You know what? I get it. Miley looked like a stripper. Blah blah, women's rights blah blah. Stop acting so shocked, everyone. Anyone remember Madonna and her bras? Or Marilyn Monroe and the air blowing up her dress? Or friggin Mae West "come up and see me sometime??? This is nothing new. This is not "what the world has become," or "I weep for little girls everywhere." It's already here. Been like that for EVER. Stop being a whiny baby and worrying about some sad child star shaking it on TV influencing your innocent children.
STEP UP and teach them that good self-esteem comes from working hard, being independent, making smart decisions and being a graceful winner and a graceful loser.
I get so sick of people blaming the world at large for ruining their kids’ lives. You know who’s ruining your kids’ life?
You who lives so fearfully that you would rather your child play 98767 hours of video games inside because you are convinced if he goes out to ride his bike (without you) that he will be :
2. Hit by a car
3. Kidnapped after being hit by a car
4. Negatively influenced by Miley Cyrus and then kidnapped
Guess what, folks? If you never let your child have an opportunity to make a decision he will have no self-esteem at all. Because he will not believe in himself enough to know the right thing to do.
Every single one of us remembers riding our bike one day after school and seeing the creepy guy hanging around the playground. Every single one of us instinctively knew – GET AWAY. And we did. Nowadays – we don’t even let our kids go anywhere without us hovering over them, fearfully. They don’t have a chance to size up a situation and make a decision about it. They are told to be afraid of anything their parents are not a part of.
I hope you have enough bubble wrap to last into his 30s.
I know the media scares us. Believe me, I grieve when I hear about those horrible stories of children being taken, hurt or killed. It’s sick. And, like you, I would do anything to protect my children from such horrors.
But does that mean keep them in a box? Does that mean keeping the umbilical cord firmly connected? Does that mean restricting them to the point that they themselves are too scared to try anything new because of what horrible things might happen??
NO NO NO NO NO NO NO.
(The truth is more abuse and kidnappings happen by the people we already know and trust, folks. Coaches, family members, priests etc.)
Mark my words. August 27, 2013. I am saying that by age 30, 75% of our generation of children will STILL BE LIVING AT HOME. They will be small minded, fearful, and totally dependent on Mommy and Daddy to make decisions for them and to support them emotionally and financially. They will not have the wherewithal to withstand stress and change, they will not have the self-esteem to make good decisions and they will not have the independent spirit to do what it takes support themselves, let alone a family.
What’s my point?
Let them live NOW.
1. Are they 3rd grade and up? Let them ride their bikes around the neighborhood – without it being a “family bike ride.” Tell them “be home by 3pm.” Expect them home by then.
2. Stop putting lawn chairs out and watching them play Foursquare in the street. Remember growing up and yelling “CAR!”? They can do that too. Only do the chair thing if you are with friends and having beers.
3. Are you making school lunches for your little babies? Stop it. If a kid is in kindergarten – they can make a sandwich.
4. Are they using legos? Building cool ships and cities? Then they can fold their own damn laundry. And put it away. They can also pack their backpacks. They can put groceries away too!
5. Let them walk the dog without you.
6. If they come to you with a popsicle and cannot open it – do NOT open it. Tell them to figure it out.
7. Instead of specifically instructing – do this, then do this, then do this – say “I don’t know. What do you think you should do?” Mean it.
8. Let natural consequences be their guide. You don’t brush your teeth long enough? Guess who’s getting drilled at the next dentist appt?
9. Don’t hide from the Miley Cyrus story. If it presents itself – don’t tell them what to think. ASK THEM. Ask them to share with you what they feel. What they take away from it is a way to help guide their personal decisions in the future.
10. Raise your expectations on behavior and responsibility. Expect more. You will get more.
And believe me – I know it’s a pain to let a kid make a mess when he makes his lunch. I know that it’s easier for me to do it. But what’s the price?
I’m not perfect. I don’t always do it right. But I am so tired of seeing parents “wussify” their kids. But maybe I should keep my mouth shut – let you keep your kids afraid of their own shadows.
Because that means my kids will take over the world.
***UPDATE*** A fan has created her own interpretation of this blog. It is both hilarious and hilarious. I'm honored beyond belief and hope more of you do stuff like this. Spread the word, Cussers! WATCH HERE: