At the risk of talking out of my ass about things I'm not personally familiar with, I'm going to voice my thoughts on child rearing while having none of my own and no intent to get them for a quite a while
Anyway, there's currently a big generation divide fight thing going on in Belgium - my parents' generation and the one before ran up a huge debt, my generation and those behind it will be paying for it. Which is what all generation gaps always have been about. It's also the actual root cause behind the whole current economical crisis thing, if you're willing to look far enough: most of the West has been living in a luxury we couldn't actually afford by lending money to one another and just running up the bill. The "economic growth" of the '70s, '80s and '90s is mostly hot air and inflated growth made with non-existent money. Anyway, back to children.
Kids from, say, around 1980 onwards, have been more and more raised by TV and the media. It's going ever faster now, with internet/twitter/facebook weighing in. I'm not talking about parents just plopping their children in front of the TV as a babysit - yes, that happens, yes, it's wrong if it's all you ever do, and yes, it's a perfectly good way of getting your kdis to be happy and quiet for a while if they like it.
However, children are being forced into consumerism at ever younger ages. My father may have been picked on at school because he wore his father's hand-me-downs and his father was a labourer in asea port - he wasn't picked on because he was wearing last year's Tommy Hilfigers. We're being taught, and being constantly bombarded with the message, that money and items and gadgets are what you need and that you should want these things. Children, especially, are constantly told, through all kinds of media, and, as a result, by other children and caretakers, that money/items = attention = love. A complete and utter fallacy, and yet hard to escape. Heck, if I feel really crappy, I go buy myself some comfort stuff. In my case, books or computer games or DVD boxes, but anyway. Knowing it's false doesn't make it go away.
"Teaching your children the value of a dollar" is all well and good - and absolutely necessary to keep them from being spoiled brats - but it isn't the end-all be-all. Because that just means that, if Bobby has an iPhone 6 and your kid "only" has a Blackberry, you love him less than Bobby's parents do. Or, if you're poorer, that Bobby's parents are "better" parents than you are. Which is obviously false. Unfortunately, this is a societal problem. You can try and make your kids understand and see -and if you're good at it and they're smart and basically good kids and you're lucky, they might get it by the time they're 14 or so. Consuming has become so much the root of our society and the one and only thing our whole economy thrives on, that "we" couldn't keep our level of wealth up if "we" didn't all consume, always, all the time. Trying to raise your children like that is akin to raising children without TV in my days: sure it works, but the kids'll just get picked on for that, instead: their parents are "odd", they're "weird", whatever.
Either you know the latest trends, and you're pressurized into following them or at least acknowledging them, and especially children will feel bad if they can't be part of it, or you don't know the latest trends, and you're seen as out-of-touch, "alternative" (which, a child's world, and for far too many adults, is considered a negative thing).
Anyway, I'm rambling. Still, if your children feel you don't love them enough because you can only buy one of them a video game...No, you're not a bad parent, but it wouldn't be better if you only had one child; there'll always be a Bobby who has a newer toy, whose mother comes to soccer practice more often, who wears newer clothes, or whatever. Their perception of how love is measured may be off, but that seems to me to be more of a sign of the times than anything else.
TL;DR: children these days are spoiled brats because of the fluoride the government is secretly putting in tap water. Or something
No, man! It's the side effects from all the fracking!
(side note: I believed in the 'too much fluoride will make you dumb' for quite a while, but after GB questioned it I started digging and can't find any definitive non-tinfoil claims, so for now I'm switching back to 'unconvinced')
Up until 1am doing homework. Then awake at 2:30 with daughter because she had a nightmare and my stomach screaming at me for eating all the junk I had yesterday. Back asleep sometime after 3am. I had to be up at 6:30.
One of mine celebrated his 19th birthday in January. I expect his time will be coming sometime relatively soon. One thing is for sure, whenever it happens, it will not be a surprise. Sport has already outlived every other cat I've ever been associated with.
I've mostly recovered from my bout of Salmonella. There's just one exception. My stomach has forgotten how to digest food. It just, kinda, sits there. For hours. I loathe food poisoning. All the more so because of the two years I spent in food service and the fact that I know it shouldn't be possible to get salmonella from a beef burger, unless the restaurant in question has horrible food handling practices and has cross contaminated the meat.
There's this "it" I've tried to define for myself that seems to be lacking in the so-called "stupid" people. I think it's a kind of extra-self awareness. When I was younger, I used to just call it "it". These people don't get "it". They don't have a strong perception of an existence outside themselves. It's something more elusive and difficult to define than that, but it always seems like you can see it in their faces and hear it in their speech.
I also wonder how many of the "stupid" people think they're not. I wonder about myself, too. I'm not exempt.
I'm right there with you. The most nagging regrets I have in life are times when I realized, long after the fact, how much of a rude dumbass I was being around others. It makes me wonder what stupid things I'm doing/saying now, without realizing, that I will regret down the road.