I have been writing a lot lately about how I hate the fast rate in which my girlies are growing. Mostly because I will miss their snuggles and have a constant fear that they won't need me anymore. Although, most of us parents know this to be false, it nags me almost on the daily. After some contemplation though, it dawned on me some of the real reasons why I am so terrified of my littles getting older and being launched into the real world.
Number one. Technology. I am scared out of my mind that my six year old is already asking me for a smart phone. I know that we absorb ourselves in our phones, tablets, etc all day. But SIX YEARS OLD. To this I respond, you don't need one until you can drive. She claims Papa C always lets her drive and that if she drives with him, she should have a cell phone. Well, aren't you the skilled negotiator (does not get it from her mama). Bottom line is, I think technology is behind so many of the battles we are fighting today with our little ones: the bullying, self esteem issues, and even mental health problems such as anxiety. She recently had an accident on the school playground where she scraped her nose up pretty good and I was shocked at how self conscious she was about it - to the point it nearly brought her to tears a time or two. Insert some of the horrible self-image concepts portrayed on social media and the internet, and it is a little frightening to think about. I want my kids to be THEM. Not have a constant comparison guide to go by. Nope you don't get a cell phone yet. Sorry angel face.
Number two. Brings me back to point number one and the bullying factor. Remember when you were in kindergarten and the worst thing that might happen is little Sally wet her pants or little Johnny wouldn't give you the blue crayon? Well not anymore folks! These days kids in kindergarten are clockin each other in the back of the head and physically assaulting each other on the playground. I know this because there was a point in time already where my oldest flat out refused to even get out of the truck to go into school because she was so scared of another little boy in her class. Administration's response post several conversations about the matter: nothing. If we can't trust the people who are with our kids every day to protect and care for them, this is becoming a very scary world. On another note, if you are the parent of the bully, wouldn't you deserve to be made aware and then potentially interfere? Wouldn't you be mortified? Or is this where the children are learning such behavior? A few weeks before we were made aware of the problem child at school, I had an in-depth conversation with Addie about how important it is to be kind to everyone, no matter what. Then I thought... is this really what I ought to be teaching? Will this lead to her being meek and just trying to tolerate horrible behavior and people? It made me second guess everything that seems to be common sense, because if nobody is going to protect her, she needs to learn to protect herself...
Number three. The world just isn't what it used to be. Anyone else have fond memories of driving dad's old Chevy around at 12 or 13 years old? Not locking the door? Walking miles to the bus stop without a worry? Your parents not being worried about you being home alone because of the lack of bad guys combined with you are not an idiot and have common sense? The people didn't judge you for spanking your kid or yelling in public? It's sad there is so much restriction these days (NOT saying I make spanking a habit fyi or think there should be free reign at whippin them). What I mean is, taking away a certain amount of independence from children is what ultimately leads to them having no idea how to handle responsibility as adults. These are all my opinions, I am sure there are plenty that will disagree. But I believe I became who I am today in part because I was trusted to get home from school, make a snack, watch my sisters, drive the truck, check on the irrigation, etc.
Number four. Finally. I know. Long winded today. Seems like with time, kids are increasingly not being taught skills they NEED, but more of what is deemed necessary but the uppers in the education system. I remember soooooo vividly being done with high school and having to do my taxes for the first time thinking, why didn't I learn this in school? I am especially worried for my oldest because she constantly tells me how boring kindergarten is and asking why they have to keep practicing writing the number one, because it's just a line. Good question darling. I wish it was a little more flexible and there was a tad more room for individualization, as I fear she will be lost in the system. Yes, I know what you're going to say. Well the parents can teach them that stuff too.... But sorry I don't recall the last time I used any geometry or calculus - and I'm a Pharmacist with a doctorate.
Food for thought. And because I like to rant.