Generational Differences

This essay was published on Huffington Post, and can be seen here.

When I was a child, we played outside, rode bikes without helmets, we rode in cars without booster seats, and our parents didn’t organize and supervise play dates.

This is a popular meme making the rounds on social media. It’s usually accompanied by a photo of some kid jumping something enormous on a Big Wheel with no helmet, hair flying maniacally, face full of joy. The implication of course is that today’s children are too coddled. The Atlantic just did a big article on this subject (See here). The article was good. It focused on helicopter parents and people who won’t let their children do anything with risk.

But I think it’s a mistake to revere the way things used to be. When I was a child…keep reading by clicking here.

Isabel

Isabel, have patience!  Have patience, Mama? I’m only 1 and a half years old.  How am I supposed to have patience? And then I realized, today Isabel is exactly 1 and a half.  Happy 1 and a half birthday, Isabel.

Today Isabel also quacked at me. She picked up her new orange and white duck and said Wuack!  We wuacked back and forth a bit.  She is big into animal sounds.  For the longest time it was only barking, but lately, meowing is the most popular sound in her repertoire.  Maooooow, maooooow.  And now the duck.

If we blow in Ava’s face, she tries to eat the air we blow at her.  Isabel finds this completely amusing and has taken to blowing in Ava’s face as well, only she isn’t that great at blowing yet, so there is not a lot of air and Ava doesn’t respond quite as vociferously.  Instead she licks at Isabel’s blows.  Isabel, hoping for a bigger response, tries harder.