So, as normal, it's been a few months since I've touched this blog. Life has a funny way of getting in the way of taking time to sit down and write notes down. I started this blog with the intentions of chronicling my son's moments and milestones, but Facebook and Instagram have proven to be a much more efficient way of getting my thoughts down quickly. That being said, today I'm taking my blog in a different direction. Today I'd like to just give my own, personal opinion.
I want to preface this with saying I am a firm believer that I am my son's mother first and friend second. I love my son but I want to mold him into a respectful man. That's a tough job. There are days I feel like I am being judged for getting angry because my son won't eat dinner or throws a tantrum in the store because I refuse to buy him a toy, but in all honesty I don't care what other people think of my parenting skills. I have a generally well behaved, albeit rambunctious, four-year-old who is learning the difference between right and wrong. But let's elaborate on the "respectful" piece I mentioned above.
When I was growing up, I feared my parents. Allow me to explain. I was not scared of my parents. I never felt in danger with them. I never felt like I was going to be harmed by them. But I feared what they thought of me if I did something wrong- I feared disappointing them. As I've grown into an adult, I still apply "what would my parents think" into a lot of my decisions I make. I feel like that was the mentality of kids in my generation and older. We actually cared what our parents thought because they were (are) our parents and not our friends.
I don't think this applies to today's generations of tweens and teenagers. Facebook allows me the opportunity to observe from the outside with it's wonderful security settings and the lack of a filter on today's youth. The number children having sex and doing drugs shocks me and the number of parents that are ok with it shocks me just as much.
Here's a personal story about me. I know I am far from the norm, but I chose to remain a virgin until I was almost 20 years old. This was a personal choice because of my aforementioned fear of my parents and what they would think if I became pregnant in high school. I had plenty of opportunities to engage in sex and drugs but I chose not to. Sure, I had a couple of years in my early 20s where I was, in my opinion, a little out of control, but I was grown and on my own and responsible for my actions. I still, in the back of my mind, feared what my parents would think if they saw how I was acting, but I still made bad decisions but did so on my own turf. I lived on my own, I had a steady job, and I was independent. If I had done these things when I was sixteen, and my parents knew about it, I think they would have killed me. (Obviously not literally- they had three other kids to take care of and it's not likely they could have taken care of them from prison).
Kids today aren't scared of their parents. When a sixteen year old becomes pregnant and her parents are excited about that, there is something wrong. When a child (yes, child) is in prison (not juvenile detention- prison) and the parents refuse to admit their child is a trouble maker, there is something wrong. I'm not talking about an independent adult- if an independent adult makes a bad decision, it's on their back, not their parents- I am talking about a child who is still in school and still lives with their parents and still not legally an adult. While we want to love and embrace our children we live in a society where when our kids make bad decisions we blame someone else and praise them for doing the best they could. It's ridiculous.
Please understand me, I will love my child no matter what. But I will not praise bad decisions- because his bad decisions ultimately are a reflection of my parenting until he is a legal adult and because as a mother it is my job and responsibility to ensure my son is educated and monitored to make good decisions as long as he is a child in my home. I will not be a helicopter mother, I will have to trust him to go out in the world and make good decisions. I know he's going to do stupid things, but I trust that I will instill enough knowledge into him that he knows the difference between good, stupid and bad and applies that knowledge into his every day life.
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