I read a Tim Elmore blog this week about the extension of adolescence. Decades ago, kids just used to be small versions of adults. They were expected to help around the house (without pay) and participate in adult conversation. Things are a little different now.
Josh and I were at dinner last weekend in a restaurant where I saw this family of 4. It was a mom, dad, toddler in a high chair, and a little boy probably about 7 or 8. I watched the mom get an ipad out of her bag. She hooked in headphones and turned on a movie. Then she put the headphones in her sons ears and pressed play so he could watch the movie while they all ate dinner.
I don’t judge parents who let their kids use devices. Josh and I don’t want to use tv and phones as a crutch but I’m not going to say I’ll never be the parent that lets my kid watch tv just so I can get some peace. I will. But this was just too much.
Now, I’m not saying I want to have 10 kids and make them work the family farm. But I do think there is something behind what Tim Elmore is saying about expecting more from our kids.
I think we can we allow our children to be kids without sacrificing the important lessons they’ll need to be successful adults. It’s just harder and takes more energy.
When we say someone is childish, it’s normally not a good thing. But I think we can be childish in that we still have wonder and appreciate the moment we’re in. There is absolutely nothing sweeter than observing a child express pure joy or wonder at the simplest thing.
That doesn’t have to go away. We can always find joy in simple moments. Maybe adulthood sucks so bad and we want to keep our kids from experiencing it because we’re making it too hard.
“Well the more you try to shave the cat
The more the thing will bite and scratch
Its best I think to leave its fur
And to listen to its silky purr
Some people like to make life a little tougher than it is
Some people like to make life a little tougher than it is”
Cake, Tougher Than It Is