Driving home yesterday from a speech in Walled Lake, Michigan I heard a commercial for “Winners”. I was shocked and saddened. There was a young girl yelling at her mom because she didn’t purchase her the right clothes. She said, “Don’t you know mom, what I wear to school will make or break me!” The announcer then said, “Get your children what they want!”
People try and buy their children’s love, they want to be their kids buddies, they buy them all the name brands and designer labels. Some parents dress their little girls (6 year olds) in tops that say “Dangerous Devil”, “My mom is naughty!”, “I get what I want because I am cute”. These are shirts I actually saw at 12 Oaks Mall in Michigan yesterday. I even saw a baby shirt that said, “I’m living proof my mom is easy”
They put their 12 year olds in short, shorts and wonder why at 16 their boys have little respect for women or for that matter their girls for themselves. We can’t expect our children to grow up until we as parents grow up and become adults and start parenting.
In twenty years of running a summer camp I know a few things. One, your child can survive and actually will enjoy being unplugged. Two, for sure your children are sponges. You get drunk in front of them, they will be more apt to get drunk, smoke drugs or do hard drugs they will too. As a parent you have a responsibility to teach and positively influence your children and your neighbours. Your actions, language and comments are being sucked in by them.
The biggest challenge with this generation, the children, is the last one is so not ready to shape today’s. PLEASE be a parent. Love your children, they actually want to spend time with you. Remember when going out for dinner was special? They will love board games if we choose to be engaged with them. It’s more valuable than any app or video game.
Let them Play outside (running on the Wii Fit is not playing outside). Allow them to get their designer clothes really dirty and embrace every single cut, bruise and scrape. You did and you survived. Stop taking their childhood away. They aren’t your BFF’s they are your opportunity to create a better tomorrow. Love them, teach them and spend time with them. They don’t have to be cool like you were or you were not. They really just want to be your child and be happy.
I am not perfect, I am always working at being a better dad. I know I can do more and have made BIG steps to be more “there” for my three amazing kids. Like any work of art it takes time and effort. Shouldn’t we treat our children as if they were the most beautiful creations on the planet? To shape and colour in with the most vibrant of colours available.
Something to think about.