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May 20, 2021

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You’re feeling adventurous today? Feel free to read on. I’ll forewarn you though, this post contains subject matter about which I feel very strongly. As are most emotionally heated issues, I suppose it’s controversial. But hey, I feel how I feel and that’s not going to be changed.

The emotions that sparked this post were given a little bit of a supercharge last evening. Hendrix was picking out what he wanted to take to school for Show & Tell. He chose a little Imaginext action figure – one that he’s had for about two years now. With the action figure comes a little yellow object. For the two years that he’s had this toy, that yellow object has always been a drill to him.

I’ll Get In Trouble

He gathered the action figure, the mask that goes with him, and the yellow drill and proudly told me he’d chosen that for Show & Tell. Then, you could see him thinking. And he promptly changed his mind and said to me, “You know what, I better not take this. My teacher will probably think it’s a gun, and then I’ll get in trouble.” He then put the action figure back, and chose something else.

I often think about the world my boys will grow up in. I often get angry when I think about it. This particular situation just furthered those emotions for me.

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They Love To Play Shoot ‘Em Up

In completely selfish terms, bringing my boys into this world was such a great decision – for me. They bring me so much joy, they fill my heart, they make me happy. But I often question whether or not it was the right decision for them. My boys are typical little boys. They love to play guns. They love to play good guy versus bad guy. They love to wrestle and be rowdy. That’s the nature of little boys, as it has been since the beginning of time.

How long will it be before their typical boy-ish behavior gets them suspended from school? How long before they get suspended from daycare? How long will it be before one of them gets upset with a friend, tells that friend to go away and leave them alone, and subsequently gets labeled as a bully?

The mentality of our society is nauseating to me, friends.

nerf-guns-600x600

They’re Labelled As Threats

Many years ago, there was a time where young boys could run around with their toy guns, killing the bad guys. You could take the toy guns away from the little boys, and they’d find something else around them – a stick, their fingers, etc – and pretend it was a gun. Today, those little boys – if caught doing that – are labeled as threats, and immediate action is taken to remove that threat from the group.

There was a time – not too long ago – when bullying was defined as slamming someone up against a locker and stealing their lunch money. There was a time when kids got called names and got picked on, and they brushed it off and worked through it (ask me how I know this). Now, if Sally calls Susie a b*tch (please excuse my language if that offends you), Susie’s whole world crumbles around her, she contemplates suicide, and this society encourages her to feel like her world truly has ended, and she should feel entitled to a world-wide pity party. And Sally – phew! She should be jailed! She should be thrown in juvenile detention for acting like – gasp – a teenage girl acts.

Cupcakes And Rainbows

Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy. The young generations of today (yes, I sound ancient but I’m only 29 years old) are being taught that they shouldn’t have to ever put up with anything that doesn’t make their hearts feel like rainbow coloured unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows.

Modern parenting is creating a generation that’s not going to be able to function in society.

How Will Your Kids Cope?

Your child, who you cater to every need, who you shelter from all things “evil.” How will this child react when he or she grows into adulthood? Debbie graduates from high school and goes to college. She writes her first paper and meets with her professor about that paper and the professor tells her that it’s junk and it will get a failing grade. How will Debbie cope with that if she’s always been made to feel that no one should ever make her feel sad, or criticise anything she does?

Donna graduates from college and gets a job – you know, in the real world. She has to work on a committee to come up with a marketing plan. She shoots out an idea, and it gets immediately turned down. What is she to do? Go home and cry because no one liked her idea? Quit her job because she can’t handle rejection?

Stop Everything…My Child Is Bored!

Modern parents, who drop everything all the time to sit and play with the child, who ‘needs attention’ or drop what they’re doing to help the child the second he or she gets frustrated? How is Joey going to deal with the fact that there won’t be anyone in his adult life who’s willing to stop what they’re doing, stop living their busy lives, to cater to his every whim?

How do you think Billy is going to cope in the real world, when his boss gives him a vague task to complete, and offers no helpful information as to how to complete this task? Mr. Boss is certainly not going to hold Billy’s hand and help him through the task. Mr. Boss expects it to be completed by Monday. How has Billy been prepared to use his critical thinking and problem solving skills to be able to complete that task? He hasn’t.

Your Kids Should NOT Be The Centre Of Your World

I certainly hope that the title of this blog post is starting to make sense. Parents who make their children the centre of their universe are not doing anyone any favours. Obviously, as parents, we love our children more than anything. But dropping everything to cater to their every need is only going to lead to a very rude awakening once they enter the real world.

I’m not telling anyone how to parent, and I’m far from perfect myself. But when my kids can’t find something, I refuse to help them until they’ve at least made a concerted effort to find it themselves. This isn’t being mean, it’s teaching them to at least attempt to solve a problem themselves before just giving up and asking for help.

I Am Not Only Their Mum

When the TV gets turned off after the allotted time on the weekends, my kids are instructed to go play together in their room. I love and miss them during the work week, but I am not just a mum, I’m also Matt’s wife, I’m also Stephanie, and I also run our household. There are things I have to get done, and my boys understand that. My children – while Matt and I both spend time playing with them – understand that the world doesn’t begin and end with them. This allows them to find ways to entertain themselves, it builds imagination, and it teaches them to get along with each other without constant intervention.

Let Boys Be Boys

We follow the rules and don’t take toy guns or weapons to daycare. But I’ll be darned if my boys aren’t allowed to be little boys when they’re at home. They have several toy guns and it’s constantly a good guy vs. bad guy battle in my house. I feel like this teaches them to do the things they want to do, while respecting other’s rules and regulations. It also teaches them that there are differing opinions about things in this world and that’s ok. We can like and believe in the things we want, while respecting that others may not agree with us.

My children are all but ignored when they ask for something without using manners. They understand that when someone addresses or speaks to them, they are to speak back. When we go out to eat, we don’t take 5 electronic devices to keep them ‘entertained’ for the 15 minutes we have to wait for our food. If Hendrix is ‘bored’ (and I use that term loosely), then he can put on his jacket and go play outside.

Everyone parents differently, and I respect that. The current generation may be one that expects nothing less than everything from this world. But I know of two gentlemen that are going to be able to accept failure and move on having learned something from it.

My Gentlemen Will Be Resilient

I know of two gentlemen who will be hurt emotionally, but who will be able to work through the hurt and carry on with life. I will cushion the emotional fall as much as a mum can, but I will not completely prevent it from happening. They will not expect whoever hurt them to be punished. Heck, I might even teach my children the power of forgiveness.

These two gentlemen will understand the value of hard work, and know that hard work is required to get where one wants to be in life.

They will, while understanding the need for caution, appreciate that not everyone out there is out to get them. Not everyone is out to do evil things.

The World Doesn’t Revolve Around Them!

These gentlemen will understand that there are about a gazillion people in this world. While they are incredibly special to me and my family, they are not special to the world. That probably sounds terrible, but people! It’s the harsh truth, and it needs embraced!

I know that I can’t change the mindset of modern parents. That’s never been and never will be my goal. I just want to make sure that I raise my sons to grow into respectable men who can thrive and succeed, due to having been prepared to do so.

My kids are not the centre of my world because I love them enough not to allow them to be.

Are your kids the centre of your world? Do you agree with this mum’s attitude towards parenting? Tell us in the comments below.

  • Great article!

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  • This is really good article to read. Every parent love their child. Teaching kids to solve their own problem not a mean thing. It will be life lesson for them to get when they grow up.

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  • Great read! This is me letting go since last year and letting the kids learn for them and not doing everything for them. I feel happier knowing they will grow up know how to look after themselves and able to do things for themselves without burdening others.

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  • Great read! I’m trying to let go a bit.. every family is different & I guess mine comes from feeling like a failure so I over compensate.. Thanks

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  • Amen to this! People are very quick to judge always remember what is good for one family or one child isn’t necessarily the same for others.

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  • Very well written. I know people who never learned to grow up. My brother’s ex wife’s mother used to come once a week to clean their house as she did everything for their kids. My niece and nephew were amazed that my 3 year old could fill her own bowl with cereal, they were 7 and 9. My children, now 5 and 7, can run a household if necessary. Our job is to prepare them for the future.

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  • A really great written article. Thanks for sharing!

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  • I completely agree.

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  • My boys and my grandchildren are my world but they’re not the “centre of my world”. They have grown into 2 wonderful gentlemen who can handle life without my intervention. It’s now me who turns to them.

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  • Yes I agree to a certain extent. With 2 of my kids having special needs a lot of my time energy and attention does go to them though

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  • Everyone deals with things differently I guess.

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  • Yes and no. I agree with so much in this article. You can only parent in the way that works for you. I have raised a young, resilient man who has been bullied, has Aspergers, is a hard worker, but struggles with understanding some social cues etc. So we have to work hard with him on that. We also work hard on him understanding he is not everyone’s person, everyone’s type, and can be too much and too full on. We’re teaching him how to be an independent young man and thinker. And we will continue to do so. But we think we’ve done OK.

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  • Yes and no. Spending time with your kids is very important, however, so is teaching them patience. My kids know that before we spend family time together they need to tidy up. Sometimes I do something else while I wait. They’re slowly learning that just because they say ‘I’m done’ doesn’t mean I drop everything. They made me wait so now they need to wait for me.

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  • I love my baby but I agree with this article, she’s not going to be the absolute centre of my world.

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  • Great read. I really never took advice from anyone just parented my way

    Reply

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