Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids

Watched this documentary on CBC last night. It was pretty good. Made me a little concerned about my generation – but then I decided that I’m too close to the beginning of this generation with siblings that are Gen Xers so that makes me more of a Gen X than a Gen Y and I was able to sleep soundly.

It’s about how “hover” parenting has become “blackhawk” parenting and the insane pressure that it is putting on kids. Shockingly, as these kids start entering the workforce they’ve got crazy expectations and they have never actually made a decision for themselves in their life.

The boy and I watched this together, and what he took out of it was, “Don’t raise kids in the city” – I disagree. While I was equally uncomfortable as he was watching a parent host a $4000 1st Birthday Party for their child to celebrate “this significant accomplishment” I don’t think this is a geography thing. Maybe you do see it more in major urban centres where parents are working in super competitive jobs and so raise super competitive children but I think it’s more an issue of wanting the best opportunities for your kids – on crack.

What the show left me most curious about is how we got ourselves into this social experiment. My parents read to me every night – they did it to try and instill a love of reading (check) and I’m sure to make me well prepared for school – which would ultimately set me up to be successful in the education system (check). But I think there’s a difference between reading to your kids at night, and signing up your embryo for super private $1200/month preschool. How did that happen?!

When did they drink the kool-aid? If they didn’t have “blackhawk” parents and they turned out to be successful adults – what makes them think their kids will be duds unless they are scheduled to death and “Mommy makes all the decisions?”

I don’t have kids so I guess I can only comment from the outside – and maybe I’ll see it differently when I do, although at this point I really hope not. And I really hope I’m never considering putting a tracking chip under my child’s skin to know where they are at all times.

Maybe all of the Mommy Blogs that are out there and the community of support that is developing for parents that don’t want to, or financially can’t overschedule and overpraise their kids will take some of the pressure off parents to realize “everyone” isn’t on board with this. Maybe blogging will save the next generation.

Or maybe the whole thing is just the older generation saying “these kids and parents today are crazy – back in my day we walked 10 miles to school, uphill, both ways, in 6 feet of snow” – never heard that before!

You can watch the whole show on CBC’s Website – Hyper Parents and Coddled Kids

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