he other day I was looking at my kids as they got a little whiny and complainey (I know it's not a real word but it so fits) about having to do something that was for us. My kids like most of their friends are used to parenting that goes a little something like this:
1) Vacations - planned with tours geared toward the kids so they do not get bored if they are in foreign locales. Full of child friendly down time including sitting and watching them play at a park in said destination. Maybe they are theme parks that you spend obnoxious amounts on to ride and be surrounded by music that on a loop could be used in Guantanamo Bay but it may be even more repugnant than waterboarding.
2) Weekends - planned around sports schedule which you must attend all of, even in say Little League or Rec Center training of said sports. Of course if you are a Mom you will find scathing articles about what type of mother at these events you are (distracted, social, psycho...) because after all it's not like you should be anything less than thrilled to be in a gym or a field at 8 am on your day off from whatever it is that you do during the week (no the dads do not have these articles about them).
3) Dinners and general eating out - even if your kids like mine know that they will be going to a fine restaurant, I draw the line at bad food with other loud children locales, it must have pasta with butter or something to accommodate them because should you want to leave them with a sitter you will get the "why can't I come?" speech. Besides in NY the sitter costs more than taking them with us by a lot.
4) Movies - insert snort and chuckle. Getting a sitter for say the time to have a fast bite and see a movie that does not have animations, superheroes and actual acting will run you about $150 or so, time not spent in a leisurely manner but rather looking at the clock that is running as fast as the debt counter in Times Square. Otherwise get ready to spend time watching animated movies that while potentially enjoyable will be the depth of your experience for at least the first 10 years or so of their lives. Oh and yes you do have to shell out for popcorn and other things.
5) Down time - insert second snort and chuckle. You do not have this because you have laundry, repetitive commands that will not be respected until you scream, picking up and picking up and picking up, grocery shopping, party planning for them (which is like a full time job when you are in it), gift buying for other children and wrapping and watching TV with the children which trust me will involve at least one if not more of the movie categories listed above.
We do everything with them in mind. I grew up in a time where my parents , as those around me, let you entertain yourself and activities were things they wanted to do which were a bonus if you enjoyed them -- like say going to the beach. You did not get to negotiate and give them your unasked for opinion, you ate for the most part what they ate and there was no catering to child for a separate dinner.
So here we are - my children are master negotiators, the current EU crisis would have been resolved because you just had to put it between them and something they wanted to do and presto solution implemented. Most of their friends are too. My kids and their friends all have parents who are super involved. Is this a bad thing? No for the most part - what I would like for them to do is get bored and figure out how to entertain themselves (do not insert electronic device as only option). I would like them to learn how to do things because others who they care for want to do them even if it is not their first choice, without regret or eye rolls. I think it is good that they are growing up with people who are focused on their success and growth as well as wanting to be part of what we all know is a fast and fleeting childhood. We are more evolved and better parents than ours were, they were better than theirs, and that means our parents and theirs before them did a good job with us. We do everything that interests them because we want to.
Gotta go - after all that laundry is not going to do itself ??? Oh wait maybe soon it could be by one of them ... mwahahaha