Thursday, February 21, 2013
Our wifi has been down for several days, I have to try and get online from Grandma's side of the house. Again, a first world problem. Cry me a river.
Dr. Tim Elmore last night mentioned several times that we parents, "Need to prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child," in reference to the helicopter parents and those who'd go to extraordinary lengths to make life way too easy on kids, leaving them feeling both entitled plus woefully unprepared for life's pitfalls, of which there'll be many.
We went 30 minutes over our usual Wednesday night services dismissal time, yet he was fascinating, certainly has his finger on the pulse of that which is frustrating to parents nowadays.
I'm one of the weird ones who has parented continuously since 1973, I've seen mongo changes, technology being at the forefront.
There were times in Sarah's growing up years when we didn't even have a TV, we never had enough money back then to splurge on much of anything at all, I was a very young parent, still concentrating on getting my career underway, plus working on advanced college degrees - clueless, like everyone else, as to what was up ahead.
Now I feel and sound like the doddering old grandparents who talk about what it was like 'back in the day'.
Elmore said that nowadays many kids don't get their first job of any kind until after college, he recalled how jobs were a rite of passage when he was a teenager, nowadays teens kind of have it made, plugged up in their parent's homes playing video games. A great deal of college students are in college partying on federal loans that'll have to be paid back someday, precipitating their own financial crisis that'll hit them upside their heads one fine day in the future that they're unprepared to face.
All of my menial labor jobs back when I was a teenager kinda taught me more than college ever did, in that I knew this wasn't what I wanted to do. I best study hard and get better jobs or be stuck asking folks if they want fries with that for the rest of my existence. "Clean up on Aisle 2," not an option for me, lemme outta here I screamed, studying hard to advance myself. "What a tool," is how industrious folks like that are now portrayed. Huh? Rich people on TV are portrayed as snooty while the prostitute is the sympathetic character just trying to make a living. When did we get it all so backwards? The police are characterized as corrupt and we root for the thieves? What the crap is wrong with us?
I might be wrong, but I don't remember any single one of my peers having college loans back in the 1970s, we all worked several jobs at a time, my own parents paid my tuition and books, wisely figuring they could invest in my future or be stuck helping me pay bills for life.
Tuition was cheaper back then too, now wildly inflated in response to the ease with which imaginary money has been used for the next several decades, which in turn helped prompt this recession in response.
One of my grown kids was bellyaching on the phone yesterday about her also grown birth sibs, "I'm only trying to help them," she wailed in complete frustration, in reference to the many talks she's had with them about the necessity of them getting jobs.
"Tell me about it," I wryly commented, having now spent 40 years talking about crap like that to kids.
"Well," she continued, oblivious to how many years I'd been trying to get through to her, "I'm kicking 'em out, I have my own kids to take care of."
Yeah, it's pretty discouraging overall. Hollywood portraying false ideals and ridiculous assumptions about life, kids thinking it's for real, folks growing up lacking much of a conscience. Yep, I'm a doddering old fool missing the days of a handshake being representative of one's word.
My mom sailed through her cataract surgery, home recuperating, needing little care, striving to remain independent, which she is, a very strong 82 year old woman, they don't make 'em like that anymore.
As I drove to pick up CW, now almost 17, from his Kroger job last night, I thought about all those tough years when I took him, as an infant through toddlerhood, with me, as I picked up my various older kids from jobs, while I still had one myself that I had to get up for everyday even though I had 20 plus kids at home. Tough toenails Cindy. I had to do what I had to do, many sleepless years, but I chose this life, the one in which I knew I had to work very hard. I had no alternative, no Plan B at the time, retirement up ahead though.
I then didn't know that I'd have a bunch more kids, two more infants, and quite a few traumatized toddlers to raise up. I'd been raised to get the job done. Period.
I, like every other parent, am right frustrated with trying to get that point across to this generation.
The Bible says, "If you don't work, you don't eat." It's that simple, yet an entire generation remains buffaloed and stuck,as if we're the stupid ones for having done all that work.