I want to go on the record today in defense of my parents’ generation.
In fact, I want to apologize for my generation of ungrateful complainers.
I think you’re getting a bum rap on social media these days and it’s just not fair.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there’s a lot of FAKE NEWS getting published in order for folks to garner a few laughs and a certain level of sympathy for “how tough parenting is THESE DAYS”…at their expense, and undeservedly so.
It’s all about making excuses for personal inadequacies.
This generation never wants to take the blame for our own mistakes.
Instead, we like to blame the generation before us.
For instance, the past few days I’ve noticed a number of versions of the following post or similar memes on social media – maybe you’ve run across this or something like it somewhere, too?
Do you really believe that WE are actually such paragons of parental virtue?
And do you really believe that the parenting life was just “oh so easy” for our parents’ generation, because we were such easy-going, laid-back, need-nothing kiddos?
THINK BACK to your childhood – at least most of you – and seriously determine whether or not there is actual truth in this.
Did your parents really just “feed you sometimes”???
I know – that’s just a phrase designed for a laugh… but the authors of these funny little posts are really trying to make their point and cast blame while believing if they do it with a little bit of humor then society will swallow the pill of acceptance more easily, and give our generation a pass.
But do we really deserve a pass? Does the previous generation of parents deserve vilification?
I seem to recall that my mom did a heckuva job actually preparing a HOME-COOKED meal for us every night of the week except Friday, which was the night we usually tried to go out to eat at Shoney’s or Bonanza or the Ponderosa. Remember those cheesy steakhouses with the all-you-can-eat salad bars? uh huh.
Anyway, with the crazy schedules WE ALLOW our family to get roped into these days, if we get one home-cooked meal on the table each week, I consider it a victory.
How sad. Especially when there are so many proven and AMAZING REASONS for families to eat dinner together these days.
The truth is that our generation has become a generation of self-centered, narcissistic complainers who like to think that everything is out of our control…that we have to remain enslaved to the way we’ve allowed things to become…so we can whine, and complain, and BLAME everything on “how life is these days – it’s out of our control”, instead of BEING ADULTS and TAKING BACK CONTROL OF OUR LIVES!
First, WE have to admit what we’ve become…
WE are the generation who lets our kids TELL us what they will and won’t eat (or what time they’ll go to bed, and what shows they’ll watch, and games they’ll play), instead of encouraging them to try new things and be thankful for and eat what is provided, setting limits, and monitoring what’s appropriate (instead of JUST letting an “app” do it for us).
WE are the “fast food” generation, who settles for convenience over quality.
WE are the generation who “can’t say no to our kids”, because we’re more concerned about their feelings in the moment than their development and growth as functioning humans and adults in the future.
WE are the generation who settles for ENTERTAINMENT (electronic devices) instead of TRAINING (conversation & discipline) with our kids.
WE are the generation who spends more time and money on teaching kids HOW TO TAKE A TEST rather than teaching them HOW TO LEARN.
WE are the generation who gives TROPHIES FOR JUST SHOWING UP instead of expecting our kids to earn one for actual achievement.
WE are the generation who let expensive “TRAVEL BALL/BAND/FILL-IN-THE-BLANK”, for the elite families who can afford it, take over or take the place of our school and community youth athletics, music, and extracurricular activities, leaving behind those who may have ability but no means to participate. (Hello, wayward but talented children with no healthy activity outlet.)
WE are the generation who medicate ourselves and our children into addiction and an early grave, instead of allowing them and ourselves to feel a little bit of the pain that goes with healing, or feel a little bit of the sadness that goes with life and then taking the time to actually care about and help one another through it, TOGETHER. (I’m not talking about those who actually NEED medication for illnesses – but the OVERuse and abuse of meds and the lack of human touch and empathy in the healing process.)
WE are the generation who took prayer out of schools in exchange for a perverted form of sex ed, teaching them how to put condoms on bananas and get the most out of certain “positions” rather than encouraging “love to wait”.
WE are the generation who turns a blind eye to poverty, sickness, disease, addiction, homelessness, child abuse, human trafficking, depression, and bullying, attaching stigmas and assuming that it’s “someone else’s problem and the school’s/government’s job to recognize and handle it”.
I could go on and on, but you probably get the picture where I’m going with this by now.
It seems to me that my generation of parents could use a dose of reality and a fresh set of eyes on OUR WAYS.
If WE don’t WAKE UP AND CHANGE our ways, the next generation will be creating a fresh set of memes blaming us.
With my genuine apologies to the last generations of parents getting a bum rap on social media these days, I say in all sincerity and gratitude that, even though you weren’t “perfect” (who is?), my generation STILL has a lot to learn from you.