Lately, I have noticed a startling trend: children who are wholly dependent upon others to meet their own needs. Not babies, mind you, but preschoolers and even adult children. In our efforts to become the perfect mothers in our Pinterest-centric generation, we have started coddling the crap out of our kids. Not just providing our kids with what they need to survive and thrive, but providing them with every single thing they could possibly imagine, from iPads to tantrum-induced food choices. Our kids are losing the ability to think and do for themselves.
This child-centric way of living is a far cry from the parent-centric world that most of us grew up in. We listen to Yo Gabba Gabba in the car, watch Caillou on the TV, make dinners around what our children will eat, schedule our every waking moment around our children. This is insanity. Just think what your dad would have said growing up if you had demanded all of this. My dad would have laughed his ass off and told me to get my over-privileged butt outside and rake the leaves.
But we are often left feeling like if we don’t do everything we can to make our kids as happy as possible, we are a shitty parent. The opposite is true. When we coddle and handhold our children through every step of life, we are setting them up for failure. Our children need to grow up with a realistic view of the world. Everything will not always be handed to them. Everything will not always go their way. Some day, they will need to fight for what they want. And we need to give them the strength and confidence to be able to do that.
People often act like I am abusing my children when I make them clean up after themselves or keep trying something that is hard and frustrating. Or they will say, “Well, it’s just easier and takes less time if I just do it for them.” Sure it is, but you won’t be there to do it for them forever. Or at least I sure as hell hope I’m not! Children need to learn to do for themselves. To explore. To learn. To grow. And now is as good a time as any to start giving your child the power to change things. Even if it is something as simple as putting an empty wrapper in the trash.
What we need is balance. To raise children who know that we will be there for them whenever they fall, but that it is OK to try and fly. We need to give our children the opportunity to make decisions and do things on their own. Because right now we are raising a generation of children who won’t even be able to tie their own shoes when they go to their first job interview.
But we are awesome parents. And we can change that. We can empower our children. We can give them the chance to fall. But also the chance to dust themselves off and keep going.
If you share this post, I will buy you a pony.
I suck at Twitter
. I am OK at Facebook
is my bitch. I am also on Bloglovin'