An interesting thing about (average middle class American) children these days is that they are so well tended. There's no scavenging for water when their class goes on a field trip. They carry BPA-free bottles in their backpacks, filled that very morning by loving attentive parents.
They can play in the rain without getting chilled because they always have a change of clothing nearby, and if not, the school has something they can borrow.
There's no sliding around in the backseat. They sit in five-point car seats and high tech strollers like modern-day chariots.
They may as well be royalty.
We work to support them and when we aren't working, we entertain them and care for them and clean up after them.
Before they are even born our friends throw them baby showers and after they come we remember their arrival by hosting annual birthday parties. We shower them with gifts on Christmas and we set up elaborate egg hunts on Easter.
We want everything to be magical for them.
We want everything for them. Everything we had, and perhaps more.
I think kids are so well tended these days because parenting builds on the previous generation. We parent the way our parents took care of us, compensating and occasionally over compensating for the gaps that may or may not have existed in our own childhoods.
But are there dangers to over compensating? Can we possibly give our babies too many gifts or too many parties or too much attention? If we overdo it will they grow up to be generous with high social and emotional intelligence, or needy and dependent on all sorts of addictions?
I think it's something for us to consider as we finish our holiday shopping and embark on long school breaks. Can we find balance in the season of excess?
How do you find balance? Tell me in the comments or email me lucymiller7 [at] gmail [dot!] com. I would like to know!!