I live in kind of a hippy area. People here eat quinoa for desert, compost their compost, and wear fleece hats un-ironically. The ideologies of these new age, nature-loving, peace-promoting people extend past their interest in organic farming, canning, and making soap… and of course permeates into their parenting and the type of children they are raising.
I know what you are thinking. “Toni, I see you dry-humping that tree… how are you any different than what you are describing you yogi hypocrite?” And you would be right. Trees are amazing lovers, and I am totally like the people I judge. Which is exactly what I am afraid of.
Here is my inner conflict. I look around me and think “wow, the world is fucked the fuck up.” The paradigms of previous generations are highly flawed, especially when it came to raising children. I can’t pin point exactly the strategies that were most problematic, but I can say the world is currently run by a shit ton of insecure greedy dick wads.
So I believe that we need to socialize our kids differently from the standard model of conditioning, and I think many of us are trying different methodologies than how we were raised. Parents today are concerned with showing compassion, empathy, and allowing space for their children to feel. There is an intentionality to practice a more democratic regime in our households. We are more aware of self-esteem and wanting to instill feelings of confidence. There is often an internal pressure to spend quality time and engage with our children fully to make sure they feel valued and special. All of which I do! However… a lot of the 10-year old kids I have been meeting lately who have parents like this (me) are annoying as FUCK!
Maybe I was irritating when I was 10… in fact I am sure I was. However, I did have respect for my elders, and did not speak unless I was spoken to. I listened to grow ups, and even if I didn’t always agree, I kept my views to myself. Yet the kids I am around at my dance studio have a very different way of relating to the world – with names like Juniper-Bud, Kindred-Spirit, and 2nd Chakra. They feel like they are equals to adults, and their opinions are just as valued and should be expressed freely. They have so much self worth that they don’t hesitate to communicate their desires, discontents, and disagreements with the teacher who is just trying to teach them how to pirouette. It is not that they are unruly; it is more that they have no filter or capacity to pay attention and listen because they are too busy participating and inflicting their ideas.
Part of me thinks maybe this is a good thing? There is a deep wisdom that children possess, and they are our gurus when our hearts are open to their lessons. Even though the behavior I witness may be irritating to me, this generation is probably more empowered than those of the past. Adults are faulty creatures, and are not the supreme authority of truth, so why should the be treated as if they are? Perhaps I am the problem by clinging on to a defective prototype of the past. Maybe this is the shift in consciousness that we have been waiting for?
But…. There is this other part of me that kind of wants to choke these kids, and prays The Munch does not turn out like them.