09 June 2004

We're now dealing with the generation of children who's parents were so into monetary gain, children were interesting things to have.. but weren't anything to stop the career for. Television & video games were the babysitters and educators.

The 90s was when that godsawful phrase "quality time" was put into play. That was the concept that, spending an hour a day with your kid, was perfectly acceptable.. so long as it was "quality". Meaning, you could all watch the same TV show together. Why actually spend ALL your free time with your child when you had "quality time"? That's plenty.

People need to realize that, if you have children, that *IS* your free time. That's what you do when you get home from work. Tough shit if you're tired or want to do "your own thing". You decided to have a child. It is YOUR responsibility to focus on said child. YOUR time comes at their bed time. If you don't like it, you shouldn't have had kids.

Now the time you NEED to spend with your child, of course, changes as they age. I know damned well my daughter DOESN'T want to spend all day with mom. She goes out and plays with her friends, she reads or draws in her room, etc. But I make sure to set aside time for just her and I. As much time as *SHE* wants. If it's a few hours, dandy.. if she's in a "I just want to be by myself mood" it may just be the dinner hour.

Parents also stopped checking in on their kids. They forgot to include in "quality time" to REALLY talk to their children. I know how puberty is progressing for my daughter, we've already had the sex talk, I know about her fears and concerns, I know what she wants to be when she grows up, and I've had many discussions about life in general with her.

I honestly doubt many parents really do that. I know mine didn't, which is specifically *WHY* I am trying so hard with MY daughter. I give her independence with the caveat that it *CAN* be taken away if she proves herself irresponsible.

THEN the whole issue of punishment comes into affect. We're now dealing with the "Time Out" generation. We're dealing with the offspring of the parents who were too afraid to discipline their children. With all the threats of lawsuit and all the government agencies stepping in at the drop of a hat, parents didn't want to bother.

So little Timmy or little Suzie would get out of hand. Mom or Dad would be standing there in a mild voice "now Timmy, don't do that.. that's not a nice thing to do" and Timmy would keep tearing the house up or acting like a small animal. "Oh Timmy.. we're going to have to put you in Time Out." Oh big deal. He sits in a chair for 20mins for setting fire to the cat. That'll teach him the consequences of his actions.

Finally, the WORST one of all. Parents who try to be "friends" with their kids. I want my daughter to love me, I want her to respect me, I want her to come talk to me when something is on her mind, I want an open relationship.. I do NOT want to be her pal. That blurs the line between an authority figure and a buddy. You'd laugh if your buddy tried to discipline you.

Being "the cool mom" is a misnomer. What kind of principles and ethics are you teaching your child if you smoke pot with them, let them do whatever the hell they want, drink or have sex in your house.. etc?

Am I saying to be an overbearing ogre? No, but they are CHILDREN. They need BOUNDERIES. They NEED discipline if they're going to grow up to be decent, functioning, contributing members of society.

I'm trying my damndest and so far.. I have a polite, well mannered, respectful, affectionate child with good grades. Is she perfect? No, but I try my hardest to actually PARENT. That DOES seem to make a difference, especially having met some of her peers. (foul mouthed, rude little bastards, some of em)

All I can do is try my best and hope. All I can do is actually PARENT.

Those of you who think your parents are overbearing assholes? Thank them, they care about you and want you to be a decent human being, able to function independently.

Those of you with "cool parents" who let you get away with murder.. tell them to knock it off and be parents. They're doing you NO favors and you will suffer for it later. Trust me, I've seen people with both kinds of parents. You don't want to be in the "cool parents" group, post 20.


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