Some answers to parenting criticisms

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Marguerite, Apr 17, 2010.

  1. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was reading today's paper and one of our favourite columnists, and I decided to share it with you.

    Normally this guy writes satire in various forms, he's very funny. But clearly something has hit a nerve with him and today he's answering a lot of the criticisms we so often hear, that so often make us feel inferior or inadequate.

    So if you have been feeling like a failure as a parent, especially if other people keep telling you so - read this.

    And if you need a chuckle, go looking at some of his other articles too.

  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Marg. I think there is a lot of truth in what the writer says and I needed to read that today.
  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    I had tons of "freedom" as a kid. Only it was the 70's instead of the 60's, well ok part of the 60's......... lol

    My Mom acts like it was all a bed of roses back then for a kid. HA!

    1. I can't begin to count the number of times while walking to and from school someone would attempt to coax us into their car. (but at least Mom had the forsight to tell us people with a blue star posted in their windows were "safe" houses and we were allowed to run up and bang on their doors for help.) And we lived in a decent neighborhood.
    2. Took us kids at the grade school more than 10 times to get a teacher to believe us there was a perv hanging out on the other side of the playground fence exposing himself. ugh
    3. I had a stalker in the 3rd grade. A blue ford station wagon that followed me home (creepily) every single day from school. Told my Mom over and over and she never believed me. It was my imagination! Until my step dad heard about it. And handled the situation "man to man" by beating the guy to a bloody pulp. Station wagon never followed me again. And I got rides home after that.

    Don't get me wrong, we had loads of fun during my childhood. But there were also huge dangers out there and if you weren't one to get smart quick, you got hurt, sometimes badly.

    I used my own experiences to teach my kids to be wary from the get go. They knew their full names, parents full names, street address, state, and phone number with area code by the age of two. They had a secret password, and anyone trying to pick them up without it was considered off limits, period. Backfired on me once when I needed mother in law to pick up easy child from pre-school and forgot to give her the password, easy child flat out refused to get into the car......after 20 mins of unsuccessfully trying to change her mind they called me and I told her it was ok. lol We used that password with them even though highschool. easy child has one for Darrin. Reminds me to ask Nichole if she has one for Aubrey.

    And another biggie with me........if my kids were outside playing, so was I. Always. Until they were about 12 or so, and then usually I was because it had become habit. lol

    I hate it when the older generation gets on the younger one about their parenting. Ok if you're really neglecting or abusing a kid, sure. But otherwise...........Just don't get it. I've heard it from my Mom since the day my first was born. Nothing I did was right. Now according to her I have the best kids she's ever seen. :rofl: Kills me.
  4. muttmeister

    muttmeister Well-Known Member

    As a member of the "older generation" I have a SLIGHTLY different take on all of this. I grew up in the 50's (back when dirt was a new invention:tongue:) and it was in a rural community so we did have a lot of freedom. However, anybody with a brain knows that times change and we have to change our parenting to meet the challenges of whatever time we live in.

    I think it is absolutely fantastic that parents are more involved with their kids (especially dads - a lot of kids in my day didn't even see their dads for days at a time; they'd be gone to work before the kids got up and not home yet when the kids went to bed). Only good can come from parents that are involved in their kids lives.

    However, as somebody who taught for a number of years, I think the criticism of "helicopter parents" is another thing entirely. I think we all agree that being involved with your kids and being there when they need you is essential. However, being there to solve every problem they encounter is not to their advantage. Kids have to be a little bit independent (within the bounds of safety, etc.) in order to learn to solve their own problems and function in the world. in my humble opinion it is the job of parents to prepare their kids to leave home. If we do a good job they will want to come back to visit, but not to stay if they can help it. At one point a couple of years ago there were two of mothers who wrote a book and they were appearing on a morning TV show. THey explained that now that they had children, they were devoting ALL of their time to their kids (leaving no time for jobs, spouses, hobbies, outside interests, etc.) I could only think, "Those poor kids!"

    I think in this time we have to walk a fine line - we do want to be in our kids lives; we want to be there to teach them to be valuable human beings. We want to protect them. HOwever, we need to nurture them in such a way that they don't rely on us for everything. They HAVE to learn to think for themselves and act on their own or they will never become adults and they can't start doing that when they are 18; they have to start at an early age. It is our job to let them fall off their bikes; let them fail their math tests when they don't study; let them strike out when they play baseball; let their best friends be mad at them; let them go without lunch because they spent all of their money on pop and candy; let them face the music because they didn't do their homework; let them be disciplined at school because they did something wrong. ETC. We can sympathize, empathize, cry for them when they aren't looking, support them by going to their games, sitting through their recitals, taking them to soccer practice, listening to the same stupid joke skatey-eight times, etc., etc., etc. But in the end, we want them to grow and function as adults. They will not do that if we do everything for them.
  5. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Mutt, that's pretty much the point of the article - a balanced attitude as well as a fairly forgiving one, instead of people complacently referring to the "good old days" as if they were perfect, and seeing only bad things whichever way you look at today's upbringing methods.

    I was born in 1955 but raised as if it was 1945, post-war depression. A very conservative upbringing, socially isolated apart from school, different standards to my classmates and neighbourhood kids. Not a lot of social interaction outside school anyway, with a lot of farm chores and home duties; mixed messages form parents of "You're really smart, how come you only came third in the class?" followed by the expectation that I would leave school and get a job, rather than expect to study for a career. I fully agree with Richard Glover in his description of parenting in the 60s where there were greater barriers between parent & child. We were controlled by the clock ("be home by 5 pm")and perhaps by geographical boundaries ("don't go past the old dam"), but apart from that, we were left unsupervised and at risk. Our parents didn't have a lot of options - they were generally too busy to hover to any extent.

    We occasionally get emails which celebrate the childraising of the 60s as if it was the benchmark, and says rubbish like, "It didn't do us any harm; we all survived."
    The thing is - those of us who are here ARE the ones who survived. I know I can remember kids who did not; kids who were injured, kids who became ill, kids whose lives will never be the same, kids who never survived to graduate.

    Yes, some parents these days hover too much, in my opinion. But that IS just in my opinion. Only time will tell whose methods have produced the best results.