For thousands of years
We’ve pulled it off. — Loosen up!
It’s just parenting.
Written by Captain Hops.
References: I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but I was finally inspired to write this haiku by Jay’s recent post on mothers (and fathers) getting together and enjoying a social drink while their children play safely together. I didn’t want to write this haiku (or go on this rant) because it shouldn’t be necessary. However, there seems to be a very vocal Guilt Industrial Complex out there that is hell bent on making parents feel awful about exposing their children to any type of reality or potentially difficult situation. They prey on fear and butcher the truth in their efforts to make other people conform to their puritanical beliefs.
Now, I grant them that raising good, healthy and responsible children is a noble goal. However I don’t think their methods really achieve that goal. In fact, I believe it is doing the opposite. They seem to think that anything that has the *potential* to cause harm or damage should be demonized, removed, and hidden away until they are adults. I believe it’s better to demonstrate the responsible way to use or enjoy something and warn of the dangers of using something in an improper or irresponsible manner. Teach a child (or anyone) how to tell the difference between good and bad, responsible and irresponsible, safe and dangerous and they will be able to use that skill their whole lives and in any number of situations. Dictate right and wrong and use guilt and fear to enforce your beliefs and you end up with a confused individual with no ability to safely navigate and enjoy our strange and wonderful world.
Notice I am drifting away from alcohol here. It just seems to me that society at large is expending great effort at attempting to remove all adversity and obstacles from our precious children’s lives rather than teaching them how to deal with adversity and obstacles in a responsible manner. It’s no longer anyone’s fault if they are unable to cope with choices in the modern world. It’s the fault of the person that put or left that choice in their way without giving them explicit instructions on what the “correct” answer is.
The thing is that people have been parenting for quite some time and the human race has managed to survive. It isn’t hard to teach responsibility and keep your children safe at the same time you are enjoying yourself. In fact demonstrating responsibility, safety and enjoyment is a much more productive educational tool than guilt, fear and lies. Loosen up. It’s just parenting.
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Thing of the Day: The Three-Martini Playdate: A Practical Guide to Happy Parenting or Three-Martini Family Vacation: A Field Guide to Intrepid Parenting