A Reasonable Request

My niece “A” recently turned one. And, in two weeks, my great nephew “E” will also turn one. I love BOTH of them like CRAZY, and had originally planned to write a sweet, touching post about how they represented our future, how theirs would be the world I wished I lived in, blah blah blah… I still believe hope that’s possible and that post is still coming but it got sidelined today as I was searching for quotes about kids. During that inspiration search, I happened upon this brilliant image and it really spoke to me:Kid quote

I have never seen this “suggestion” before but it really makes sense to me. Listen, I have nine – NINE – nieces and nephews. I get it. Parenting is hard. Kids are hard. H-A-R-D. But, I think, or at least hope, that most everyone that IS a parent gave it some thought before they committed to that life-long responsibility. At least they should have…

I am endlessly amazed at just how poorly some children behave, how little respect many children have for their elders and – quite honestly – the absolute cloak of entitlement that 99 out of 100 children wear. I mean, c’mon – I hate to sound like an Old Grandpa or something but when I see ten-year-old’s with an iPhone 5, an iPad, a Kindle, BEATS headphones and  $129+ tennis shoes, I wanna’ scream.

Sure, I’ll admit it – some of it is jealousy. My own childhood, while hardly poverty-stricken, was certainly simpler. And less “high end.”

As a child, both my parents worked so Mom ironed our “school clothes” every Sunday night. Much as I hate to admit it, for my brother and I that meant we got three shirts and two pairs of pants for the week – we “rotated” three different shirts, then repeated. Were we poor? Well, we weren’t rich, but our clothes were clean and pressed and we respected them, the work my parents did to provide them and the value and necessity of caring for them. Today, I see entire clothing stores dedicated to “tween” girls, dressing them like little 30-year-olds in dance clubs. And every time a I see a fifteen-year-old boy dressed head-to-toe in A&F –

kids_lg_100208I want to jump in front of a bus! No offense to Abercrombie & Fitch, but the outfit shown above – at regular retail – totals $157.75 – without underwear, a belt or tax! Again, nothing against A&F, but I see HERDS of children dressed like this at our local upscale mall and wonder – WTF do they/their parents DO that they can afford to outfit their kids like this?

It also makes me ask what sort of values our society is creating when kids “get” cars for their sixteenth birthdays, a ten-day trip to the Bahamas for graduation and graduate college expecting to walk into a $75K+ job.

It makes me sad. Those children have a RUDE awakening coming. And, most of all, instead of the golden future I dream of, it will be a full-blown train wreck, filled with spoiled-rotten adult children that pout and have no idea what being a grown-up even entails. I worry that the generation I had hoped would care and look out for me in my “Golden Years” will nothing but a rudderless, unmotivated, shut-down mess of humanity. So, I ask all parents this favor:

I will work on leaving the planet a better place for your children if you work on leaving children that respect it, respect us and will be better parents to THEIR kids then we were to ours. Deal?

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