I think coddling today’s girls became a problem when parents became more active in the lives of their children. When I was a kid (we had to watch for dinosaurs but that’s another story), we left the house in the morning and were back at six to eat dinner. After that, we were were gone until the street lights went on…that was the signal to go home and we all did, until we were older.
When we were out, no one knew where we were, no one knew what we were doing. We played baseball with boys, climbed trees, fell out of them, blew things up, climbed and jumped off of things, pretty much did anything we wanted to do. Girls were just as brave as boys across the board. No one ever told us to be careful. “Don’t be late for dinner,” was the only thing our mother’s said to us. We made all of our own decisions and we didn’t ask adults for help because we were actually able to think for ourselves. If we made the wrong choice, we made a new one. No phones, no checking in. We grew up on our own and we learned how to navigate through life with the skills that we learned BY OURSELVES.
I feel sorry for kids today. Always around adults, never alone, never able to make even the simplest decisions, without asking an adult, or having an adult make a comment. It’s so sad. Parents have usurped the lives of their children under the heading of, “good parenting.” What’s really going on is that too many kids depend on adult *supervision. Their parents do their homework, their projects, watch them while they play, give constant advice, make constant demands, check homework, sign kids up for activities the kids often don’t want to do. No freedom. Adults are everywhere.
I realize that the world is a different place, since the dinosaurs roamed the earth, but today’s kids have problems that were never seen, or heard of before. No one I knew even thought of cutting themselves, or committing suicide. My grandchildren all know kids who do, and did, those things. I think these are symptoms of CAPTIVITY, like the things we see in caged animals. What’s happening is not good. Cutting, eating disorders, and suicide might be seen as the only things kids have control over, in their lives.
When are kids supposed to take control over their own lives, learn their own lessons? If you don’t turn in your homework you will get a bad grade? Parenting today has had a negative effect on children. Bullying is epidemic. Kids are acting out in so many ways. Seriously. Kids need down time, they need to be able to decide whether or not to do their homework, projects, etc. and see the logical consequences that follow their decision. Supervised play, games, sports, supervised EVERYTHING. Adults are always there. I couldn’t even stand to watch my grandchildren do the things they wanted to do because of the adult in the stands and on the floor. Everything is a life or death situation that is being filmed so you can see your own mistakes and how much better the other kids were. No wonder some kids are having problems. They SEE themselves all day and night on their phones and computers. Competition, from the age of five, seems like a really bad thing. No one can measure up because there’s always kids who are better and that is always being pointed out to EVERYONE.
The world is a dangerous place. We can’t go back to kids being free to play outside alone but kids should at least be in charge of their own lives. Our parents didn’t have to tell us what to do because we figured out how to get along with each other by ourselves. We knew how to spend EVERYDAY without a single adult telling us what to do. And no one EVER ratted anyone else out…EVER. Tattling was completely unacceptable and if a kid even thought of doing it they were never seen with any of us again. Punishment for tattling was exile forever. We took care of our own problems and that made us better kids and better adults. We all took responsibility for ourselves. Girls and boys were the same. We did the same things and there was nothing boys could do that we couldn’t do as well.
The world isn’t a better place and kids are paying a huge price for the way they are being constantly watched. Today’s kids are growing up with Big Brother looking over their shoulder from the moment they come into the world. Teachers call home constantly, always tattling on the kids. See, when you KNOW you are always being watched, you act differently than you would if you WERN’T being watched. There is a price, a big one, for always have to act a certain way because you’re being watched ALL THE TIME. You can never relax. It’s like being the first car at a light with a camera waiting for you to roll forward so they can send you a hundred dollar ticket in the mail. YOU DRIVE DIFFERENTLY WHEN THERE IS A CAMERA WATCHING YOU. Imaging what it’s like for kids today. What a truly terrible thing adults are doing to children.
Look at it this way, it’s like the difference between Harry Potter growing up by himself and Dudley, being destroyed by doting parents. Who would you want to be…Harry or Duders? Dudley and his crew were bullies, Harry was the brave hero. I’m happy I was raised with the dinosaurs. I raised my kids with the dinosaurs too. Hey, I’m just sayin’. Harry or Dudley? Easy choice, right?
*A long time ago, when Debbie moved into the house she lives in, my granddaughter had a friend over. Debbie was in the kitchen and the visiting girl walked up to her and said, “What do you have planned for us?”
Debbie said, “I don’t have anything planned for you.”
The girl was horrified and said, “You mean you don’t have any activities for us?”
“Not a single one,” said Debbie. “Go make something up.”
“My mother always has things ready for us,” said the kid.
“I’m not your mother.”
“What are we supposed to do?”
“Pretty much anything but this.”