6 Reasons We're All Being Too Wimpy About Parenthood These Days

Linda Sharps | Nov 5, 2013 Being a Mom

You know how older folks -- like your parents, maybe -- sometimes have this obnoxious know-it-all attitude about parenting that's combined with a steadfast belief that everything related to raising kids was better back in their day? Well, I'm not proud to admit it, but in the last couple years, I feel like I've become more and more curmudgeonly about parenting trends, to the point where I'm certain it's only a matter of time until I too am like the cranks shouting about how child-rearing should be done uphill, in the snow. BOTH WAYS.

In fact, I'm going to go ahead and indulge my inner critic with this list of semi-recent parenting tactics I vigorously disapprove of.

(Do you agree with any of these? Or am I just becoming the crazy old lady shouting at kids to get off her damn lawn?)

  • We treat our children like idiots at the dentist

    1

    I took my 8-year-old to the dentist a few weeks ago and the office prepped me ahead of time with a downright insane document instructing me to avoid "negative" (i.e., CORRECT) dental terms in favor of phrases like sleepy juice, sugar bugs, and magic air. Look, I'm all for helping kids not be scared at the dentist, but COME ON. Not only do I think it's a little dangerous to teach a child that medicine is called "juice," I'm not a fan of using cutesy phrases in lieu of real words. For instance: my sons have PENISES, not WEE WEES.

  • Everyone's sucking all the fun out of Halloween

    2

    Forget the war on Christmas, lately it's all about the war on Halloween. Here's a letter a school superintendent recently sent to parents: “There will be no costumes, no candy bags, and no parties. Many students cannot afford costumes and there is an economic disparity. We also have students that are unable to participate for religious or cultural reasons." If it's not the schools that are up in arms, it's the parents themselves -- more and more, I hear people complaining about how spooky decorations and costumes are "too scary" for their kids. Even traditional Halloween candy has become controversial! If you were too much of a selfish asshole to make healthy banana ghosts for all the trick-or-treaters this year (as if any modern parent would let their kid eat a non-packaged treat), I sure hope you at least shopped from the Orangutan Friendly Sustainable Palm Oil Halloween Candy List.

  • Ditto to fireworks

    3

    In my town of Eugene, Oregon, the city council is considering banning fireworks next year because of all the noise complaints during the last Fourth of July. This wouldn't be that unusual, since lots of cities have fireworks bans now. Because god forbid we all endure a little bit of noise a couple nights out of the year, right? Better to just pass an ordinance making it illegal for kids to enjoy the childhood ritual of setting off fireworks in their yard and trying to draw their name with sparklers. Remember, if you don't stop the madness, WHO WILL????

  • Kids are on LEASHES

    4

    I get it, I really do. Toddlers are a nightmare to keep track of, particularly in crowded areas. Still.

     

  • Classic kid movies have gotten wimpy

    5

    My husband and I watched Goonies with our boys the other day and I could hardly believe how extreme it seemed compared to current popular 'family' movies. I mean, the cussing! The corpse in the freezer! The scary Fratelli family and poor deformed Sloth! If this movie came out today, there's no way it would become such a beloved icon, because parents would be losing their damn minds over the PG rating.

  • After-school sports snacks are OUT OF CONTROL

    6

    Remember when you were a kid and you'd get orange slices and water after a game? Now a typical snack includes an individual bottle of Gatorade, a bag of gummy "fruit" chews, and a sleeve of Ritz Bitz crackers and/or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. I'm not vehemently anti-junk food (hey, I'm the one defending Halloween candy!), but why has it become so common to reward kids for an hour of fitness with multiple bags of processed crap? Not to mention the expense in providing treats for an entire group of kids. BRING BACK THE DAMN ORANGES. (And for god's sake, stop doing this shit.)

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