I could be very wrong in this. Very wrong. But I was following the discussion on “Twixters” a bit and it occurred to me that it is an unlikely phenomenom for large families like mine. I think what got me started on this line of thought was this phrase “A flat screen television, it seems, takes priority over getting an apartment and growing up. Besides, I’ll bet Mom does a great load of laundry and makes a mean lasagna.” From Kay R. Daly
When you have a big family it soon becomes obvious that you can’t play housemaid to more than two or three slovenly pigs. Oops. I mean pampered princelings and princesses. It is not humanly possible…. without making sure that at some point it is over. But the Yuppy lifestyle of fawning parenting along with a schedule that would drive presidents mad doesn’t allow for time or will to suffer stand-offs or mistake-laden training sessions in growing up.
However, in saying that, I must also say this: I read through the little list of parenting tips by Daly and I don’t know if she has any children past pre-school age, but I have to beg to differ with her. Some of her advice was a bit sophomoric. If that is all it takes to raise kids right more of us would have had an easier time of it.
It isn’t all the parents fault.
Although some of it is. And that goes back to my submission that each generation buys into certain lies and needs to get themselves out of that entanglement and onto a proven track.
You see I have raised children that are now in that Twixter generation, and they have struggled, though only one to the point of returning home for a temporary retooling of life choices. My kids were raised with hard work and having to earn their own way. They have been putting themselves through those overpriced educations and they have been taking care of their own expenses…since age 18. I don’t completely recommend that, but if you had drill-sargent me as a mom you would’ve seen that as freedom and paradise, too.
I am not raising the younger children with as much vinegar stringency as those first five. I have had to work very hard to strengthen ties and give guidance to my older ones… they would have accepted it better if I had not bought into such silly ideas as “letting babies sleep through the night”, and “first time obey”. Not all children are so compliant; boy, I wish I could have put someone with that idea for just one week in my household in those years. I had children that would have broken that idea quickly. I have a better suggestion: get the parents on the same page about how those children should be trained, and what is expected. Start there.
Earliest mothering needs to be intuitively felt along…. and completely supported by those closest to the mom. That doesn’t happen as much as it should and that is how you raise tiny babies…. Babies need pure love and as much as you can muster.
The lie that women just need quality rather than quantity time with their children…that there can be absentee parents and well adjusted children- I don’t believe it. I haven’t seen it. There are families that are bound together in united work ethics or causes… those can work and things like that, but if you aren’t bonded in some way, don’t kid yourself. Humans of good character and ability do not just happen. They are nurtured, somehow, someway.
But back to the Twixters…. I maintain that if we will not take a good hard look at our own misconceptions we sure won’t do much to rectify theirs… I think Jesus said something along that line:
First remove the beam from your own eye…. and then you will be ready to remove the splinter from anothers.
From generation to generation some things don’t change….