Once upon a time, there were parents who weren’t afraid of their kids. They didn’t worry if little Johnny liked them or not. There were four words that rang out in my house: “None of your business.”
These days, the kids have a say on everything from family vacation plans to their preference on what car we’re going to buy. They’re sticking their noses in and worst, we’re letting them.
This is the generation of no spanking. This is the generation where everybody is special. This is the generation where, if you play a sport, everyone wins a trophy. When did we get so wishy-washy?
I was talking with a woman the other day who was legitimately concerned that her daughter might actually lose a contest at school. The kids were all to design a T-shirt. The woman knew that there were a lot of variables that wouldn’t favor her kid winning.
“I told my daughter that art was very subjective,” she said. “I told her that there were a lot of people, but she believes that if you try hard enough, anything is possible and you’ll win.”
“Too much Disney,” I said.
She fretted that the daughter would be especially angry because the mother had actually designed the shirt.
She groaned about how the schools shouldn’t have these “competitions” and something about putting too much pressure on the kids.
By the way, her daughter is in preschool.
I said, “Well that’s how kids learn about disappointment. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
Our conversation rolled into her other concerns, such as how the school wasn’t “academic” enough. They’re not focusing on colors, numbers and the like.
Funny, I never thought about that. I thought that the main goal was to teach kids that school equals fun.
Preschool is that magical time when kids learn about taking turns, walking in lines, listening to the teacher and raising their hands to speak.
She looked at me like we were on two completely different planets.
I told her, “Hey it could be worse, she could be involved in a totally different kind of T-shirt contest; lighten up.”