The other day I asked a youngish kid, maybe 10 years old, to kindly not play behind my car, in my driveway, because it wasn’t very safe. Her response to me was, “I don’t have to. I can play wherever I want.” Which led me to:
Only the strong survive…
How did we manage to survive our childhood? According to present day norms, I shouldn’t be here. You either, most likely. If you were to believe the propaganda coming down the media poop chute, children must be delicate Faberge Egg creatures, which require shelter under thick, impenetrable glass domes. They are little kid lab specimens, groomed and kept for parental amusement. The kids can’t get dirty, they must play in structured group settings and are fed a diet of entitlement. During seasonal gatherings, parents can show off their collection and boast about Little Sally’s exceptional talents for sorting buttons, or coloring mostly within the lines. And everybody gets a participation trophy…
While this seems innocent enough, these lab specimen kids will be unable to survive outside of their protective bubble, in the real world. Recall one of the scenes from the Hunger Games , if you will, that moment when the games begin and all the tributes are released from their starting spots. Who goes down first? The weak and unprepared. Now I’m not saying we need to train future generations in Ninja warfare, but they do need to survive, on their own.
We have created a population of a self-indulgent entitled critters who toss a hissy fit when things don’t go their way. “I want it now!”
We survived standing on the front seat while Dad chain-smoked and drove. Drinking from the garden hose was the only water you got, and there was no such thing as a bicycle helmet. You fell down, you got back up. You certainly didn’t get a trophy when you lost. Experiencing life’s ups, downs and road bumps makes you prepared for what’s ahead.
- Do stop them from sticking a fork in the light socket. Don’t make them use a plastic spork.
- Do teach them to live within their means. Don’t teach them that their means can be extended until their credit cards are maxed out.
- Do set a good example. Don’t have little Johnny fetch your bong.
- Do show them respect for others. Don’t forget to show them respect — they need to know what that feels like.
- Do keep them off my lawn. Don’t be afraid to say, no.
I’m not encouraging parents to let their flock turn feral. That form of neglect only leads to future generations of photos posted on the People of WallMart website. Parents of these snot bedraggled ragamuffins won’t feel the rise of the Lord of the Flies until it’s too late. Off the cliff they go… There is a happy middle ground here. While you figure out what that is, just keep them off my lawn.
I’m about to redesign the website, paring it down a making it a bit and more user friendly (I hope). So if something doesn’t look right to you, give me a shout and let me know.