Friday, February 17, 2012

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

The other day a friend posted a great article about how we're raising a generation of helpless kids. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Mickey-goodman/are-we-raising-a-generati_b_1249706.html Here's an additional, similar article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rhiana-maidenberg/generation-x-parents_b_1257602.html?ref=parents

The timing couldn't have been better. This past weekend Champ & I had a great conversation with a friend about "kids today." Her husband had chaperoned the annual 5th grade overnight trip and couldn't believe how helpless some of the kids were. One of the kids couldn't flush the toilet in the cabin. Not that the toilet wouldn't flush, it was that the kid couldn't. Like flat out said, "I can't." One of the mom's on the trip repeatedly stopped smack dab in the middle of the activities to tie her kids shoe. The woman dropped everything, knelt on the ground and put the kid's foot on her thigh so she could tie the shoe. Did I mention these are 5th graders?

Champ decided to share a funny story from one of the very first out of town lacrosse trips they took. After a long bus ride and a late hotel check-in, the bus driver unloaded the equipment from underneath the bus and placed everything on the sidewalk in front of the hotel. The majority of boys grabbed their bags as they walked into the hotel to check-in. Of course, there were a couple of boys that were either so entirely clueless or so entirely spoiled that they just left their bags on the ground and STEPPED over them to get into the hotel. Who did they think was going to carry their equipment for them? Oh yeah! Mommy & Daddy! That's who! After the coaches gave the boys heir room keys, gathered them all up in the lobby and told them, "the bus is leaving at XXX o'clock in the morning for the field. Be down in the lobby in your full uniform, with all of your equipment at XXX o'clock and give yourself plenty of time to have breakfast." One of the boys looked at Champ positively stricken with fear and said, "Coach. How will I know what time to wake up??" Honest to God. Champ looked at him and said, "What do you mean??" The kid said, "Who's going to wake us up?" And then it dawned on Champ. This kid's mommy has been waking him up since kindergarten. Sure enough. This kid had never set an alarm clock in his life. Didn't even know how to set the alarm setting on his fancy iPhone. Mommy woke him up every morning for school, made him breakfast, had his backpack ready to go by the door and drove him to school EVERY morning. The kid was a high-schooler.


I actually happen to really enjoy watching these movies w/ KJ!!!



And then, over on the Today Show, they're talking about parents who won't read Fairy Tales to their kids anymore because they are "Too Scary."
http://moms.today.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/16/10419753-survey-parents-think-classic-fairy-tales-are-too-scary-for-kids


What in the world are we doing to our kids?? We give out participation ribbons/medals in youth sports and we celebrate mediocrity. I know. I know. Not everyone is going to be an academic or athletic superstar. I get it. But when we tell kids, "It's OK. You did your best" when maybe they really didn't do their best, some thing's wrong. Our friend the chaperon said all weekend he heard nothing but excuses: "I'm doing my very best" or "Well, I'm trying." You know these kids hear that at home. "Well, honey. Just do your best. That's all anyone can ask of you." True. We want our kids to do their best and give their very best effort in whatever they do. However, what we're really implying is "Do your very best AND THEN SOME."

Now, I'm not one of those Chinese Tiger Mom's by any means but I do hope Cosmo & I have given our kids the skills and knowledge to become secure, confident, mature, responsible functioning human beings. Our kids have always had daily chores to do in our house (even when I had a cleaning lady, the girls were still responsible for their rooms) and have always had to help do yardwork. T has been working part-time at the lacrosse store since it opened and KJ will follow in her footsteps when the time comes. The girls have played sports since they were little (soccer, dance, softball, lacrosse and now volleyball). They have always been responsible for their own uniforms and equipment. The rule is: "Keep your stuff together." Take your cleats off, put them right back in the duffel bag. Take your uniform off, put it right in the laundry room. I can't wash it if it's stuffed in the bottom of your bag. Daughter #1 has always been responsible. I don't think she's EVER called me in a panic because she forgot something or lost something. I do remember one time after a violent thunderstorm at the softball fields that sent us all scrambling, T's coach called and said he found her glove in the dugout. KJ on the other hand is a complete mess. We've shown up at dance only to find out we have one tap shoe. We've arrived at lacrosse without a stick. She's called me in a tizzy from school several times because she's forgotten an assignment or her gym clothes and is going to get in trouble or have to sit out. Oh well. That'll learn ya'. That'll learn ya' real quick.

1 comment:

Monica said...

Valerie,
Love your post! It is so true! The kids these day have no idea how to take care of themselfs in the real word! I'm a lot like you in the way Steve and I have brought up our kids! Thay have and always will have chores, help with supper and know how to set an alarm clock!
Great Post!
Monica



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