Your post on how we're ruining our children was just ADORABLE. It's so great how you've learned everything about raising tweens and teenagers in your 4 years of parenting. I mean, sure, your kid has never worked really hard at soccer all season and been thrilled about her "participation trophy", because she felt it rewarded her hard work at games and practices. . .even though her team lost. Why on earth should we reward hard work? I'm sure that's going to kill the competitive spirit in these kids, excellent point. And of course, we shouldn't encourage them to keep doing something if they suck at it, you are so right. I just hope your kid doesn't have any trouble when it comes to reading. . .I mean, you wouldn't want her to keep at it if she sucks, right? I hope, when your child is old enough to play soccer, you refuse to accept her participation trophy.
Also, I sure hope you don't listen to your child when she's older and begs to play soccer, learn piano and and take karate. You're right, too many people are overscheduling their children and you totally have the right idea. Your preschooler doesn't do any activities! I'm sure what's perfect for a 4 year old will also be perfect for a 10 year old and a 14 year old. Right?
The best part was when you discussed technology after dark. It was brilliant the way you described a teenager reacting to the restriction of phones/internet after 10pm exactly like a 4 year old reacts. I mean, maybe they would react that way. . .I don't know. My oldest kid is 8. I don't know what it's like to deal with a teenager and technology, I have some ideas but without having had a chance to implement them, I'm not sure I can judge what other parents do yet. But I am reassured that my hormonal teenager will only get up to naughtiness on the phone/internet late at night and that if I restrict their timing and whether their door is closed or open then all will be okay. It's great that you've learned teenage habits while parenting your 4 year old.
I also appreciated your section on teaching kids that life's not fair. I mean, why explain that adults get to have devices in their rooms because they are more mature and need less sleep, as I've explained to my kids, when you can just say, "Suck it up, Buttercup." Why teach them the difference between fairness (a playground with modifications so kids in wheelchairs can play too) and sameness (everyone gets devices in their rooms)? Of course, maybe a preschooler might not be ready to learn that. Maybe a 4 year old couldn't get that distinction. But an 8 year old can. . .not that you would know.
And that's my biggest problem with your post. When I started reading it, I assumed you had older children. Like, maybe even happy, healthy and successful young adults. I figured, how could anyone who hasn't finished raising their kids already be so judgmental? As I kept reading, I realized that it wasn't experience talking, it was inexperience.
Remember before you had children? And you had all those ideas, like, "My toddler will never watch TV," or "My baby will never get a pacifier." And then you actually had a toddler and you desperately wanted time to take a shower or talk on the phone? Or you had an infant whose colic was soothed by a pacifier?
The same thing happens as your kids get older, lady. You have all these grand plans and then reality comes along and bites you in the ass. You're not suddenly an expert on all parenting because you've managed to potty train one kid.
Slightly Wiser Elementary Parent