.......the more I wish some things would've stayed the same.
Now I know I'm getting along in years......At 45, I'm already old enough to remember a time when religion and politics were NOT discussed in polite company, and the way these topics are used today---mainly as weapons to be used against people who don't believe the same things we do---is deplorable. All one has to do is read the newspaper, watch TV, or even check out some of the political threads on this BB to know that these subjects, which were once taboo, ought to be put back in the closet for the sake of civility. But it won't happen.....you can't unring the bell, or force people to shut up and try to get along.
I remember a time when sexuality was one's own business. I don't even want to know what other married couples do in the privacy of their own bedrooms, let alone what Adam and Steve are up to. I also do not want to know what's happening in the sex lives of Hollywood stars, athletes, Presidents, or my grown children.
I remember a time when we did NOT wear pajamas out in public. As 'earthy' as I am, I'm also enough of a lady that I don't want anyone not related to me to see me in my nightclothes; yet my kids---and even my 20-something co-workers---have told me I'm too uptight. In fact, my kids seem to get a kick out of my discomfiture when they bring their friends into the house, without notice, while I'm sitting at the computer in my PJs on a Saturday morning. Indeed, they see nothing wrong with wearing their own jammies all day when entertaining company while I, at least, want to have a bra on when I meet someone for the first time.....or the twentieth.
I remember a time when kids could play, climb trees, ride their bikes with the wind in their hair, and just be kids without being so 'safe' that fun is no longer, well.......fun
. When I was growing up, you played on the monkey bars, and when you fell off and broke your arm, you got a cast and all your classmates signed it. Today, it's grounds for a lawsuit, and now they've put all these wood chips under the playground equipment that give you splinters and get into everything you own, including your clothes, your hair, even your underwear. Of course, kids hardly even venture outside anymore, not only because there are so many indoor activities (cable TV, computer games, videos etc.) but because just about everything my generation used to call 'play' is over-regulated to the point where it's no longer enjoyable. And I think childhood has lost something very valuable, along with the old rickety swing sets and the merry-go-rounds that used to go so fast that you were apt to fly off and plow up a couple of acres with your nose if you lost your grip.
And I remember a time when adults ruled, when whatever Mom or Dad said was law, and God help you if you strayed too far beyond your proper station in the household pecking order. It's not that I think kids should be 'seen and not heard', but damn it, I
had to EARN the right to eat junk food whenever I felt like it, see R-rated movies, make decisions about the way I looked and wore my clothes, even cuss.......and I earned it by living long enough
. Today's generation seems to think these privileges are theirs by birthright, and having to parent against the social grain---to deny one's own kids these "rights" while the vast majority of their age-mates enjoy them without limits---makes a tough job far tougher than it has to be. And even though I've largely succeeded in raising four pretty decent human beings, I'm not happy about having had to do it in a culture which devalues respect for adults and other authority figures under the misguided concept that adults and kids should be equals. I'm sorry, but kids already HAVE buddies; they need us to be parents
End of rant. Thanks for reading!
Jul 6, '04
Quote from warrior woman
Oh God! I almost forgot PLAY DATES!!!! The very term pisses me off. When I was a kid, it was just PLAY on the PLAYGROUND with other kids and your friends,not some scheduled,organized,prearranged time set by the parents for their convienience. Play was our outlet for our worries,aggressions,ect. If we had a beef with another kid, usually by the time the recess bell rang for us to go back to class the crisis usually had blown over. Now a lot of schools have done away with recess in order to focus more on PROFICIENCY TESTS of all things. We now have a generation of kids who are understimulated, overmedicated, and JUST PLAIN MISERABLE because we in our infinite wisdom have gradually taken something as precious and important as childhood play and have chipped away and whittled it down to PLAY DATES. The fact that there are 8 year olds on ulcer medication, because they are torn up with worry over something as IMHO meaningless and capricious as proficiency tests is a damn disgrace, and a crying shame. Let me tell you something, One test does not a smart/dumb person make. Some kids just can't take standardized tests well. I couldn't in either high school or college,and I finished 4th in my LPN class. Sorry I'm so emotional about this, but this has been a sore spot with me for awhile. Thanks for listening to a crotchety old fart!! LOL!
Warrior Woman, I'm 3 years older & crotchetier than you, :chuckle and this is a MAJOR issue with me. As the parent of a 10-year old, I want to monitor my dd's "social life", but I DO NOT want to run it. Play dates??? I cringe when I hear the term. Fortunately we live in a neighborhood crawling with kids so generally my daughter arranges her own play (after her household responsibilities) by simply walking outside and/or calling her friend who lives 4 houses away. This is as it should be. I will, on occasion, drive her to see friends from school who live further away, or have her invite them to our house, but how they choose to spend their time is largely up to them (within DA RULES). They do not need me to amuse them. Unfortunately some of my contemporaries who are still playing the "competitive motherhood" game feel the need to arrange play dates, complete with elaborately scheduled activities with considerable parental involvement, and then wonder why their kids are unable to amuse themselves for more than 5 minutes at a time. Go figure.
Last edit by Altra on Jul 6, '04
: Reason: continued ranting .... :)