The New American Style of Parenting!

An old buddy told me something about his parenting that I considered a bit odd. However, I wonder if it’s odd that I found his parenting style a bit odd. After all, what he told me was no different than how we were raised.

He told me that when he and his wife take their two children on their annual summer beach vacation, it’s a great time because everyone gets to do exactly what they want. They accomplish this through him and his wife doing their thing while their kids go off and do their own thing. Basically, they just let their kids go play on their own. Some days the kids leave right after breakfast and they don’t come back until dinner time. Can you believe that?

Initially, I was a bit concerned about this one. “Are the kids safe?” I was wondered, even though, that very same behavior of hopping on our bikes after breakfast, taking off and not coming back until dinner was exactly what we did as kids. That’s just how things were back then, and we seemed to turn out okay; regardless, of what our wives may half-jokingly say…

I wonder what will our kids look like in the future if we continue not letting our children practice in small ways, how to be independent? Well, I’m not sure. But, I guess they’re not going to look like us, their own parents- who were molded during the old days of when we were expected to figure things out and pick our own selves up after each failure… Kind of ironic that the generation of Americans who had to do most things for themselves, don’t let their own kids do much at all for themselves, wouldn’t you agree?

Now, as my Granddaddy always said, “Go learn, lead, and lay the way to a better world for all of us.” Let’s really spend some extra time thinking about what it is that we’re really trying to accomplish with our children. And once again parents, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

James Parkinson