I sat in my cubical today and received a Tweet from @MensHealthMag, oops, I mean, Men’s Health Magazine (for those of you that don’t speak Twit). It said, “Kid goes into McDonald’s and orders..yogurt? Is the fast food industry finally taking childhood obesity seriously?” That got me thinking. I remember going to McDonald’s as a treat. It can be debated whether or not you should reward good behavior with a “treat” of junk food, but that’s not the point. I realized just how much kids go to these fast food joints and intake thousands and thousands of calories. Which then led me to wonder where the parents are. Which then led me to tonight’s topic: Why are we raising a generation of pussies??
Disclaimer: I do not have kids. I have not done any scientific research. This is purely observation based opinion.
Luckily my target demographic probably doesn’t have kids yet. And if you do, please take note. If you happen to be an older reader stumbling across this site, hopefully it makes you think.
So, here’s where most of my confustion comes in. I just got done saying that my target demographic (that means the people that I try to cater this site to) probably aren’t parents yet. See, it’s right up there. But the young parents that are out there really aren’t that much older than me. How can my viewpoints be so different from their’s? I am in your generation. Why can I see that kids these days are in trouble and you can’t? I mean, I have an idea of how I think I will raise my kid(s) someday….maybe….but it is nothing like what I see taking place right now.
Right now, kids are babied. They play sports where everybody wins and nobody loses. They don’t get spanked; they get timeouts or grounded from their iPhones at age 7. They don’t go outside to play; they learn how to program computers (which is fine….when you’re 16). They don’t look up girl’s skirts at recess (don’t even try to tell me you didn’t); they’re too busy walking around with their NintendoDS.
I was at a pro bike race last week and they had a “kid’s ride” before the men started. The announcer said, “Everyone wins tonight, right? We’re all here just to have fun, right? We all get medals tonight, right?” It just pissed me off like no other. I mean, I understand why he had to say it. They can’t promote dangerous riding and risk getting sued, but that was just one example of many. Since when don’t we want our kids to compete? Competing teaches your child so much, but you’re too worried about them getting their feelings hurt that you can’t even see it! Wanting to win is NOT a bad thing. Wanting to win is what creates tomorrow’s leaders. Not only that, but it teaches kids how to lose. I’ve seen so many kids throw tantrums when they finally do have to compete at the age of 13 and end up losing, it’s embarrassing. Maybe if you had them compete at age 5 and let them get their ass kicked once or twice you wouldn’t have a dysfunctional, hormonal teenager on your hands. Hell, you might not even have to put them on anti-depressants! Which leads me to my next point…
What the fuck is up with everyone being diagnosed with ADD and depression these days? I’m not encouraging this by any means, but we used to tease the kids that were on Ritalin. Now you get teased because you’re not! Just because Billy acts up in class doesn’t mean he has ADD. It probably means that he doesn’t get disciplined at home (or in my case as a kid, the material was so easy that I got bored and needed entertainment), and if he does, he gets sent to his room without his cell phone….eventhough he still has a laptop, Wii, Blu Ray, and HDTV. Since when is it wrong to spank your kid? I didn’t say beat the shit out of them; I said spank. Pretty sure everytime I knew I did something wrong, I ran like the wind away from my dad. Unfortunately my 2 foot stride wasn’t quite big enough to get away. I didn’t grow up with “Daddy issues”, I don’t have an abusive streak, and I love joking around, telling stories about it now. Quit being giant vag’s and discipline your kid when need be!
I honestly have no clue about depression these days. I don’t see this generation having to deal with anything more stressful than ours did. I was poor and grew up with rich kids that had more than me. I have always been one of or the shortest and smallest in all of my groups of friends over the years. I have been picked on. I have gotten my ass kicked. I’ve never been on an anti-depressant. Exactly why are we so quick to shove pills down our kid’s throats? Are you too lazy as a parent to spend time with them? Do you not force them to meet real life friends and make them play with them? I remember I used to not be allowed inside the house until at least dark. If I came home later, good as long as my parents knew where I was! Try a little positive social interaction and see what happens to their self-esteem.
To me, this all comes back to the competition and sports argument. Put your kid on a sports team. Teach them how to interact with other humans (teamwork). Teach them it’s ok to win. Teach them is ok to lose. Teach them life’s not fair and that there are definite winners and definite losers. Grow their self-confidence. Teach them leadership skills.
Outside of sports, teach them to take pride in what they do. Discipline them. Let them get their feelings hurt. Teach them how to make it better.
I guess what I’m saying is, start taking more responsibility for the actions of your child. Maybe they’re not the ones to blame…
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.