Friday, July 23, 2010

Giving Them Up Too Soon Part 2

It isn't just infants that modern parenting is giving up too soon. It seems earlier and earlier we're giving up our kids. Or maybe I should change that to "giving up on our kids."

Giving up our kids isn't a new concept. Latchkey kids of yesterday have been given over to after school programs and day care centers today as the parent or parents have to or choose to work. Johnny playing in the neighborhood until the street lights came on has given over to Johnny in every sport, lesson and play group available. Mary calling Mom on a 10 cent pay phone about her plans has turned into Mary texting Mom from her very own cell phone.

Frankly, if your young child (I'm not talking middle to upper teenager here) is away from you enough to merit owning their own cell phone, then they are away from you too much. That's just my opinion.

But, I'm not so much talking about all that. I'm talking about the general modern culture giving up on their children.

It seems to me that many parents simply want to make it through the day. Let's just survive until they are 18. While schools, play groups, sports, etc can be good tools for raising your children, sometimes I feel as if parents just shift their kids into these groups and thus shift responsibility for the rearing of the children on the teachers and organizers.

It is a yearly ritual for parents to say, "I can't wait until my kids go back to school and get out of my hair!"

Even I sometimes wish public school were a decent option for me so I'd have peace and quiet for the day. (My local public school is NOT a good school at all.)

Even so, 18 isn't always the magic "done with parenting" number. It seems parents are done being parents when their kids are old enough to pretty much care for themselves (get dressed in the morning, grab a Pop Tart and get on the bus by themselves). Then, they seem to turn into wardens or probation officers instead rather than involved parents.

Thankfully, this isn't true for all parents and may not be true for many. But, it is a trend I see and I do believe we ALL at some point give up on our kids in one way or another.

What do you think?


Courtney said...

Yes, it really saddens me when I hear parents speak about the inconvenience of their children. Certainly, giving up sleep is hard, and it can be trying to read a book for the 1,000,000th time, endlessly wipe up spills, help a toddler at the potty 20 times a day, but honestly, what did you expect?? God gave us these children to raise. I think it's just another sad side effect of our culture of death.

Count it all joy.

Juewles said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Love this post! Excellent points! I can definitely relate to the "just surviving" comment. I want to thrive in whatever situation the Lord has me in not just try and get through it. I think so many people miss out on the little blessings the Lord has for us- even in the tough moments of life.

It takes a lot of courage and hard work (and decision making) to raise children. Sometimes when it's tough, I've caught myself thinking, "My daughter would probably just be better off in a daycare where someone who is an expert at raising kids can raise her." It's hard trying to figure out what to do and not do (especially as a new parent). I am so thankful that we can lean on the Lord in those times and rest in Him. It takes a strong mind and spirit (courageous!) to raise your children yourself (and not lean on others or organizations) and in a culture that values instant gratification and whatever is easiest, it is no surprise that people shift parenting responsibility outside of their own realm of direct control. It is so very sad for the parents, children, and society.