I’m already on the record to say that I think parenting is broken and the problems are not superficial.
This is a broad topic and we have 10 years to talk about as we see the horror unfold which it will. The last thing I want to do is bite off more than I can chew right now but I do want to broach this and at least start talking about it.
Parents are for the most part divorced these days (Saturn in Libra will address this) and most of the kids are being raised by single mothers. Even if the father is involved, he is not involved in a traditional way (applying discipline and supporting the mother’s nurturing). In fact, it is exactly opposite that – they weekend dad indulges the kid to compete with the mother and as a result there is not discipline anywhere. I am not blaming the men or the women as I feel both sexes are utterly responsible.
That’s enough to say for now but I wanted to post this conversation I had with the soldier over the weekend because it was eye-opening and then some.
“Well her kid is happy,” I said. “She can see that and I am sure it is heartening. I mean what do you want for your kid? You want him to be happy – to have a satisfying life and feel good.”
“What? You don’t agree?”
“That may be what the wife wants… the woman might want her kid to be happy.”
“The man wants something else? What so you want for your kid.”
“Oh, well let’s see. Can he defend himself? Did he get a decent education? If he wanted education, did he get the best education possible? Can he take care of himself and his family? Is he a man…?”
I draw conclusions from this. You?
Yes. Kids need a healthy amount of BOTH viewpoints or it would be rather unbalanced, no?
The kids (boys) in your scenario are not getting enough of the male influence they need to go out and assert themselves in the world.
You speak of broken families, but all of my friends are together and still I don’t think they discipline their kids enough or make them work for what they want or anything. So those kids are missing something critical, too.
I was at a Halloween party where the dad gave the kids a wagon ride into the cornfields, where they got to have a candy hunt out there. When they got back, one parent said “How was the haunted hayride!” and a kid answered, “Ahh, it was lame,” loud enough for everyone to hear.
They’re all so disrespectful! I actually think computers are to blame for the ruin of the family unit. Truly, I do.
I agree Bananas, I have a love/hate with technology. My moon in Capricorn is DYING to take it back to the good ol’ days. I make huge effort to be very simple and traditional at my house. Sometimes it’s hard w/ my very Aquarian husband…but he appreciates my efforts =)
Oh hell no…if that was my kid who said that (about the hayride)…you best believe there would have been no trick-or-treating that night, and the candy from the candy-hunt would’ve been nicely given to the other kids. Oh that makes me mad.
Probably one of the saddest things for me to watch is a kid – 6 yrs. that wakes up every morning with bags under her eyes from not getting enough sleep. Her parents are together but have NO discipline for her and she’s struggling. I can watch it. It’s so sad.
i want my son to able to live to his potential, and not suffer unnecessarily in the path there.
and know he is loved.
“Oh, well let’s see. Can he defend himself? Did he get a decent education? If he wanted education, did he get the best education possible? Can he take care of himself and his family? Is he a man…?”
I hear my Taurean dad talking.
I guess the mother is talking about the ends – being happy, and the father is talking about the means to the end for the son – being able to care for his family, being a man, leads the boy to happiness.
Although, the idea that the female cannot apply discipline is not true across the board. Take an African American family that is handled in the matriarchal style as an example. There is plenty of discipline, maybe not enough focus on happiness.
I don’t personally see this as a strictly gendered thing myself. I think both men and women need a sense of personal accomplishment according to their temperament (which I see as different than gender).
I think public school teachers are the ultimate experts on this subject!
i think… kids expect explosions and magic and robots in the real world and are let down because it’s not so exciting.
here, most places, at least. if they went somewhere really exciting i’m sure they’d have something else to say about it…
(my cap uncle, a ‘nam vet, has a phrase for a really bad day: “too much excitement”)
Children sure seem indulged now more than ever. Just the other day I saw a couple of kids sitting in the stairwell of my apartment, listening to music and smelling like cigarette smoke. And my initial thought was, I kid you not, “damn kids, and their music!” Thinking that made me feel like an old grinch!
There is also a shadow side, however. Women today can be as strong as ever (feminism). Overall, I feel this is for the better. Yet it yields a minority of cases where both the father and the newly-empowered mother both play the authority figure.
Basically, families are more prone to the extremes of permissiveness or indulgence.
Bananas–the family unit has been dying since waaaaay before computers; something more fundamental is at work. (computers do seem to exacerbate it, though)
Strict discipline and over-indulgence, I mean.
This is the biggest issue in my life. I never wanted to be a single parent, still don’t want to be, and insisting on my son’s daily discipline is the biggest uphill battle I face.
Discipline is about teaching responsibility. Kids need to learn to take care of themselves because when they grow up, hiding behind mom and dad either won’t be possible, or will continue to stunt their growth.
I think discipline is a HUGE way to show you love your kids.
A little girl I know walks to school every day with her Dad…who doesn’t have a job because he doesn’t feel like it (he could have one tomorrow).
They walk the long way, so they don’t have to accidentally cross paths with the little boy…this Dad’s SON…he hasn’t seen his son in 2 years because the boy’s mother is “insane.” The little boy calls the house and his Dad doesn’t pick up the phone.
A man who is too lazy to work–I’m not kidding, he can have a job tomorrow–and too much of a WIMP to see his own kid, is not a Man in my eyes.
This is the man my sister married recently. It makes me depressed.
Do We Really Know what Our Kids Need ? and What does Our Kids Need to Grow and Keep Growing Fine?
Values are very Important: But we have to Give them with The Example on Our Lives.
1 Respect We Respect Ourselves and Our Kids?
and we are just Talking about the Basics…..
Kids are The Most Important Thing of Our Lives I Think!!!
Best wishes for all !!!
I notice that when my son has been with his father he seems to walk taller and straighter, more masculine somehow. There are essences that he needs as a boy that only a man can give him. I wish more single parents would be adult enough themselves to put their issues with the ex aside for the sake of their children’s development. Otherwise what kind of a world will we be inhabiting in thirty years time?
I couldn’t imagine parenting without my husband – we completely balance each other. I coddle, he pushes – on the other hand, he has a very calming influence on my kids that I am not as good at, especially with my daughter.
I absolutely agree with your take here. Since my divorce from my children’s father twelve years ago I have lived through various configurations of custody. I see the impact it’s had and I see the impact of this foundation crack on my seven year old son and step son.
I’ve met several single parents lately with seven year old kids as a matter of fact. They have Gemini Saturn so I have to work when I’m around them. And I mean work to stay sane, work to stay present and respond appropriately to their particular challenges. It’s worth it. I’ve learned so much from this group of kids. But it’s tough.
I don’t know what the answer is here though. I try to stay balanced with my step son but sometimes feel I am the only parent willing to ask him to behave appropriately. That isn’t true across the board but I am the most consistent because I am not dealing with the same feelings of guilt that his parents have. For what it’s worth, his dad helps keep me balanced with my kids that live with us.
This is something I have seen coming for a long time now. Kids these days are raised as if “being happy” is the only goal in life. They are no longer treated as an essential working part of a family with chores and responsibilities. I used to feel bad for kids in day care because they had so little input from their parents, but any more I think at least day care creates structure in a child’s life. Childhood is where we learn to be an adult; where we develop our skills and hone our personalities. We learn what we do well and what we need to work on – at least we used to. Now that everyone gets a trophy, I think kids are going out into the world thinking they are great only to find they aren’t so hot after all once they get out there. By then it’s almost too late to develop these coping skills. I think the most important things to give a child are a sense of self-responsibility and self-discipline. With these attributes, a child can grow up to so anything.
I also think this generation (my children are grown) is the one that will push this country into Socialism. They grew up with parents providing for them without requirements and now they have no problem with the government doing the same. The idea that you work for what you get, that you start at the bottom and work your way up, is becoming obsolete. There will always be a few powerful personalities that break out of the mold and excel to support the rest of us, right?
Kids need both parents, but they need those parents to be involved not just in discipline, but in guidance and encouragement. We need to worry less about their little egos and more about their level of growth and ability to achieve. We need to make education important and let them be responsible for their failures. Failure is educating – it forces you to grow. Too many parents want to shelter their kids from ever feeling like they failed and then wonder why their kid won’t try very hard. If they never learn to get back up and try again, they will give up too easily.
And, yes, electronics has definitely changed things. Before computers there was TV – the great babysitter. Again – involved parents are the best things a kid can have. They may kick and fuss, but they will grow up to be responsible, capable adults.
And isn’t that, after all, our first job?
I’ve been reading this blog and many of the comments posted, and finally feel like I just have to jump in here.
Five years ago, I had my divorce come final. I was married to a person who refused to care for himself, partner our relationship; or try to be an effectual parent to our four kids. After destroying any and all stability I had ever created in my life and undermining my relationships with our kids, he died three years ago. Saturn was in my sun sign at the time, and it just left my ascendant last week.
I have been through hell for the past 6+ years, but I refused to sit around and feel sorry for myself. My drive has helped me to singlehandedly raise three teenagers to be smart, considerate, compassionate people with a very developed sense of responsibility for their own happiness while they look for ways to live in harmony with our planet. My oldest is and adult who lives on her own, and I’m proud of her, too.
In hindsight, I would never have had kids with someone so heartless and destructive if I’d known. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s my kid’s karma too; and that the only thing within my control is to remain focused and present, and do the next right thing for my family.
While I hardly believe that anyone would agree on how to regulate parenting or what the body to do so would look like; I often think that children might benefit from their parents having to obtain some sort of license in order to bring them into the world. I know how volatile a notion that is, and I certainly would’nt like anyone telling me how to raise my brood; but people need something to keep their head in the game it seems. All I know for sure is that I can live with myself because I’m staying conscious and doing the work. I have a lot of interests, but I can’t think of anything more worthwhile than working to create a positive outcome for my kids.
I need to put in here- it’s parenting in general that is in trouble, not just single parenting. In fact, in many cases, single parents work much harder at raising their children well because of what they are up against.
Kiriecat, YES! This is exactly what will happen:
I also think this generation (my children are grown) is the one that will push this country into Socialism. They grew up with parents providing for them without requirements and now they have no problem with the government doing the same.
I am the mom, but I also want my kids to grow up to be self sufficient adults. Way too many children are not maturing. They are physical adults, but they don’t have any sense of responsibility. I see this in families with both parents and single parents.
“I’ve met several single parents lately with seven year old kids as a matter of fact. They have Gemini Saturn so I have to work when I’m around them.”
Having spent a lot of time around a Gemini Saturn child myself I know the feeling ! He is growing up fine, because he has been blessed with amazing parents. But if it weren’t so, I could see him having developed huge difficulties, being a temperamental Capricorn (actually, Sun conjuct my Moon, and we did immediately connect) with a sensitive Pisces Moon.
BTW, he is a “Saturn return child” for his mother, who is an early 70’s Gemini Saturn herself. Apparently, she had quite a temperament before becoming mother – I personally only got to know her 4 years ago, after she also had had her second child. And interestingly, I remember hearing, as a child and a teenager, even directly from my teachers, how “we weren’t causing half the trouble kids 5 years before had”. Since I’m a Leo Saturn, I guess the “troublesome” one would have been Gemini Saturns.
my dad calls this the “helicopter generation” where the parents hover and want to know if everything is allright.
My dealings with the people 15 years younger than I is stressful. Expectations of work are just not there. I’ve hired a number of them to help with menial labor (I’m carrying the other end of it) and they just don’t get it. The one kid that actually worked was from a very poor immigrant family and full of tatoos. He was shocked to work with/for me as I don’t think he’d ever seen a “white woman” use a crowbar. ROFL. He was the most respectful, hardworking one I had. I don’t want to stereotype but it really stood out as an experience to me. The middle class ones that are looking for some work on the side – not worth the money. The job just doesn’t get done. No matter what the instructions, goals, or money…
“Kiriecat, YES! This is exactly what will happen:
I also think this generation (my children are grown) is the one that will push this country into Socialism. They grew up with parents providing for them without requirements and now they have no problem with the government doing the same.”
Oh, I wouldn’t be worried about that at all. I’m living in one of those Nordic “Socialist” countries. We were recently deemed World wealthies country (surprice to most of us), just before Switzerland, by some Swiss institution. But even our social welfare system can’t provide most people the lifestyle they aspire to. People actually do put up with paying 51 % income tax in order to be able to buy a nice car, nice home, travel and such.
If anything, I’d say the indulged kids here and there alike will try to follow the footsteps of Bernie Madoff if they have some kind of twisted smarts, Paris Hilton, if not.
“The idea that you work for what you get, that you start at the bottom and work your way up, is becoming obsolete.”
Ironically, kiriecat, one of the reasons it’s becoming obsolete is that people have watched their parents be laid off when they are 3 years away from retirement after working hard all their lives. The idea that everyone who starts at the bottom and works hard will work their way up is a myth. I still believe in working hard because that’s who I am (an internal thing), but I have no illusions that this will necessarily lead to my being rewarded career-wise down the line. Many workplaces are very dysfunctional, and being sane actually works to your detriment.
I should be clear, of course one can leave said dysfunctional job (I certainly have at times). However, then that leads to job hopping which is another thing older people complain about.
user, I was laid off 15 months ago at 60. It did not in any way make me regret having worked hard to get where I was. Everyone will not work their way to the top – that is true. In fact, I bet if they put all of the wealth in the US in a pool and apportioned it evenly to everyone in the country you would see that the people who had a lot would use that money to rebuild while the people who had little would waste it recklessly and ultiamtely be poor again. That may sound trite, but the whole game is to do the best with what you have, not necessarily “get to the top”. And our capitalist society encourages that innovative spirit that enables people to excel if they are willing to put in the work. And they should!! People who work hard deserve to keep what they earn, no matter if it is a little or a lot. Hey, build a better mousetrap if you can – it’s the American way.
Well, we are sowing a whirlwind, because our children are neglected and then spoiled – boundaries are all over the place. I see the parents around me scrambling to get rid of the children as quickly as possible – to daycare, to school for long long days – so they can get back to work to make the money for the next status-enhancing consumer item. I live in a country where it’s considered just fine to dump a baby in childcare from three months old, and then send him or her to school at the age of four.
And then to compensate for off-loading the kids, parents indulge them when they do see them – with stuff, with “experiences”. Oh, they’re entertained all right – up the wazzoo (sp?), rarely allowed a moment’s boredom.
Nurturing has become so devalued. We confuse caring with entertaining. The soldier is quite right about being a parent. It’s about laying a foundation for your child’s future, as well as providing love now.
In my experience, two-parent families aren’t necessarily that much more effective than single parents. They often behave like weekend dads too – except there are two dads.
In the short term, I come across a lot of depressed kids – I mean tiny ones. (I guess they’ll be diagnosed and drugged when they become teenagers) But we won’t see the true consequences of this neglect/indulge parenting style until our kids are grown up enough to tell us just where we went wrong – I reckon mid-30s is when they’ll start to get perspective.
I wonder if they’ll say, “Ma, all we wanted was a little stability, consistency and just occasionally, your undivided attention.” Sounds like Capricorn to me.
I think I’d better stop there. You have really hit the nail on the head with this pluto in cap story. Thank you.
Oh my goodness – I didn’t realise I’d written a book. Sorry for going on so.
just a side comment, but I think north americans *generally are too self-involved for socialism. socialism—> society.
personally, i think we are heading towards something else. what that is, i don’t think anyone will have a clear idea of until Pluto is out of Capricorn.
(gee, vague enough?)
In the UK they have a term for this: The Nanny State. You the parent go off and have your night out, and then expect the Nanny (ie. the government) to take care of your business while you are wining and dining.
Hasn’t parenting always been imperfect and possibly even broken? Haven’t men always been either out of the picture – hunting for food, away at war – or, if at home as perhaps in the 50s, the too-forceful disciplinarians or just not present or engaged enough to take any real part? The mothers too overprotective or not protective enough? Speaking in generalizations, obviously, but the list goes on and on. Parenting is imperfect because people are imperfect. I think if we go back to any time in history, no era was more or less broken than any other. Even times of war, poverty, disease can bring both debilitating lack and absence along with healing closeness..
I think that technology, which started with TV and has only grown, is bringing a gargantuan tidal wave of disconnectedness to the planet, and that this will deeply affect people in all walks of life, especially families, children, and parenting..
Tinaroma I agree that parenting has always been imperfect, but there are certain basic principles and qualities that just seem to have gone out the window nowadays, much of which stina has alluded to. The role of the mother is so disregarded today it is horrific, and the consistency of care, stability and love that she provides the growing life is just not recognised. Don’t even get me started on TV, computers and fast food.
To me, the families are broken because parents live apart from the grandparents and thus put enormous pressure on themselves to be the all for their children. It is both relentless and stressful.
On the other hand I was raised by my grandmothers, and while this had its share of problems there were many advantages including me building very strong relationshps with the grandparents, the grandparents feeling useful and having companionship and childcare being able to be divided between several people.
If my sister has children it will be my pleasure to look after them with my own, just as I was often being raised with my cousins.
That’s the bit that I’ve struggled with the most as a parent – not having family around most of the time.
I think happiness/responsibilities & skills are probably equally important. I want my kid to feel loved and to love and be happy, but I also want him to have a good moral code and skills for life which will mean that he is going to be capable of supporting himself. My kid is little – he’s not quite two- and he gets looooooooots of love and attention from everyone but at the same time if he’s happy by himself then halleluiah and I’ll be happy by myself and it is expected that he will learn consequences of his actions (he throws something it gets taken away from him, he spits on the floor then he cleans it up etc.)
It’s hard work enough with two parents, I can’t imagine it as a solitary gig. Single parents get my sympathy and respect.
“It’s hard work enough with two parents, I can’t imagine it as a solitary gig. Single parents get my sympathy and respect.”
The thing is, sympathy and respect don’t solve any problems.
Well said Elsa. I get sympathy, and maybe some respect, but where the hell is the practical help. That’s what I need, PRACTICAL help.
opal, that’s true but still does not address the deeper issue. I don’t know how to get this across any plainer, the cracks are in the foundation. Do people not know what this means?
OK, maybe what people are talking about is the effects of the cracks in the foundation. But I see that the very foundation of the world we are living in is cracking, so what’s to be done? At this stage no one knows if we are heading for one big quick cataclysm, or if this is will be a more drawn-out process. At the moment I am working on the notion of individual self-alignment to what’s coming, but that may turn out to be a luxury against actual future events. I don’t have any faith in effective change at government level,so I see it is up to the individual to reset the foundations of their own life according to the exigencies of the time we live in. In which parenting is one aspect of many.
“the cracks are in the foundation. Do people not know what this means?”
To be honest I don’t know what it means. It could mean many things depending on what your ideal of parenthood is.
The topic is HUGE. Where to start?
I think Elsa and her husband are both right.
Happiness is important–kids need to be taught how to create a life that allows them to have it.
But life skills are vital,too–and tie into that. Both boys and girls need to be taught how to manage money, hold down a job/run a business, maintain a car, think ahead, relate properly to the opposite sex, cook and eat balanced meals, keep a house clean, handle credit wisely/stay out of debt, etc.
The past couple of decades, I’ve noticed that life is moving faster and faster for a lot of families. In fact, if you’re a parent and you’re NOT running around like a maniac, society acts like something’s wrong with you. Could the fact that parents have lived at breakneck speed with super-busy schedules have something to do with the cracks in the parenting foundation? Maybe parents no longer have time to know what’s going on with their kids–and maybe they expect the schools to teach kids how to navigate life. I don’t know.
I don’t think most kids even realize they are going to have to navigate life. They’ve got a cell phone, right? What else is there?