Every child is a perfect blessing, I know, I know, but seriously...What is going on?!"
It all came crashing down when I realized, this generation is off the charts with their grasp on reality.
We were out the other day, when we saw another family with two boys, around 10 and 12 years old, wearing headphones with their cell phones, zombie walking behind their parents. Sure it was nice because the kids were happy, the parents were happy and the peace and harmony were enviable as our kids had each other in headlocks to the death, but really?
Then, we ran to get a bite to eat. The table beside us had a family of five. Every. Single. One of them spent their meal on their phones. They made no eye contact, not with each other, not with their server - and there was little to no conversation. Nada.
Before I could get all, "That would never happen in my family" about it, I'll take you through the misery at our house.
The other morning, our four were watching TV instead of getting ready for school. Their clothes were on, so in their minds, they were good to go. Two of the boys started arguing over wanting to play Xbox, (don't even get me started on the Xbox) while the other two wanted to finish the show.
"Guys, are you ready?"
"Shoes, teeth brushed, backpacks?"
"I can't find my shoes."
As I'm busily finishing their lunches, I shove some trash into the overflowing bin.
"Guys, someone needs to grab the trash."
While putting their lunches in their backpacks, I notice a few sheets that need to be signed, "What are these forms?"
"A field trip."
I'm starting to come undone. Not one of them have come to the kitchen, eaten breakfast (that I made) helped with chores, done one thing.
"That's it. TV off. It's time for school."
Four grumpy kids grumble to the kitchen, when it hits me. They're spoiled. They don't have to work, they don't have to do anything. Sure, they'll do their chores for allowance, but that's different. There's no motivation to do one thing for any level of responsibility. They don't have responsibility. There are kids in this world who have JOBS at their age, kids that take care of families and younger siblings, and my kids can't change a roll of toilet paper.
"Get ready for school, get your stuff and get in the car."
"But we're hungry!"
"Then stop watching TV and eat your breakfast."
"Where are your coats? It's freezing."
-Sweet Moses, why don't they ever wear coats?
"Guys, you HAVE to find your shoes. Where are your shoes?"
Scrambling in the car, my blood is now boiling.
"What do you guys do to take care of yourselves? Do you cook? Clean? Can anyone do a load of laundry? Do you know how to turn on the washing machine? Dishwasher? Do you realize in a matter of years, especially you older two, you're all going to leave this house? There are NO MOMS IN COLLEGE. Who's going to take care of you? When you're on your own, how will you have clean clothes, matching shoes, hot meals, toilet paper? Do you even know how toilet paper magically appears in our house? Do you think fairies come in the night?
As we pull into school, the Assistant Principal saw my face and knew it had been a colorful morning.
Grunting, I gave the kids quick hugs as they ran off, "I'm raising morons", I growl while he smiles back.
Driving to work, I was mad and upset with them and myself. They can make me crazy, which is what kids do, but it's just as much my fault as it is theirs. If my kids leave the house without knowing how to survive a day, there's a problem with that. The more time we allow our kids to sit and watch TV, play video games, be on their iPads and cell phones, the more disservice we're doing.
Sure, it's convenient, but at what cost? The social/emotional side is disturbing enough, but the sheer lack of responsibility and activity in everyday life is alarming.
One of my best friends, Tricia has about the best outlook of all. She'll tease her teenaged daughter saying, "You know, you have a pretty amazing life if you'd ever get your nose out of your cell phone and live it."
Amen, Tricia. Amen.
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