I was actually going to say assholes, then toned it down. But, I was not the one to first say it. For that, I have to give credit to my son.
Back story…We have always parented very differently than many people around us and we have also moved a lot. I am not sure if either my husband or myself really knew what we were doing when we had the twins. You see, my undergraduate and graduate work were both in Child Development and Family Studies, but I focused on kids up to three years of age. So, much beyond that, I knew nothing about raising kids. But, just like many people, I had one dream in life and that was to be a mom, a nurturer; to truly live my life for my family and that has always made me live my life for myself.
Now, back to us not knowing what to do…You see, we never talked about our parenting beliefs; we didn’t plan; and we didn’t talk about it ahead of time. We just sort of knew it would be okay.
Now, back to how this came about. Over Thanksgiving, we all gather in Northampton, MA. It is most centrally located for the twins and my parents are there, so it is easy. We arrived from New York City and our daughter rode up with us, while Sam came in later that night with friends. When we were finally all together, Sam looked at us and said, “Thank you for not raising assholes”. And you know what, he was right.
Most kids don’t just grow up to be assholes, but it generally starts with the parents. So, we asked him what he meant and he said, “There are just a lot of assholes out there for no reason. They are cocky, entitled, and think the world revolves around them. And I know so many”.
Some say it’s just the millennials, but I say NO. It is the parents and it is our peers and the parents younger than us. It is all the gosh darn soccer trophies that every kid gets and it is so much more and I need to speak my mind. So today, we give you the first installment of:
It seems like so many of our kids’ friends’ parents are trying to be like “those parents”; like the Jones’! But, really, who the heck are these people anyway? The Jones’ are other families that parents perceive as being the “best”, “fancy”, or even “popular”. They are the parents they perceive as the “cool” parents or who, if they’re friends with, can help their kids and maybe even them, get ahead at school or in society.
The Jones’ are the people many people think they need to be like. For some reason, people have a strong desire to be like them. But, guess what folks? The Jones’ aren’t real! The people you are trying to be like are living their own lives, which are very different from your lives. In fact, it sort of freaks me out.
By Jonesing, you will not become a better parent. You will actually raise a child always looking for the Jones’ they can follow, even if it is not your lifestyle. We always did things our way and no other way! I want and have always had a strong diverse group of friends and made sure my children were exposed to that.
Here is my two cents on the Jones family…They are most likely very nice people and you may want to spend as much time as you can with them. This may mean making your kids sign up for certain activities, because the Jones’ kids do them; skipping a family dinner so you can meet the Jones’ family; or even telling your kids, “No we are going to go to the event, because the Jones are going”. Really I have heard them all!
But, stop and take a good look. Are you doing it because you want to be like the Jones’ or are you doing it because you, your significant other, or the kids really want to engage in whatever it is? Tough question, but dig deep and figure it out.
I say get out from the Jones’ shadow, because truth is the Jones’ don’t like you there anyway. Raise your own strong children. You have it in you! If you really are looking for a Jones family, STOP and look at yourselves. Find your own place and start to build your own ideas, traditions, activities, and expand your family’s circle. You do not have to follow the Jones’; in fact it’s boring. So, no matter how nice the Jones family is, you are better off being the Zucker’s, the Anderson’s or the Riley’s. Set an example and show your children how not to be “THOSE KIDS”!
I am a home cook that does things my way. In my kitchen, I make breakfast, pack lunches, prepare snacks, and cook dinner. During the week, we eat real food that is homemade, organic, and local. On the weekends we do explore more of our local restaurants. I bake my own bread, juice fresh oranges every other day, and make my own kombucha and other weekly favorites.