We always hear the adage, “Our children are our future.” True. But there’s one very important step before that, our parenting. In fact, we as parents are our future through our children. How we raise and parent our children to become contributing citizens and good people affects their lives of course but we will be relying on these generations to support us also, in our older years. In today’s society, we are quick to judge and stereotype one another. On the other hand, we are witnessing history being made with marriage equality and a sweeping movement of acceptance. To our young, this can all be very confusing and contradictory. I believe parenting is now harder than ever before. From a very young age, our children are being subjected to extreme peer pressure and/or what I like to call media pressure. Although we as humans are great at adapting to change when change is inevitable, we are living in a scary world, but only if we let it be scary. Bullying is at an all time high with the emergence of Social Media in recent years. Technology has made some kids feel more entitled, withdrawn from real life, poor communicators, etc. Random acts of violence are all over the news. And a big one: the media. Ohhhhh the media. We can’t escape it unless we want to live under a rock. Tabloids are all over the checkout aisles in grocery stores, the Kardashians are all over TV, there are shows dedicated to celebrity life, and the list goes on. What does this do to our young children during their most impressionable years?
We as parents need to stick together. Parenthood is the hardest but most rewarding job. It is the most important job. In all reality, when we think of our children’s future, it starts with us as parents. It is up to us to teach our children what acceptance is and how to accept others, despite differences. It is up to us to nip entitlement in the bud and instill a work ethic in our children. Making our children work for what they want won’t make them hate us forever. Someday, they will be grateful for it. Someday, they’ll realize that our tough love was the best thing for them. It is up to us to show our children a lot of love and a lot of discipline, when needed. It is up to us as parents to lead by example. Children are extremely intelligent and impressionable from a young age. They adore us and they depend on us. What they see in their parent(s) in the first 18 years of their life will most likely be a solid mold for what type of person they will be. It is up to us to teach our children how to effectively communicate. When I say communicate, I mean verbal or face to face conversation. I don’t mean texting, Facebooking, Tweeting, Following, e-mailing and so on. What happened to the good ‘ol fashioned mannerisms? I get it, it’s the way of our new, modern world. But is it the right way? For some, perhaps it is and perhaps those children will turn out to be good, contributing citizens to society. And perhaps some children raised with stricter parenting won’t. It’s not all black and white. However, I do believe that love, discipline, acceptance, communication and a hard work ethic are of the utmost important morals and ethics we can instill in our children to ensure they have a bright future. We may be the meanest, baddest, most horrible parents ever for it, but that’s okay. We’re doing our job, and someday they will thank us.
I am a true believer that despite media, technology, etc. that surrounds our children, we as parents will always have a bigger part as to how our children turn out. We are their future and someday, our children will be the future for their children.
Let us parents all stick together and support one another so we may all succeed in the hardest job: Raising the best kiddos we know how in this tricky, tricky world.