Parents of the 21st century, I admire us! I admire how we survive the irony we live day by day. I admire our perseverance in attaining our goals. I admire that despite our fatigue and feebleness, we continue to smile and enjoy life. I admire our creativity and the pressure we have put upon ourselves and our children in order to achieve big dreams.
And what a hefty responsibility we have forbear on our shoulders! Haven’t you realized that we are the pioneers of a humongous change which is slowly conquering the world?
We are the first generation to have such open accessibility to knowledge; a knowledge which could be overwhelmingly daunting sometimes. Whenever we are worried about any parenting or health issue, we could simply tap a button, and we get to read about anything and learn new notions while seated at the comfort of our sofa at home. It would be helpful, though, to keep in mind that not everything we read about is one hundred percent true! There is a big chance we could be easily tricked into superstitious ideas which could make us worry about unnecessary concerns.
We are the first generation to have such awareness and to encourage our children to openly discuss topics which our parents did not even dare speak of. We assist them in having the courage to criticize dogmatic rules and taboo. In fact, we help them voice their opinions and demand for a better world. At the same time, I strongly believe that we need to guide our children and raise their awareness because that is one way to protect them from such a vast openness. It is important that we are actually involved in their inquiries and arguments.
We are the first generation to be living in such an alarming dilemma. We want to catch up with all the new advanced applied science to the extent that we are even considering future steps in conquering other planets!! At the same time, we want to preserve our heritage and maintain what has been forbade to us from previous generations. We painfully wonder about what we are actually offering to our children! Here again, having open conversations with our children and telling them more about our antecedents would help them appreciate the past and look to the future with richness.
We are the first generation which is working unyieldingly hard in trying to save the environment as we implement recycling programs in different countries. Although we sometimes feel hopeless and angry to realize the damage which we humans have inflicted on planet Earth – throughout the past years – we try to compensate by directing our children into choosing better alternatives and reduce waste. One good way to have this concept come out naturally, is to set an example ourselves and apply what we preach about, at home and in schools.
We are the first generation to be raising children who are hooked up to their iPads and smart phones – mind you, so are we! We even struggle, every single day, in setting strict rules and limited timing for the usage of these devices. We try to justify its advantages and bombard our conscience with their disadvantages. We share articles with each other trying to help ourselves and others, through a constructive analysis, about how the online world is affecting all of us. Many are the times when we reach a dead end and we feel that we do not actually know if we are doing the right thing! However, setting those rules together along with our children might be a helpful way of limiting this excessive and addictive usage! As parents, for example, we should also set a good role model and not use these devices while we are seated at the dinner table all together.
We are the first generation to be living away from our support systems and extended family members. We had to learn to adapt on living on our own without having the constant presence of close relatives by our side. Many of our children are capable of physically spending fun times with their grandparents only once a year! How strenuous is that! Therefore, it is essential to ask for help from dear friends and neighbors, as this would lessen the hefty uncertainty we might be experiencing. Yes, it is OK to ask for help when needed!
We are the first generation to be consuming toxic ready-made food in such enormous quantities, and purchasing refined and manufactured processed foods because we are not given much choice on the matter. Then, we feel anxious about how we are actually poisoning ourselves and our children’s health!! We do not actually know what the best choices are, because every year a new research highlights the dangers of consuming a certain type of food. Here comes the importance of preparing homemade meals and desserts where we could at least control the amounts of sugar and fat used in our food intake.
We are the first generation to be aiming at achieving multiple goals in a short period of time. Hence, we find ourselves participating in any given plans and activities. We find ourselves drowning because we are loading ourselves with a lot of weight. As much as setting goals is essential in achieving success, trying to accomplish one after the other makes us more focused and more efficient.
We are the first generation to be witnessing a major technical revolution where we exist in two worlds; the real one and the virtual one. Along the way, humanity has become scarce and functioning mechanically, like robots has become a ‘mode de vie’. In doing so, we realize that we are losing human traits which are essential for our survival. It is here that we come to appreciate Nature and the serenity it brings to one’s soul. After all, it is in the arms of Mother Nature, that we genuinely get the chance to explore ourselves and our minds.
We are the first generation to have our children register in structured play and professional training skills. We pay fortunes of money to have them efficiently learn specific competencies. Very soon, we come to realize that bombarding our children with more than two activities per week is definitely strenuous for them and us alike.
We are the first generation to be spending most of our time driving back forth, commuting on a daily basis, and exposing ourselves to high risks because we need to tend to our endless parenting chores. So let us please be safe on the roads and try not to text and drive as thousands and thousands of us do!
Finally, we are the first generation to undergo surgeries and plastic restoration for cosmetic purposes as we try to defy age. We are actually accepting all sorts of ideas that would make us feel good about ourselves, even if we had to inject a few toxins into our veins. I think that we should consider our – sometimes hasty – decisions and simply accept the beauty of how our bodies change with time.
Parents of the 21st century, I admire us because we are the first generation to be experiencing this contradiction, yet we are making our best to handle it well. We have such a solid will that helps us move forward. Despite all that uncertainty and the overwhelming obligations, we have the will to survive such a challenge and move on.
At the same time, I cannot stress enough the importance of spreading the righteous awareness to our kids and teach them how to be responsible for the actions they take. We are in charge of directing them into knowing about all those contradictory life issues. We are here to guide them, and have them learn from what life brings their way. Unlike us, their every action taken and every word noted is now recorded forever.
Parents of the 21st century, I encourage you to give yourself a tap on the back because none of the previous generations has been subjected to such an impressive demanding parenting experience! And that is why I admire us!
By, Rania Hussant, Parenting & Positive Motherhood Mentor
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