Monday, August 1, 2011

one of three ways

What in the world is wrong with kids these days? I'll tell you, it's their parents. A lot of modern-day parents are raising a generation of sheltered, over-protected, and coddled wusses who have a highly disproportionate sense of entitlement.

I recently read an article posted on The New York Times about how 'safer' playgrounds and may be detrimental to development, because when kids get hurt or semi-traumatic things happen to them, they learn from it.

I have posted multiple times about how my parents have traumatized me and inadvertently turned me into the strange quirky person I am today. Quirky is endearing. But I have realized that it taught me to be a functional, awesome person.

Yeah, my mom may have almost left me in a Wal-Mart and I may have received severe burns on my chest from a time I was semi-unattended by a hot stove. But, my parents raised me to be smart and tough enough to persevere through their few missteps. They were very few (if any), because most of my faults were self-inflicted/deserved because I was a pretty terrible child.

I mean I may have 'accidently' broken my older brother's arm in my attempts to stop him from killing my bounce on our neighbor's trampoline. He got a broken arm and had to bathe with a garbage bag on his arm for a few months, and I got spanked till my father lost feeling in his arm. But I think we were both better for it. I think he even developed this double jointed action that would serve him well should he ever pursue a career as a street performer.

Which brings me to another great aspect of my mom and dad's 'accidental' parenting. My mother was a nurse. She worked in ERs, nursing homes, and hospice. So, the fact that I smashed my head falling out of a tree house or slammed my finger in a car door was pretty much a non-event for her. She knew whether or not I needed to be sent to the ER or if my cries were just early attempts at attention grabbing. For the record, I only went to the ER once, the rest were just The Boy Who Cried Wolf... annoyingly.

Thankfully, this 'tough love' approach is not lost on my siblings' children either. One night while sitting around the dinner table at my brother's, my two nieces were running around the house playing, and we all heard a loud crash that sounded like Ty Pennington just unleashed  wrecking ball in the guest bedroom. We all sat there and clutched our wine glasses and heard my niece yell out.

No. Not blood curdling cries of a toddler who was staring Death in the face. She simply, calmly yelled "NO BLOOD!" and continued defending her American Girl dolls from the oppressive Galactic Empire with her imaginary lightsaber.

THAT, my friends, is parenting.

Finally, I'm 99% sure I shouldn't procreate or even adopt, but I don't know if I want to even raise a child in a world where playgrounds don't have monkey bars. But, if I ever do have children, rest assured, they will be spanked, never go to the movies or restaurants with linen tablecloths until they are old enough to drive themselves, and they will kick all kinds of sweet ass in one of the following three awesome ways:




melissa said...

I 99 percent agree. Kids are protected WAY too much. I got the stink eye from some lady because I was letting my 4 year old play out side by himself in my fenced in backyard while I was checking on him every 2 minutes. Another situation was I let my son up on the roof. Not as bad as it sounds! It was a flat lower roof. But this lady gets all nosy and tells me how there are just some things you don't let kids do. He was taught "roof safety" and everything ended up fine. Bottom line is how is a kid ever going to truly learn something if you don't let them experience it?

Reason why I 99 percent agree with this post is because you never know what you will do as a parent until you are faced with that choice. I remember before kids I would always say "I'm never going to do this etc etc etc" More often then not you end up doing something you swore you would never do. You are no longer looking through the eyes of a kid (or non parent in your case) but your looking through the eyes of a parent. Trust usually see things differently when you become a parent.

John said...

I 100% agree with your 1%. I probably won't have kids, but if I do and the Internet is still a thing, I will delete this post to fight off the 'toldyasos.' :)

Also, I played on the roof ALL THE TIME. I never got safety lessons though. I would jump off it all the time. In retrospect, not the safest activity for an 8-year-old, but boy did I learn how to tuck-and-roll.

Heather Rose said...

Fabulous post! When I was little, I fell off a chair (that I shouldnt have been climbing on) and busted my lip. My parents took me to the ER for stitches, and I got home and promptly removed them myself. They refused to take me back to the ER.

I have a long scar under my lip and a much higher tolerance for pain, which served me well while I had no health insurance. Thanks, mom and dad!