I the only one who is looking at where this shift is taking us?
Sometimes I feel like the world has turned against parents. Mainstream media continually pushes the envelope on what we see and hear, our government is making it harder to afford medical care for our kids, our education system makes us feel as if our kids will be behind the eight ball if we don't give them all iPads and have them enrolled in AP classes throughout high school...on that same page, what the hell is going on with the cost of getting a college education?!
It feels like an uphill battle for those of us who are just trying to raise morally, physically, emotionally, spiritually responsible adults!
On top of that, our kids make us feel bad (if we allow them to} when we cannot (or choose not to) supply the latest electronic gadget, or take a vacation four times a year like the neighbors do. And, please tell me why some parents feel as if their kids' sixteenth birthday warrants automobile ownership? Sometimes I think the local high school parking lot is a competition for who can provide the most expensive set of wheels. When I was a kid, I was lucky to have access to my mom's woody station wagon once and a while.
Can I be the only parent who thinks the war going on in our country right now is NOT the war on drugs, but the war on responsible parenting?!
I am here to say I won't give up. I don't care how much bullshit society tries to throw at me about making sure my kids have and keep up with the very latest, or tries to make sure I provide every advantage available, or how much it tries to speed up the pace of our lives and use every possible tactic to take away what our children REALLY need...
1. our time
2. our attention
3. our modeling solid values such as hard work, service to others, and treating people the way we want to be treated
It is pretty simple, yet the more complex the world gets with all of its bells and whistles, the more confused and convoluted parenting becomes.
I will fight for my family time and for our home to be a place where all who enter feel respected and appreciated exactly where they are!
Who's with me?!?!?!?!?!