I feel like being the mom of six makes me kind of like a professional parent. A professional is defined as; (of a person) engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime. That’s pretty much me as a mom, other than the getting paid part. Unless of course, you consider an endless pile of laundry and dishes at the end of the day a form of payment. I like to tell others that I am paid with love in the form of hugs and kisses. But let’s cut the crap, I’m an overworked and underpaid professional mommy. Which is the reason why I feel like I can say the next few things with validity and confidence. So long Millennials, say hello to generation assholish! Seriously, your three year old does not need an iPhone, in fact, that’s furthest from what he really needs. I’m coming to you with understanding, I assure you, there’s no mom-shaming going on here. Truthfully, the only reason I can write with such confidence on this matter is because I have experience in it. In fact, as I am typing this, my 3 year old has hijacked my phone, to indulge in a Peppa Pig marathon.
It was a couple years ago when I first realized I was raising a Gen-Ass. It was right before Christmas and I was doing our budget trying to decide what meal we could cut out or organ I could sell to make room for the extra funds needed for the elaborate Christmas presents I was planning on gifting my children. I was knee deep in dollar signs and toy adds, all the while Christmas music filling the air with supposed delight, when my oldest came to me and said, “Mom, I need new shoes.” I instantly thought, seriously you little punk, I just bought you new shoes in August, what the hell, your feet grow that fast? But, instead of saying what I was thinking, I politely asked him why he needed new shoes. I then explained to him that his father and I could not afford to continually buy expensive name-brand shoes. I explained to him that from that point on, I would only buy name brand shoes at the beginning of the school year and on request for birthdays or Christmas. It was his response that had me questioning where I went wrong as a parent.
He very dramatically let out an exasperated sigh and went into full Gen-Ass mode. “Are you trying to ruin my life, mom?! Do you want me to get made fun of at school, mom? I hate my life! I’m not wearing velcro shoes, MOM!” That’s when I put the brakes on. “Why in the hell would you have to wear velcro shoes? Are you two or eighty-two?” Apparently, kids these days believe shoes that come from a Wal-Mart or Target only come in velcro. It was this assholish statement that made me rethink this whole parenting thing. It was after this that I made some major “lifestyle” changes for my family. And, it’s out of a feeling of sisterhood and solidarity that I come to you and ask you to please stand with me as we turn the tides and change the course of the future generation. This world is already changing and I would like to believe it was changing for the better, but that just isn’t the case. I look around and all I see are tight jean wearing, Prius driving, latte sipping, no door holding fools. There I said it, and I’ve officially become the old bitchy lady. Young adults these days have no manners. I can’t tell you how many times a young man has let the door shut in my face or how many times I’ve passed by some young person while carrying a heavy load without help being offered. Women, mothers, fathers, really anyone who will listen, HELP! Join forces with me in taking back our world! I’m here for you as a shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen. I’ve got your back!
Here are some ideas to help us raise a generation of KIND adults instead of entitled adults…
- Stop giving your kids choices and asking them to help. YOU pay the bills, YOU carried their kicking little feet for nine months, YOU make the rules, so YOU tell them what to do. If you must give them a choice, make it a choice of two. #1-You do what I say. or #2-You’re ass is grass and I’m the lawn mower.
- Stop digging a debt whole trying to buy your kid the latest and greatest anything.
- Make you kid work for what they want. A little work ethic never hurt anyone.
- Teach them manners, like saying please and thank you, and opening and holding the door for others. If you have a son, go on a date with him and make him pay with that money he is going to earn from #3. Contrary to popular belief actions like these have not and will not go out of style.
- Visit and volunteer in your local homeless shelter. Make them understand what bad really is.
- On Christmas stick to the four present rule: something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read. (Whoever came up with that one was genius!)
- Better yet, reinforce the true meaning of Christmas. Teach them how to give, help them see that it’s more fun than receiving. I never really understood this concept anyway. It’s Jesus’ birthday and we’re the one getting the gifts?!
- Visit our wounded soldiers with your kids. Show them what true sacrifice is.
- Teach them the difference is quality vs. quantity.
- Teach them how to extend love and grace for all walks of life.
All kidding aside (just in case you didn’t already know, this post was meant to make you laugh), when you teach your kids how to love one another and when you allow your kids to experience the consequences of their choices, your kids will turn out all right.