Dear Moms and Dads of the United States of America,
Congratulations on the destruction of the world. You have finally done the unthinkable. You have succeeded in changing the path of our future and you have steered this titanic right into the giant iceberg. Let me explain...
It is totally bizarre to me as I continue working in the field of Early Childhood Education that not one person carrying their PhD's and pedigrees like mighty sabers, have put two and two together. We are raising some of the most violent, uneducated, spoiled, weak, entitled brats that have ever walked the face of the world. We are blaming this on video games, violent movies, the internet, too much self esteem, not enough self esteem, guns, overmedication, preservatives, sugar, overdiagnosis, pollution, not spanking, too much spanking, not enough pay at our jobs, single moms, dead beat dads... you name it, we blame it. We have a reason for every bad thing that happens to our children. Oddly, the reason is NEVER the parents. Not one PhD, to my knowledge, has ever suggested that perhaps the parents are to blame.
No, instead we protect the parents. We do this for a million reasons. If we blame the parents we have to start looking at who they are. I think we would be stopped in our tracks as we slowly began to recognize ourselves. We would be forced to look at the real issues that we have been too scared to take head on. We would have to examine closely some of these issues I am going to take to task today.
We hold teachers responsible for the fact that our children are dumb and are acting up. We blame the school when our kids are misbehaving and they "can't do their job". We can't come and get them when they misbehave or there needs to be a discussion on the fact that Bobby failed another geometry quiz or we may lose our job. Our sweet precious job that doesn't benefit us as much as we are taught to see that it does.
We could do without our jobs, if we really tried. We could cut our family budgets and make it work. We could drop our cable, cut off our cell phones, stop drinking those damn coffees. We don't want to because we like things. We like to get stupid drunk on materials. We love our fancy phones where we can post about our crappy teachers on facebook while chatting with our girlfriends about the latest episode of Housewives as we drink a Venti Triple Soy Caramel Machiatto. So, we don't pick up our kid that is chucking chairs in his classroom and failing math because "I have got a job and I can't afford to lose it!" No, crazy person... you can't afford to lose your child in the chaos you are creating.
We make that choice to be complacent in our choices because we believe the teachers will have to figure it out. Weird though, they don't care either. They don't care because they have their own child acting out in preschool... biting their friends and kicking their teachers. They don't have time to figure out your child because they are trying to eek out time for their own little patch of green grass. Plus, you kind of taught them how to treat your child... with laziness, contempt and indifference.
Your kid makes it through the day after spending 6 hours sitting in a chair in a box like room, filling in dittos and waiting for that glorious 15 min recess. They are then ushered into the afterschool room filled with kids desperately waiting for their parents to come and save them. The afterschool teachers fill up your child's time with Level 0! Homework Table! Math Station! Your child waits again for that glorious 15 min recess.
All the while you are racing like a hamster on a neverending spinning wheel to finish up your last worthless email that you have convinced yourself will change the world. In essence no change will occur... its just an email sent from a worker bee. You will jump in your car and begin the race to the school. You will check your email for other Earth shattering memos and maybe check out Facebook for validation. You will do this as you drive because you don't have time to pull over and take 5 minutes to do this. You will return phone calls and talk until you reach the school parking lot.
When you pick up your "Gift from God" "Blessing From Above" you barely look at them. You are focused on what you are making for dinner and if your lazy spouse remembered to pick up the milk like you asked him. Your child will be begging for your attention. Looking for any morsel of affection or loving touch. You will rush them to the car and gruffly tell them to "Get In". If you are in an exceptional mood you will grace your everything with a "How was your day?" You will ask for some detail but your mind wanders back to dinner.
By the time you get home, you are exhausted. You have to make dinner, pay a bill, check homework, make sure baths are done, do the dishes, flip the laundry and then maybe, make it up to your childs bed for a sweet goodnight kiss and hug. While you are busy doing your thang your child has been vegging in front of the boob tube or playing video games. You will spend the rest of your evening catching up on reality TV and chastising yourself for how little time you spent with your child. If you are like me you will make promises to yourself to be better tomorrow... that is the only thought that makes you feel better enough to be able to fall asleep.
Meanwhile, your child is a hot mess. They have had very little physical contact from any loving adult in their life. They have been ignored, judged, chastised and bored all day. They have waited to hear some lovely things about who they are. They are still waiting. Your child has filled their precious brains with worthless nonsense from the TV and violent images from their video games. They are going to bed trying to make themselves feel excited about doing it all over again tomorrow.
Can you even imagine that reality?
And yet, we scratch our heads and ask ourselves how our children and young adults have become so violent. We dare to ask how this could happen in a world that has so many "things". We ignore the fact that since the dawn of ages, "Things" have never mattered. It is the physical touch and presence of our mothers. The encouragement and sage wisdom of our fathers. The support and love from our extended family. The loyalty and comraderie of our neighborhood. These things take time to foster and nurture. Time that we do not have. Time that we are choosing to give to people, places and things that don't matter and never have. We are so busy saving the world for others that our own little world is crumbling under the weight of our self placed responsibilities.
Mothers work more than they ever have. I am a full time working mom of 5 kids. I am honest enough to say... something has to give. You can't be everything to everyone and give 100% to it all. It is impossible. The effort is there. The hard work and drive is there. It doesn't matter, something has to give. Most of the time it is our children that suffer.
The kids who crave parental attention so much that they destroy their classrooms. The children who stay at day care even when they are sick and their moms are at home for a day of rest. The kiddos who fail at school because they do not have help at home... she's too tired from working all day. The child who is bouncing around the room and can't focus because they ate crap for breakfast and have been raised on video games that are changing scenes a mile per minute. The child that is so full of anger at his situation but never goes outside to burn off the steam because its 6pm when they get home.
And, we dare to ask ourselves... why are they so angry? Why are they not passing their classes? Why do they have no respect for adults? Why are so many kids exhibiting signs of ADD/ADHD? Why are kids detached and sensory deprived? Why is autism on the rise? Why are young adults shooting people? Why are they so angry?
I really hope people wake up. I really hope those prissy PhD's will get this passed across their computer screens and think long enough to consider the possibility that the absence of mothers is hugely detrimental. It is the iceberg to our Titanic. If someone speaks up, perhaps we can steer the ship in a new direction.