If I read another article about how my generation of parents is screwing up because our kids are too self-absorbed, spoiled, and staring at screens all day, I just might lose it.
Of course, there are spoiled, self-absorbed kids in my generation. This is true of every generation. This is not new information, people. But somehow it seems like the generations before us are so ready to tell us how when they were kids, everything was amazing, and their parenting style was the only way to raise good people.
Here’s the thing, I think my generation of parents is genuinely kicking ass at parenting. We’re trying to navigate new territory with the whole smartphone thing. Our kids know how to use a computer from the womb basically, but we’re figuring it out. And I don’t think we’re ruining anything.
The truth is, I believe this next generation is not going to grow up to be self-absorbed human beings. I believe they’re going to change the world. And that has a lot to do with the amazing parents they have behind them kicking ass, and here’s just a few things (of many) I think we’re getting right.
We’re trying really hard to raise open-minded, accepting people. Yes, there is a lot of work to be done to create a more accepting world, but it starts in the home. We’re teaching our kids to embrace differences, love others, and to accept those around us. That can only lead to a world that is a lot more tolerant and loving, and frankly, we need more of that.
We’re focusing on raising kind kids. I want my kids to be compassionate. I think we’re trying really hard to make sure that our kids look out for others and care about those around them. I think this is a step toward making the world free of hate. We dream of that, and we know that it starts with us, and we take that challenge seriously.
We try to connect with our kids. The “kids should be seen and not heard” generation is a thing of the past. We want to hang out with our kids. We want family time. We want them to want to come home and bring their friends too. We want them to grow up and come back to visit often. And we do that by connecting with them now.
We value science and use all the knowledge we have to our advantage. We have a lot of information at our fingertips, and we know how to use it. This is not a bad thing. It can feel overwhelming to us at times as we try to weed through all the conflicting information, but we value what science tells us, and we act on it.
We fight for causes we believe in, and our kids are watching. We are setting examples for our kids that it’s important not to stand by and let something happen just because that’s the way it’s always been done. We are standing up, speaking out, rallying, and protesting for the causes we believe in. Our kids are learning to fight for what’s right and good and fair.
We take care of ourselves. We show our kids the importance of self-care and not sacrificing all that we are for them. They will grow up to know that it’s important to fight for what makes them happy too. They will learn that while it’s important to serve others, it’s also important to take care of yourself. We want them to know they can’t pour from an empty cup.
We are taking away stigmas by speaking our truth. While previous generations don’t understand our need for “oversharing,” the reality is that by speaking our truth and sharing our struggles with the world, we are changing it. Mental health issues will become more understood and less stigmatized, and our children will not suffer silently like we did.
We set limits for our kids in this new technological world. I sat in front of the TV for hours as a kid, and I think I turned out fine. But parents today are trying to navigate a world where technology is at our fingertips and constantly begging for our kids’ attention. But we know it, and we’re setting limits.
We still push them outside. We value the outdoors and nature, and the positive effect it has on our well-being. We get our kids outside to ride bicycles, get dirty, and run free. We try to take care of our environment and teach our kids to appreciate it too.
We document our kids’ lives not so they will be self-absorbed, but so that their childhoods will be treasured. We understand our time is short, and that parenting is a gift.
We take the damn selfie not because we’re selfish, but because we actually try to love ourselves exactly as we are. That’s not a bad example for our kids either. We also want them to know that we were there, an active, engaged part of their favorite childhood memories.
We believe our kids are human beings that need to be respected. Generations before might think we’re spoiling them, but trust me when I say we’re not. We’re trying hard not to raise ungrateful brats. But we are trying hard to listen to them, and understand them, and teach them. Sometimes that means respecting what they have to say, even though we have more life experience.
I could go on and on about all the things this generation of parents is getting right. And I’m not saying that the previous generation got it all wrong either. I just believe that every generation gets a little better than the generation before, and I think we’re doing pretty damn good.
So, how about a little respect and support from the previous generation who didn’t face a lot of the challenges parents face today? We are not doing it all wrong. Our kids are amazing, and they will change the world.