You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘generation x parenting’ tag.

Someone was saying the other day that the ‘Babyboomers’ and ‘X’/’Y’ generations are more selfish than those that came before them. Some have more money, others want everything now and think that life will serve them up a platter of roses out of all their um… rubbish!

We look at how our parents raised us and balk at doing some of the same things but happily adopt others. You can look at advertising telling the Baby Boomers to spend their children’s inheritance whereas generations past work their butts off to provide for their families, so they were set up for generations to come. Gen Y has had a terrible rap recently about how impatient they are to get ‘things’ with their so-called poor work ethic. And for those Gen X-ers in the middle who are mostly parents now, well we just can’t seem to grow up!

Is the world really in such a terrible shape with the people of today? Nup! I think humanity is selfish and scared and always has been. Sure, from gen to gen it has looked different but people are people, no matter what culture or from which part of history you dig back to.

Today journalist Elizabeth Farrelly wrote a damning article about the state of women and mothers in this day and age (http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/your-chicks-or-your-career-do-you-really-want-what-hes-having-20110316-1bx75.html). It’s all about the present attitude of people who want it all: career, children, travel, success etc without stopping to think about what ‘all of it’ means. It is truthful and insightful and a little, wee bit controversial. But someone has to say it!

In some ways I think the present generation is parenting better than any that came before it but in another way, we are totally failing our kids. The truth is you can’t have it all. Parenting means sacrifice and often it is the kids that are sacrificed for the career. It’s a hard thing to say but what kind of generation will grow up if they haven’t been given the time or attention that they need to learn right from wrong? Time will tell, but I’m telling you, I’m scared!

I’m not singling out the single parents or others that NEED to work, it’s just the ones that choose it over the very serious responsibility of parenthood. Afterall, who is bringing up child if the parents are not?

Advertisements

As hard as I try, nine times out of ten, my son beats me in Star Wars Guess Who? It’s freaky. Once, he guessed straight out that I had Obi-wan. The boy is incredible.

My son loves to win. And I try really hard to beat him, not to be mean but because he’s not always going to win out there. And I do like winning too. I mean if you can’t beat a five year old, who are you going to beat?

So, the other day we set up the humble Snakes and Ladders game. We sat down and after a few unfortunate snake incidents for my son, and a few lucky ladders for myself, I was declared the winner! Hip hip hooray for me! However, my opponent was not so happy. The bottom lip flapped to the ground, the eyes followed the droop of the lip and between clenched teeth he said, ” you can win all the time”. Sigh.

He then ran to his room, flung himself on his bed and screamed. Not a happy camper. When the calm finally came, I sat with him in our ‘chat spot’, looking out the window. How to explain losing to a five year old? I spoke about bad sportsmanship, about how my sporting team ALWAYS loses and we simply shake hands with the other team, “good game”, said sometimes through my own clenched teeth. I advised him to play games purely for the pleasure of it, for fun. Then I left him with the threat that I’d sit him down and read Oh the places you’ll go to him. Dr. Seuss at his best. Here’s a taste of what would be on offer:

“Wherever you fly, you’ll be best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t.
Because, sometimes you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
that Bang-ups
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.”

I love that our generation is a positive one. We tell our kids to reach for the stars. They can do anything cos they’re completely awesome! It’s a very encouraging perspective. But, for me, I want my kids to be happy to fail, to lose and be kind about it. To instill a genuine contentment when they lose would be so valuable. I don’t think I’ve done a top notch job in this department as yet, but I will keep chipping away at it.

And one sunny day, with birds chirping and rabbits scurrying, I’ll sit down in my charming garden with my son, dice in hand, tears brimming in our eyes simultaneously, peace thick in the air, ready to attack Snakes and Ladders with passion, energy and joy, despite the fact that I will kick his butt!

Categories