Parenting Today – Part 2

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by raisingteenageboys No Comments

We hear from scores of parents that their own childhood was one of freedom, exploring their environment often for the entire day. Mothers seemed to say in harmony, as long as you're home for dinner or, come straight home when the streetlights come on. A magnificent innocence to these wonderful stories speaks of a simple life lasting well into the teenage years.


Perhaps this is somewhat romanticised, but how did we get from there to here?


Many of these stories are far removed from those we hear today. Nowadays it is common to see parents organizing a raft of activities for their children and madly running around after them. When left to their own devices the children will sit indoors in front of their entertainment device of choice.


Indoors has so many more distractions for children these days and keeps them from going outdoors. Backyards and imaginations are getting smaller while TV's are getting bigger!


So children today are (usually) less able to entertain themselves and more easily bored.


How many parents feel guilty when their children proclaim 'I'm Bored'?


What is the quality of connection throughout the busyness of rushing around?


How is the quest to renovate and upgrade houses, cars, devices, and so on, helpful for our children today? Can we literally and metaphorically afford it?


I remember going to a rich kid's house for the weekend when I was about 14. This house today would be considered well below par – it was a large concrete bunker with an in-ground pool out the back. Many houses today seem to resemble magazine covers or mini-resorts, rather than a lived in (and loved in) homes.


In my own neighbourhood as a child, there was one family with an above ground pool and all the local children would flock there during summer holidays! It was a carefree and simple life where imaginative play was essential.


Whatever your financial situation, the pressures of the culture are pulling our money literally out of our pockets. Think about the equipment children carry around these days – laptops, phones, and so on – cost thousands of dollars and what did you carry around when a young teenager? Would the total sum of your clothing, bag, and equipment have cost more than $25?


I hope we can find that middle ground where children still do explore their environment with curiosity and fun and are modern children with all the necessary competencies required of them to function in a more complicated world than the one in which we grew up.


So what is your story? Be real about it, think about the things you loved as a teenager, AND what were the things that were challenging for you. We'll cover this more a bit later as being connected to our own stories is helpful when engaging with our teenagers AND it is good to share our stories with our children. So hopefully this will get you thinking and talking about your own life.


We hope you are enjoying this food for thought…


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