We all do it. Criticize and pass judgment from a position of hindsight. I mean, our hindsight is always the perfect 20/20 vision. What isn’t perfect is the morality of our youth. It’s crumbling and no one really knows how to ‘fix’ it. No one has answers when things are calm. However, everyone has an answer after a horrific event like what recently happened in Florida. People jump up, throw a yellow flag and play the Monday Morning Quarterback.
Now, I know I promised a blog last week, as I returned home from New Orleans. Even had a cute title, behind the scenes photos and everything. But, we kind of returned home to a shitstorm…and writing a blog about FUN was not going to happen with about 387 on my list of things to do. I promised to keep it real when I started this blog last year, and real it will be. My eldest decided to throw a small house party while we were away, so blogging & unpacking was delayed and operation ‘clean up’ began. There is nothing like coming home from out of town to a stinky, sticky house. Now, our house is locked down with security cameras. It is like Fort Knox—there is literally no where on the perimeter, doors, driveway, etc. of our property you can walk where you aren’t bring videoed, so the level of moronic behavior displayed baffles me. Well, let me rephrase that. It disappoints me. #ZeroRespect #TimeToAdult,ByeFelicia #ToughLove
This brings me to the topic of this blog….disrespectful children have become the norm. Not in this house any more. Children, in general, have a total sense of entitlement rather than responsibility. Inadequate sleep and unbalanced nutrition, sedentary indoor lifestyle…gaming, on their phones, computers…endless stimulation, electronic babysitters, instant gratification, GIVE ME, GIVE ME, GIVE ME, and absence of dull moments has overcome this generation. No consequence for their actions, mommy to bail them out. Myself included.
Americans have tried the kinder, gentler, let-me-be-your-friend approach to parenting for the last several decades. What has it done? It has turned our kids into the “I NEED MY SAFE SPACE”, “THAT IS TRIGGERING ME”, “ME, ME, ME!” If the behavior problems in schools and the heightened level of sensitivity and protesting on college campuses are any indication…this parenting approach hasn’t produced the positive outcomes we were hoping for. Is it time for today’s parents to reverse course and begin teaching their children to respect others first instead of their own little pampered selves! What happened to God first, then Family, then others….then yourself?
Attempts to ’empower’ children at home and a lack of discipline in the classroom have fostered rising levels of violence, at home, at school and in the street. A growing lack of adult authority has bred a ‘spoilt generation’ of children who believe grown-ups must earn their respect. The rise of these little prince and princesses spans the class divide and is fuelling things from childhood obesity to teenage pregnancy.
Children of the spoilt generation are used to having their demands met by their parents and others in authority, and that in turn makes them unprepared for the realities of adult life. This has consequences in every area of society, from the classroom to the workplace, the streets to the criminal courts and rehabilitation clinics. Dr Sigman, of Great Brittan, says youngsters’ inflated sense of their own importance is fuelling the obesity epidemic, because children feel they have the right to demand foods which would once have been given as occasional treats. Parents also do this because it’s easier as well. (to give in) The consequences are measurable – Britain now has the highest rates of child depression, child-on-child murder, underage pregnancy, obesity, violent and antisocial behavior and pre-teen alcoholism since records began.
For his report, The Spoilt Generation, he drew on 150 studies and reports, including official figures on crime and data on parenting strategies. Taken together, they showed many of the problems are linked to lack of discipline, at home, in school, extracurricular activities, etc. It is being exacerbated by misguided attempts to give children “more control” over their lives. This gives them a distorted sense of reality…because the real world has RULES. LAWS. Children need rules. It’s not a free for all. #HowManyLikesCanMyPostGet? #OhNoOnly5 #NoOneLikesMe #FML #SoStupid
Michele Elliott, of the children’s charity Kidscape, said: ‘Children no longer have boundaries. It’s bad for children and it’s bad for parents. Some parents, due to a lack of time, pressures at work and so forth, are trying to buy their children’s love, which is toxic. ‘They feel guilty for not being around as often so when their children ask for things they simply say “yes” to compensate. #AbsentParentSyndrome #BadIdea
Teachers have zero power to deal with children these days. They are told by the students “you can’t do anything to me“. Back in the day, I would have NEVER mouthed off to a teacher like that! My mom would have made sure I wouldn’t have seen the light of day for 4 months. I remember getting 4 licks with the paddle in 7th grade. We, students, did have a choice; detention, write the lines or take the licks….we would usually take the licks. And you did NOT want to hear the sound of Mr. Bassett whipping that leather belt off in the middle of P.E. class. That meant someone was about to get their rear end torn up! He could hold a basketball in one hand and if some kids were roughhousing, could snatch that leather belt off with the other and grab it, ready for licks. The entire gym would stand at attention. It was like a scene out of a movie…everyone would stop, and stand wide eyed, waiting to see who was would to get in trouble. #goodtimes #CrackofTheBelt #GladitWasntMe LOL
25-30 yrs ago, we didn’t have to worry about metal detectors, guns in the school. Yes, it was around in certain parts of the country, but not like the past 10 yrs. At my high school, on the opening of hunting season and on Fridays, there were shot guns & rifles in IN trucks, right by the school, some in trucks IN the school parking lot. NO ONE shot anyone. Why? I would like to say because things were just simpler then. We had respect for each other. We weren’t so desensitized and murder wasn’t put on Facebook live. Our Video games were Mario Brothers and Pac Man– not sniper games that are so realistic that it’s kinda freaky. (I mean, you can run over a hooker in games these days) The worst type of killing back then was Frogger getting smashed by a passing car. And God forbid calling someone and getting a busy signal…or being tethered or clotheslined by a PHONE CORD. #thehorror #PhoneCords #OurKidsWillNeverKnowTheHorrorOfABusySignal
I’m not going to Monday Morning Quarterback about how to “FIX” an entire generation of spoiled, entitled, disrespectful brats (Because my kids aren’t perfect. So very FAR from it)… but what we, as a society, as parents…..what WE collectively have been doing; isn’t working. So here are some TIPS from a professional what each of us can do to start. Myself included.
- Set limits and remember that you are your child’s PARENT, not a friend
- Offer kids well-balanced lifestyle filled with what kids NEED, not just what they WANT. Don’t be afraid to say “No!” to your kids.
- Involve your child in at least one chore a day (folding laundry, tidying up toys, hanging clothes, unpacking groceries, setting the table etc)- They can start this as young as two years old. They don’t need to be paid for helping around the house.
- Implement consistent sleep routine to ensure that your child gets lots of sleep in a technology-free bedroom.
- Teach responsibility and independence. Don’t over-protect them from small failures. It trains them the skills needed to overcome greater life’s challenges. EVERYONE does not NEED a participation trophy.
- Don’t pack your child’s backpack, don’t carry her backpack, don’t bring to school his forgotten lunch box/agenda, and don’t peel a banana for a 5-year-old child. Teach them the skills rather than do it for them.
- Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for “boredom” as boredom is the time when creativity awakens.
- Avoid using technology during meals, in cars, restaurants, malls. Use these moments as opportunities to train their brains to function under “boredom”.
- Teach greeting, turn taking, sharing, empathy, table manners, conversation skills
- Everything is NOT do it your own way. There are rules in the world
- You, not your kids, get to choose who they socialize/have play dates with. If you have a bad feeling, steer them in a different direction. Remember the old saying “you are who you hang out with”
- If you notice issues in your child or another child, emotional pain or if they harm themselves, threaten to hurt themselves or others, show signs of eating issues, or through cutting or burning, hurting animals…please get them help or report to their family or authorities.
Most children grow up mentally healthy, and productive members of society, but surveys suggest that more children and young people have problems with their mental health today than 30 years ago. That’s probably because of changes in the way we live now and how that affects the experience of growing up.
My hindsight is 20/20 when I think about all of the things I wish I would/could/should have done differently with my kiddo. We try our hardest to be the best mom, wife, friend, employee, volunteer, daughter, aunt, superwoman…..but sometimes the cards just land where they land, and you have to suck it up and deal with it. #JustKeepSwimming #WeDoBetterWhenWeKnowBetter #AndPray #ALOT #WorkInProgress #JesusTakeTheWheel
Wishing you all a happy and peaceful Lenten season. Oh, and I will NOT be giving up drinking for lent. The LemonChello is in the freezer…and it pairs nicely with Champagne.