Parents, you are doing everything wrong! Yes, I mean you. Every. Thing.
That’s what the headline read as I scrolled through my newsfeed on my phone while nursing my 3 month old (apparently that’s another big no-no, no phones while breastfeeding. Babies need eye contact while nursing. PUT YOUR PHONES DOWN RIGHT NOW AND ENGAGE YOUR LITTLE SQUISH WITH YOUR EYE BALLS).
I came across an article this weekend about how detrimental timeouts are to young children. My toddler has been in and out of time out since she turned two, so she is probably a lost cause at this point. My plan is to start over with this new one (as long as I remember that nursing time is for eye contact and not for catching up on Facebook or pinning pictures of “modern perms.” Something the internet assures me I shouldn’t be doing, regardless).
It’s not like the article was advocating spanking either. No, that was the comments section. There was a whole lot of, “I was spanked and I turned out fine!” and “Maybe kids today need a little spanking!”
And my favorite, “That’s what’s wrong with these millennials today. They were never spanked and everyone got a trophy just for showing up!”
But, back to the article. It was all about promoting sitting down with your children and talking to them like human beings. Helping them to identify and name their emotions. A novel idea, but one that will probably be refuted the very next time I refresh my screen, and will surely be blamed for creating a generation of entitled brats or sissies.
I mean my kids won’t be sissies, because I just read about this new type of playground popping up that will fix this generation of over parented kids. It is basically a fenced in yard full of “found” equipment (think old cars and tires and hammers and yes, I just said hammers) that parents aren’t allowed to enter.
Helicopter parents, be gone! You can only watch your progeny from the bleachers. Kids need unstructured play. They need the ability to create their own fun. You can’t plan everything for them or they will never learn how to entertain themselves. Just sit back and watch them discover how to enjoy themselves.
Only we aren’t supposed to be watching them. We watch our kids too much these days, and they are coddled and given participation trophies. They go away to college not knowing how to make their own doctor’s appointments. Then they move back home. Like, into our homes.
And they never leave (she types from inside her parent’s house).
We can’t have an entire generation of kids that don’t move out of their parent’s houses. I mean, the real estate market will crash. Crate and Barrel will cease to exist. U-Haul will become the stuff of legends. Kids need to strike out on their own. THINK OF THE ECONOMY.
Kids need to know that they can do things by themselves in order to grow up to be adults that know that they can do things by themselves.
Let them play alone in the yard. Let them have the freedom to walk across the street to their friend’s house. Disable the GPS tracker in their shoe. Let them wander, let them play in piles of old tires and climb on the top of the monkey bars. Let them fall down.
The headline read, “Unattended child falls from the top of monkey bars at Local Park.”
“OMG, WHERE WERE THE PARENTS?!” The internet collectively screams.
I would never let my child go to the park alone. Do you know how many kids go missing every year? Have you seen the video where that guy approaches random kids and tries to get them to leave with him? And they go, because WHERE ARE THE PARENTS?!
Parents today are so lazy with their faces in their phones, and their kids playing on tablets in restaurants, and god, when I was growing up we quietly read a book or colored with crayons on the provided placemat (which is not at all the same thing even though it’s the same thing).
Besides, my kids don’t go to restaurants with me- that is time for me and my husband to reconnect, because I put my marriage first. After all, someday my children will be raised and out of the house but my husband will still be here*.
I mean, my husband and I don’t actually go out to eat. There is no room in our days for alone time. Right now we are just focused on our children. It’s okay, this is just a season. After all, someday my children will be raised and out of the house but my husband will still be here*.
A mom today could lose her mind trying to keep up with all of the things that she should be saying and doing, thinking and being.
And this is all shit I read in one damn weekend.
So my advice, not that you need one more ounce of advice from people on the internet, but my advice to you is to skip the advice.
Do whatever works for you, and your family, in any given moment.
Because somebody, somewhere, is always going to think you’re wrong regardless of what you’re doing.