I lie here thinking about the state of the world and wonder what the next generation will have to face because of our neglect. My son will have to clean up the mess we have left behind and it saddens me sometimes. I don’t expect him to live in a world that is perfect, (because there is no such thing), but in a world that is always striving for perfection and in bettering itself with each year.
I look at the media and see more coverage of celebrities than of real heroes. I look at the television programs and see so much skin that I wonder if the current generation as well as the next, will be immune to the concept of prudence and morals because they see so much sex and violence glorified on the bright screen. I wonder about my children and how they will face the world that has so much technology people seldom speak to each other on the phone because they exchange “text” to each other. They smile less because they want more and more. They do not have to learn as much as we did because the answers can all be googled on their phones and computers. They have the knowledge of the world at their fingertips, but I wonder if they will take the time to get to know the world through their own eyes, feel it with their fingertips and smell the air outside of the air-conditioned rooms.
Today’s media has more and more sexual images that are targeting younger children from clothing, to music to movies. All of these images are having great impacts on the children of today because they are becoming desensitized to it. Girls are looking up to Disney personalities that go on to make provocative music videos which influence their younger audiences. Boys have to deal with being seen as rugged, tough and macho. The only way to protect my children from the increasingly sexualized society is to talk to them and monitor what they are watching. I need to get to know them at each stage of their lives because they will be constantly changing with each new grade level and age group.
It is also important to me to raise my children to know and understand the value of money, especially in this “more in better” society. I want them to work for their money as I did at a young age with an allowance. Allowances were never a sure thing in my household, but a reward for doing my chores and behaving well throughout the week. I also was allowed to babysit at a young age and helped to buy big purchases I desired. I always felt a sense of pride when telling someone I helped to purchase a certain outfit, shoes or latest piece of technology.
I want them to be prepared for the outside world, yet still want them to be carefree children without worries. This balancing act is what it will mean to me to be a good parent. I do not want to be their friend, but I want them to be able to confide in me with the worries in their life. It will start at home. If my children have moments of frustration with me because I do not give in to all of their wishes; if they get angry with me because I do not give them all of the latest technology; if they respect me in the end then I have done my job right.
My son is not even 2 years old yet, and I have already been told that I am a strict mom. My son doesn’t seem to love me any less when he is put in time out or when he cries because I didn’t give into his whining. I have realized that being a good parent means never taking a day off, not even a minute off because there is always something that they can learn from us.