A mother named Stephanie Metz has hit a nerve with her blog post titled "Why My Kids Are NOT the Center of the World." In it, she has some pointed things to say about the kinds of kids we are bringing up now -- ones who think the world centers around them, who believe that mommy and daddy will always be there to spare them any pain or difficulty, and who are, in fact, probably not very well equipped to controversial.handle the bumps and bruises that life is bound to throw their way. I think we need to listen carefully to what this mom of two boys has to say, because she is dead on. Some of it, however, is pretty controversial.
Modern parenting and thinking makes me crazy. The young generations of today (yes, I sound old. I realize I'm only 29 years old.) are being taught that they shouldn't have to ever put up with anything doesn't make their hearts feel like rainbow colored unicorns are running around pooping skittles onto piles of marshmallows. Modern parenting is creating a generation that's not going to be able to function in society.
Oh, my goodness. So true. And it's actually very scary. In my opinion, a lot of the gun violence we see today -- like the LAX shooter, and the New Jersey Paramus Mall shooter, are young troubled men who couldn't handle life. Couldn't handle not always getting what they wanted; couldn't handle life not always being "fair" to them. Sure, mental illness could be involved. But we seek around for clues to mental illness and conveniently ignore the fact that most of the men who have gone on shooting sprees were also supremely unhappy. You can find them in any school, any vocation, any town.
Unhappy because life isn't what they expected. Life isn't like what their parents told them it would be -- parents who storm into schools demanding special treatment for their kids; who sue anyone who looks at them wrong. Stephanie continues:
Your child, who you cater to every need, who you shelter from all things "evil." How will this child react when he or she grows into adulthood? "Debbie" graduates from high school and goes to college. She writes her first paper and meets with her professor about that paper and the professor tells her that it's junk and it will get a failing grade. How will Debbie cope with that if she's always been made to feel that no one should ever make her feel sad, or criticize anything she does?
"Donna" graduates from college and gets a job -- you know, in the real world. She has to work on a committee to come up with a marketing plan. She shoots out an idea, and it gets immediately turned down. What is she to do? Go home and cry because no one liked her idea? Quit her job because she can't handle rejection?
Well, exactly. Children need to learn how to deal with uncomfortable feelings, and if they never learn that -- never learn how to self-soothe, how to ride tumultuous thoughts, and that anger and humiliation dissipate and that it isn't the end of the world if someone thinks you're stupid or ugly -- then they just aren't going to know how to deal when life inevitably throws some shit their way. They then turn to alcohol, prescription drugs, or even violence or suicide.
Some of what Stephanie says is a bit controversial -- such as the fact that bullying is normal, and that teenage girls shouldn't be punished for acting like teenage girls. I disagree. I'm glad bullying is finally getting some attention and not just seen as an acceptable part of childhood as it did when I was young. However, I do think that more attention should be paid to teaching kids how to constructively handle bullying and the ensuing negative emotions, rather than just focusing on zero tolerance for the bullier.
Stephanie concludes with some gems of wisdom, saying:
These gentlemen [her boys] will understand that there are about a gazillion people in this world. While they are incredibly special to me and my family, they are not special to the world. That probably sounds terrible, but people! It's the harsh truth, and it needs embraced!
Amen, Stephanie. Preach, girl.
Do you agree with what Stephanie is saying?
Image via MetzFamilyAdventures/Blogspot