Playdates, gymboree and self-indulgence

They are a blessing.  A precious bundle of joy.  They change our world.  We move from being self-centered adults focused on careers, hobbies and “taking care of ourselves” to being parents devoted to our children.  We fill their every moment with structure and purpose.  Play dates, mommy and me classes and special videos geared to increase their intelligence.  We quite our jobs or hire a person to spend every moment looking at our child.  With all this attention we should be producing a group of amazing people.  Why is american in such trouble?

Perhaps we got it wrong.  The hardest working people in american, in this bloggers opinion, come from middle-class or lower-income families.  Families that can’t afford to have a stay at home mom who fills their children’s life with structured playdates.  I am seeing a pattern developing in our american families that I find troubling.

Spoiled, self-centered children who have lived their life with their parents hovering over them.  Cushioning each fall and filling their time with sports and structured “activities”.

There was once a time when a child rose with the sun and collected the eggs.  Then they fed the cows.  They did their chores at home then walked to school (according to my grandfather, in the snow, up hill….both ways).  They came home, helped with the household chores.  Then they did their studies and went to bed.  There were no “Activities”, just things done to help the family.  In a society of leisure and vacations we are losing what made America strong.  We are losing are heart to self-indulgence. 

Children don’t need “positive attention”.  They need goals and a purpose.  They need to know they are contributing to their family.  They need to be productive, not active.  They need to clean their own room, and not for an allowance…but because they live there.  They need to help with dinner and the laundry.  They need to be  a part of a team and not royalty waited on by their mother whose one goal is to take care of them.  Children in American need a little less attention and a lot more responsibility. 

The proof of this is in the “Worlds Strictest Parents” TV show.  How many spoiled kids with parents who have everything  given to them are shipped off to life with a family on a midwestern farm.  Note the change one week of living there creates in these children. 

Less toys and more time outside is required.  In the “Little House in the Big Woods” the children in that story had one toy…not hundreds.  And even as young as 4 or 5 they were helping their mother make food.   We don’t need to give our children everything, we need to give them morals, responsibility and pride in a job well done.  They won’t get that from an Xbox – but they will get that from helping daddy build a car.  They won’t get that from a structured play date, but they will get that from helping mama make dinner and setting the table.  

We are raising Americas future.  Ask yourself.  Do you want the next generation to have structured playdates or a strong work ethic.  Do you want them to be praised for EVERYTHING they do or for those things they do WELL.  It’s up to us, mom and dad, to help craft a better tomorrow.  I don’t think play dates are gonna cut it.

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5 thoughts on “Playdates, gymboree and self-indulgence

  1. I read once that every child needed, not more parenting, but a little benign neglect. A child who is churning butter, feeding chickens, and helping to tend a kitchen garden does not have to be constantly supervised.

  2. Excellent point. Children are a blessing, and parents are a blessing to them. A home that is well kept and contributed to, by everyone, is a joy to share.

    Child rearing ‘experts’ for the last 50 years have made the mistake that the home should be ‘child-centered’. It should be God-centered, with the hierarchy established by the creator.

    Great blog:)

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