Old School vs. New School

Friday , 22, November 2013 Leave a comment

So, I hope I don”t step on any toes here, but I feel like it”s time to talk about a trend going around the internet.

You”ve probably read at least one of the “You”re a good mom even if you let your kids fail!” or “It”s ok if your kids play outside unsupervised!” articles. I admit that I”m usually a fan of them and have been known to share the ones that I find particularly helpful on any given day. But in each article, something always raises my eyebrows: how parents over schedule their kids to the point of them not having any free time, or constantly rescuing their kids, or whatever behavior the article was dissing.

But the thing is, I only know a handful of people who fall into those categories. The fact that most other moms I know also share these articles make me believe that they are in the same mindset. Don”t get me wrong-I”m the farthest thing from a perfect parent. My kids probably eat too much junk food and not enough organic, and they watch more television than they are “supposed” to. They”re spoiled rotten by both my husband and I and their grandparents (though, mostly the grandparents.) I don”t read aloud to them some days.

But they also get outside and play. By casino online themselves! (Granted, it”s in our backyard, but they are left to their own devices.) My 6 year old has chores and an alarm clock that she is responsible for setting every school night .(We”re working on the chores with the 3 year old) We don”t shove a screen in front of them when we”re out to dinner because they need to learn how to act at the table. (OK, there was that one time, but I was really at the end of my rope and needed a few minutes of quiet.) They are expected to say please, thank you, ma”am, sir.

Yesterday, a friend posted this article and it really hit home with me, especially this part:

“Let’s face it. Being on a losing team is not fun. Getting a bad grade on a test is not fun. As parents, we often take extraordinary measures to spare our children from feeling the pain and disappointment that comes along with failure, or simply not being the best.”

You see, Big Sister played softball for the first time this fall. Her team was actually really good, but Sister was the youngest one (by about 2 years) than most of the girls and she struggled. Big time. In fact, it wasn”t until the end of the season-the last game and last practice-that things finally seemed to click with her and she was hitting the ball on a consistent basis. Luckily, she didn”t seem to be bothered by it too much and more than once I admired her stick-with-it attitude. Yes, it was hard for me and my husband to watch. Most things come easily to her and to watch her struggle in this made me wince. But I wasn”t calling her coach after every practice demanding he spend more time with her. I didn”t take her out just because she wasn”t good.

What I wonder, in our effort to teach our kids not to be brats, have we become old school parents?? It makes me wonder what the hot-button issues were when WE were kids. I doubt there was an article in Parents magazine discussing the pros and cons of unsupervised play. I have a feeling it was just the accepted norm back in the day.

I realize that by complaining about these articles, I think I just BECAME one of these articles, but I needed to get it off my chest! How about you-are you an “old school” or “new school” parent?

 

 

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