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Are we sending our kids into the real world with a 'deer in headlights' look?

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DISCLAIMER: If I were to pass a note to my husband that said, “Check the box for YES or NO... Am I too easy on my kids?” not only would he check the box for “YES,” but he would shade the whole thing in so I got the point.

Okay, I get it. We bring these beautiful, little beings into the world and vow from the day they are born to protect them from all evils that might cross their path. We make visitors go through a sanitizing regiment like they are preparing to enter the ER Surgical Suite just to hold this precious being, that we are so sure will advance through life doing “no wrong”. We pad every dangerous corner in our house at the first sight that our little one is going to start to roll or make the army crawl look like Neil Armstrong’s first step on the the moon. Then we spend the next day padding the area we already padded just to make sure.

There is nothing wrong with that at the baby stage, but can we do the same for them until they turn the age of 18 and send them off on their own expecting them not to bump their head? As I was chasing my little ones around the house making sure they stay away from items that are hot or walking beside them to make sure they do not fall off the porch that is a mere 6 inches from the ground, my husband is in the background commenting that they will only touch the hot item or fall off the porch once and a lesson would be learned. How dare he? That is my baby, but I truly get where is he going with those unnecessary comments.

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Each generation wants to give their child a better life than they had, but does it come with a so called ”price?”

So is this plan truly best for our child?

We must keep our child happy at all times.

When a kid “cuts” in front of our child in the cafeteria, march into the school and demand answers.

If our child gets detention, remind that teacher that your child does no wrong.

If our children does not make the team, start a petition to get them added to the roster.

If our children are struggling in school, do their homework for them.

If someone tells our child they have cooties, call the school to fill out a bullying report.

When the new “Jordan’s” come out, wait in line to spare the stress on our child when they hear they are “backordered”.

When we “think” to ask our children to cut the grass, remind ourself that they work so hard at school and they don’t needed added chores.

When our children comment below their breath that they are hungry, run to get them what they need.

When our child wants a brand new car at 16, sign the papers so they have the same as their friends.

When our child is accused of being disrespectful, snicker and tell our child that if that adult wants to play, they can bring it.

When the job fair is set up at school, keep our child home because they can not possibly get a job and be responsible for going to school.

Summer job! Our children need time to de-stress.

Never ask them to clean their room, they didn’t ask to come into this world.

Give them $50 each weekend so they can do things we were not able to do.

Never wake them up before they are ready; they need 12 hours of sleep a day.

Make sure that they are only in an environment that is pleasant.

Never let them see their parents arguing,

Never use a curse word in front of them.

Spank my kid; are you crazy?

Man, I am having too much fun with this and I could go on. Seems ridiculous? But this all happens daily with some parents and their children.

Now back to my initial disclaimer. Yes, I did the padded room thing. Yes, I followed my kids around to make sure they did not fall or get burned. Yes, I stick up for them when I know they are right. BUT, I also require choirs; any hours they can get at work they will take; no, their car is not brand new but it gets them where they need to go. If they get cut from a team-so be it; if they are on a losing team-suck it up and they better have a positive attitude. Finally, I will never wait in line for a new pair tennis shoes.

When the teacher calls home and says my kids are wrong, I believe them because they are adults and yes my kids are going to cross the line. I “never say never” where my kids are concerned, but say “how long do I have before they make a bad decision.” If someone calls them a name - So What? - In my job, I get called names daily and I am okay. (Note: I do not promote bullying, just the opposite, but if someone does call my kid a name, I am not calling in the armed forces). I know my kids do stuff that I do not catch, but if I catch them- Watch Out.

True stories below that at times left me scratching my head and wondering when some children are held accountable:

PARENT: Did you tell my kid they have an assigned seat in the cafeteria?
ME: Yes!
PARENT: Well that is not acceptable!
ME: (Yikes! Hope they do not get a job and they are assigned to a specific department.)

PARENT: Did you call the crisis center on my kid? (Note: the child is cutting her arms until they bleed)
ME: Yes!
PARENT; You will be hearing from my attorney. How dare you assume she is trying to hurt herself!
Me: (scratching my head and head home to pray this child does not do something more drastic.)

PARENT: Did you really suspend my kid for calling his teacher a “f-ing” moron?
ME: Yes!
PARENT: That teacher probably is and the truth hurts!
Me: (still scratching my head! Can’t wait until they try that on their first boss!)

PARENT: Did you really make my kid take an assessment when they told you they did not study? (The child had two weeks to study)
ME: Yes!
PARENT: Well, I demand a retest.
ME: (I hope one day this student does not have any work deadlines!)

PARENT: Did you tell my kid they have to walk on the right side of the hall?
ME: Yes, with every other student walking that direction.
PARENT: Well, it is a free country; he can walk were he pleases.
ME: (Clear the roads when he gets a driver’s license.)

PARENT: Did you bench my child from their game because he has a D average?
ME: Yes! They are student athletes and school is first priority.
PARENT: Well he is the best player on the team and you just lost the game for them.
ME: No, ma’am, your son contributed to that.

PARENT: I want my child’s schedule to go like this....
ME: That is not how it works. We do not request in the middle school.
PARENT: Well, I live in a neighborhood that pays more taxes so you will make an exception.
ME: No, I will not. All students are equal here at this school.

PARENT: Did you yell at my kid because he was running after another kid with a sharp pencil trying to stab him?
ME: Yes and I also suspended him for his actions.
PARENT: Well...that

kid is bullying him and he had ever right to do that.

PARENT: Are you accusing my child of cheating?
ME: Yes! Both students turned in the exact same report including their hand drawn graphics.
PARENT: Well, my child would not do that and they do not lie.

So I sit here pondering - What are we doing to this generation of youth? Are we okay setting them up to never hold a position where there is a superior passing out work orders; where someone in the office calls them a name and have their mom call the office; where they cut corners at work causing them to be fired and they are now in the unemployment line; where they don’t want to work so they exercise their right to “opt out” of the task. Is this the future we want for our children? Do we want “Deer in the Headlights” children who cannot survive in the real world?

Think back several generations to the generation who worked while in school and made an honest living. Their parents supported the schools on discipline issues, expected their kids to earn their expensive shoes and cars, and to show RESPECT !

Enough said!

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