When did parents living through their children become the monument of parenthood? When did kids having schedules jammed pack become the staple to good parenting? When did kids being the best at everything become the focal point of conversation? What happened to children going to school, coming home, going outside, and neighborhood basketball was the highlight of their evening. What happened to the innocence of childhood? As a mother of 6, people always ask me how can you afford them, my answer- children are only as expensive as you make them. In reality, parents make the cost of raising children unbearable. Does your child need to play in every little league sport there is at the age of 3 or are you doing that for your gratitude? The only real expense to children is food, daycare, (if you work) health care, and college fund. Of course there are diapers and formula (if you choose not to breastfeed), but that is short term. Let’s be honest everything else can be budgeted and adjusted. Do you really need to shop at Macy’s for a 2-year-old and how many outfits realistically does a 4 month old need?
In reality many parents have this idea that the more my child does, the nicer their clothes are, the more money I spend on them the better parent I am. As if any of these things classify as a great parent. I have seen 3 year olds in $100 shoes, but they couldn’t count to 10, I would argue the latter speaks volumes about your parenting. It has become that parents across the country are shuttling their poor children around from one activity to the next. I have heard parents in their circles comparing notes on whose child is busier and not to mention whose child is the best on the team or in school. I myself have fell victim to this pomp and circumstance and was running all over the world keeping my kids ‘active’. My question is, have any of these parents really stopped and asked the child is this what you need or for that matter want? I did and their answers were life changing! Most kids want the simple things in life. Many of these kids are being shuttled around, but are completely disconnected from their parents and feel alone. If you were to ask these parents what is your childs favorite color, they probably wouldn’t have the slightest clue, however, they can tell you how many goals they scored in soccer. There is a complete disconnect happening. The idea of family dinner is being replaced by t-ball and cheerleading.
When you ask many of these parents the rationale of their child playing so many sports at such a young age, the rationale is college scholarships or the infamous “maybe they will put me into retirement” I didn’t know that children served as 401k’s now. The reality is there are 7 billion people in the world the chance of their child getting accepted into a pro league or becoming the next president or whatever astronomical goal they have placed on these tiny souls is slim. So what is it with these demands and pressures parents place on their children. When did the idea of childhood and parenthood shift?
I was recently watching Timothy Green, and they were listing off the qualities they wanted in their child. (what happened to we just want a healthy baby) They originally didn’t want a child that was athletic, but once Timothy came that thought was booted out the window and they were pushing Timothy to be something he wasn’t. All the while, it was for their own selfish purpose. Somehow they got caught up in the hoopla of parenting wars of the whois of who of childhood. The husband wanted to redeem his failures as a child with his father and the mother wanted to save face with her sister. The big picture their insecurities were becoming Timothy’s cross to bear.
Don’t allow your fear of failure to become your childs cross to bear. -Tanyell
Timothy was carrying the weight of all his parents issues on his shoulder, and because that is a tall order for a little person, he wasn’t doing so well, which then stressed the parents out and made them want to push him more and more toward unattainable perfection.
Children are not tiny robots that we program and control, they are tiny people that we encourage and love -Tanyell
The one moment in the Movie when they thought their child was going to be the star child…. he kicks the ball into the wrong goal! Is that a not teachable moment for those parents that want their child to be the best at everything. It is so important to understand your child’s best may not be the same as Johnny’s best.
So what is this blog about Tanyell? This is about parents relaxing and allowing children to be children. This is about parents allowing their children to smell the roses and understand that life doesn’t have to be a rat race filled with an overflowing schedule and to do list. This is about parents not passing stress down to their children. this is about slowing life down. This is about parents understanding that family dinners and quality time will always and forever be more meaningful than anything else. This is about parents understanding that heartfelt conversations with your child, bedtime stories, weekend cuddles and lazy afternoons will be the moments that your child will cherish. Sure extra curricula activities are nice and maybe even a little important, however, they aren’t iron mike trophies to great parenting. Children don’t require a lot of money what they do require is a lot of love, patience, and attention. You can have all the money in the world, but if you don’t have those three things to give then maybe you need to rethink the idea of having a child.