Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Five Ways We're Making Parenting Harder

Lately, I've been stumbling upon some really great parental articles online. "5 Ways We're Making Parenting Harder" was one of those articles.

Megan Spreer wrote: "Is it me or has parenting become exponentially more difficult in the last 10 years? When I was a kid, I remember spending my days eating Spaghetti-Os, watching marathons of Muppet Babies, and playing outside for hours and hours with no adult in sight. You know what that's considered now? Neglect. Maybe this is always true of the current generation, but we seem to have deemed ourselves parenting experts and consider everything our parents did to be wrong. In some ways, this is a good thing (e.g. Riding in the backs of pick-up trucks). In other ways it's just absolutely ridiculous."

She then goes on to list five examples of this "harder parenting" we are putting on ourselves. These include:
  1. Birthday parties -- So true. Did you ever have a birthday party growing up the size of the ones that we throw now-a-days for our kids. What is with this? Because I was so sick during the last year, we opted for much simpler birthday parties for all our kids. And they loved them just the same.
  2. Elf on a shelf -- The author discusses the complexity of adding yet another "thing" to our seasonal "To Do" list.
  3. Organic everything -- The cost is so incredible. We feel so responsible to do everything "perfect" by our kids. But we didn't eat organic. And we turned out just fine.
  4. Kids sports -- Yes again! We have opted not to put our kids in sports ... yet. I was a college athlete and didn't play my first sport (and even then, it was softball, not the sports that I ended up playing more intensely) until I was 9. And if they do play, does it have to be so intensive?
  5. Pinterest -- Oh man. Agree. Agree. Agree. We are all trying to keep up with the Jones'. Enough already!
So what do you think? Feel the need to be a super parent?

To read the article in it's entirety, click here.


Kell said...

Pinterest. I love it. I think it depends how you use it. I have learned so many tips that have actually made things easier for me. Granted, I have seen some over-the-top things that make me feel like I'm not doing things well enough, but overall, I think it's been a positive addition to my life :)

Anonymous said...

Amen! to the birthday party point. We just started out having the boys' friends at our house for a few games, playing outside (provided the weather cooperates - an April birthday in MN), having cake and opening presents. But we soon found out that it wasn't much of a birthday party (not that my boys complained). But the boys have been to many friends birthday parties since they started school (in 4th grade now). They've been to the pool (in the summer), bowling, to a high school football game, Bounce World (several times), Chuck E. Cheese, and even to Nickelodeon Universe at the Mall of America. Having parties like this (which I must admit we've done the Bounce World, Chuck E. Cheese, bowling...etc parties - not all in the same year) is expensive. This year the boys will be in for a shock because they won't be getting a big party like that this year.

Sports is another thing that I don't understand. Parents are so invested in making sure that their child is the best player on the team that they get carried away. Only focused on winning and not playing to have fun and to learn the game. The boys have been in sports since they were 4 just to learn the basics. We will not drive them 40 miles round trip to play in a larger city. How many of these kids will play a professional sport? How can you teach your children to lose gracefully when everyone else is focused only on winning. One of the boys' summer baseball coaches to them that if you're not playing to win then why play and that "it's all about winning." Hopefully the boys listen to us more than others.


Dr. Linda said...

It's hard to keep up with those Joneses. They're pretty awesome. ;)

Mrs. H said...

soooo very true...sadly.

Becky said...

Yes, yes, yes! So agree with you. The birthday party thing was/is so intimidating to me, I mean seriously you can't just put out food nowadays it is supposed to have some kind of cutesy name card that goes along with your theme. What?!?! Like a three year old cares about that! The way I see it, if it's not fun for my child than why am I doing it, and so I didn't. :)

I love this post from Rage Against the Minivan about St. Patrick's Day and all the holiday madness, http://www.rageagainsttheminivan.com/2013/03/lets-bring-holidays-down-notch.html

Kiley said...

I hate to admititbut I am "that parent" I don't watch my kids play on the playground. We live on 4 acres of land yet live on a very busy road. Some call it neglect. Others bed parenting. But I feelif I taught my kids well. And trust them. They will make good decisions. And they have. They know where the limits are. And if they abuse them then the loose more then just the freedom to play. . They are free to play in rooms of the house without my supervision. Even my 10 month old. I don't necessarily "baby proof" my house. I want my kids to be free explorers and know there limits.

If I am at a playground with my kids. You won't find me being the mom who watches them and hovers over them. I will keep my eye on you but give you room to grow and explore. Most kids learn to pump a swing around 3-4 years old. My kids learn at 2 1/2. They can climb and slide and handle there own very early on.

I am also the hands on mom who helps them learn to read and write and color and draw and learn math and science. But it's not always text book.

I am proud of the parent I am. How I raise all of my kiddos (all 6 of them) and know that I am the mom who people gossip about and say how bad I am. But for 10+ years the worse thing tht has happened was one of my kids broke there arm. And it was because I was sitting right next to her while she ate supper and she fell off the chair. The one time I do watch my kiddos and they get hurt.

Keeping up with the Jones' for me is just raising my kids to be happy, healthy, and respectful of others and themselves. Sometimes less is more :-)


Anonymous said...

Kiley, Don't be afraid to admit that you're "that parent." It's good you don't hover. I try not to, but it's hard. I have to learn to stop saying "no" all the time. My kids don't know what to do if I tell them to go outside and play...to 'find something to do.' They're stumped. We're working on that. So, you're doing the right thing and you're doing what's best for you and your family. Kudos.