Did you know that the word “parenting” (verb) wasn’t widely used until the 1970’s? Why is that? The answer is pretty simple. It wasn’t until the late 1930’s that as a society we deemed child labor illegal across our country. I should say before moving on, that was clearly a good thing, I hope that’s obvious. Before that, the relationship of a child/parent was much more business like. Kids worked in support of the home and in turn they were given a roof over their head and food to eat. Today the work on a farm or factory has been replaced by school.
So what’s the issue? As a parent the problem has become one of lofty goals for our children. Should I put my son or daughter in chess club to help grow their problem solving abilities? Should they be in sports to help nurture their ability to work as part of a team? We have no idea what our kids might excel at as young adults so we want to setup them up to succeed at everything. We’ve created a cultural norm where the bar is set so high it’s impossible for 99% of kids to ever reach it.
As a parent, I hope that I can raise my children to be decent human beings. I want them to know right from wrong and above all else have some sense of servitude. In the grand scheme of things, that’s what’s important, is it not? As your kids are ending spring break or starting in some parts of the country, take a moment to breath. Cut them some slack and know that you’re doing just fine as a parent.