Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Generation X Parents - At it again

Image from here
I was speaking to a friend yesterday about the joys of being a Gen X parent.

Recently she moved house and her children have changed schools. She is currently on her 'best behaviour', trying to fit in with the new school crowd. You know how it is.

Anyway, she received a group email from another Grade 1 school Mum which went something along the lines of:

I don't want to name names or anything but there is a child in class who is telling all the other kids that Santa is not real. I really want this to stop because it is distressing my child.

WTF!?! Can you believe this meddling Mum?

Kids have been finding out about Santa and pretending not to know for ever haven't they? And parents have been pretending not to know that their kids are pretending so that everyone can continue to enjoy the Christmas gift giving experience.

I've said it before but I will say it again. Gen X are turning out to be crappy parents. Kids need disappointment, failure and other negative experiences so they can grow and develop resilience. Why do we feel the need to wrap our children in cotton wool?

My friend was worried that it was her child who was doing the myth busting. She asked me how I would respond to the email.

'Honestly', I said. 'I'd delete it. Let Princess Control Freak deal with her own issues'.
 
How would you respond to an email like this?

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tough one! It sucks when your kid comes home and tells you classmates told them this, that etc. it happens and I don't think you can control it. My son is on the borderline of wanting to believe still but listens to classmates who tell him otherwise but I hope that when he knows the whole truth I will teach him to respect others and not ruin it by keeping what he knows to himself. Recently my son told me that one of his classmates doesn't celebrate Christmas or rememberance day as his dad says all those soldiers deserved to die- shocked to say the least but there is no accounting for what others teach their kids!

Sam-O said...

Oh Dear! From a Gen X parent who was onto Santa at 4 and kept it to myself for the sake of my baby brother, I'm frankly amazed that people expect their kids to be so clueless at 7!

I do worry about this generation we are growing. Most parents seem to have forgotten their own childhoods and cotton wool their kids within an inch of their lives. No wonder there are more home accidents presenting at emergency departments - no kids are allowed anywhere else or to develop gross motor skills to avoid them.
I got into trouble from a passing nurse (we live behind Hornsby Hospital) because my boys were playing in the front yard (and fighting as they do) and I was not standing 1 metre away 'parenting them'! I am a free range parent. But it is a scary world to be one in. Everyone is starting to lean towards keeping kids wrapped in cotton wool.
I remember riding my bike into town at 6 year old sans helmet and playing without constant supervision and even making my own choices, good and bad. That's how I learned to make good choices and think things through before acting. What are these children of helicopter Gen X parents going to be like as adults?
Great post. Sorry about the rant...

Shari said...

Lol - as a mother and a member of the gen Y community, our friends are discussing how we might be seen as the harsh parents who believe that there should only be one present in the pass the parcel and that entire classes aren't automatically invited to birthday parties...

MultipleMum said...

Oh Shari! You are speaking my language. I'll post Part 2 of my conversation with this friend tonight and you will be gob smacked!

MultipleMum said...

Rant away! I wouldn't call myself free-range but I can't helicopter. I just have too many kids. I like you're style - ignore the do-gooders

MultipleMum said...

Good point. If your child is in the know earlier than others, teach them to respect others. There's a little sadness when rational thinking takes over magical thinking. Thanks for your comment.

Coal Valley View said...

I'm with you MM. I just wouldn't respond. This Mother is going to be a nervous wreck within a couple of years if she is this worked up over the Santa issue. Oh she is going to be very distressed over the sort of conversations that take place in the playground in years to come....Mel x

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be the odd one out here and disagree with you all. I am a Gen X parent, and while I do have a strong belief that kids need to be independent and learn to deal with disappointment, I think it's a bit sad when kids have their illusions shattered so young. I know it happened to all of us, but I think - if you are a Gen X parent - we were probably a bit older when it did. I actually think it's important for our kids to hold on to magic for as long as they can.

Having said that, if that was a direct transcription of the email, I think it was a bit blunt. There are ways and means of getting your message across, and possibly if she had been a little more gracious it may have been better received.

Maybe her child is being given a hard time because they still believe in the big red dude, and the email was a reaction to that?

rhonda said...

I hate the "everyone gets a trophy" mentality. I think I am technically considered a Gen X parenter, but I had my son so young that he's way past the grade of 1! Maybe that's why I don't have issues. I think they need to experience disappointment and failure. How will they ever appreciate hard work and success otherwise?

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