I know, I've said it. Whether it be to myself or someone else, there are have been multiple situations where I had to stop myself when the words started coming out of my mouth..."Well I turned out just fine."
You see, we are in a different generation of parenting than our parents or grandparents were. Our parents worried less, researched less, and trusted more. We played outside. By ourselves. Our only diet that existed was "low fat." Less sweets, and more healthy vegetables. We took our vitamins and hoped for a good report from the doctor. Kids got their vaccines. Kids went to school. Kids followed their parent's rules because if they didn't they knew there would be a spanking or a belt involved. Every kid seems to have a "my dad had a belt" story. We knew our neighbors. Trusted our neighbors. And we just went about life.
Today. Today we have the internet. Today we have forums. Today we have articles and more in depth research. Today the world seems to be a scarier place. Today we seem to ask more questions. Today, we question everything. In other words, we face:
The Worry Generation of Parenting.
From the minute our children are born, we seem to find ourselves running to the computer for everything that they do, or don't do. To see where they stack up developmentally. To look into an unknown symptom they are having. To find the perfect, all natural remedy to those symptoms. We figure out what's safe, and what isn't. And sometimes we want to do opposite from what we had as children because we feel like we want to provide more, and do better. Sometimes, we think we know better than our own parents. Sometimes, even more than the doctors or experts.
But the real question here is..." But if we turned out just fine, why can't our children?"
Because we have more knowledge at hand, because we know more, because we are more aware of what is out there. That sometimes companies can't be trusted. That the people that truly care about our children's safety, are those that love them the most. Us.
Sometimes, though, the worry, the extreme questioning and concern, makes you wonder if all of what you are doing is good. How will this impact their future? Their present? Their development. Their behaviors. Their well-being. Most importantly, their health.
Sometimes, it's unfortunate that we have the internet, varying viewpoints, and a culture that thrives on asking questions. Because when are we ever 100% certain about what we are doing. The risk analysis for each situation always has a pro and con. There is always another side to every situation. The question is... are we always taking the right side?
The thing about it, I learn to let go when I need to. And I hold on when I need to. I trust where trust is to be had. And I build a wall where fear is around me. I want to protect and do what is best, but at the same time, I know that there is never a gaurantee to any decision we ever make.
I sometimes wonder what parenting would be like without the internet, evil in the world, and questioning theories all around us.
And although we will never know, it reminds me of one thing.
That we are our own expert. To do what is best with our children, and be confident in what we are doing. A little less worrying and a lot more believing.
Confidence in our parenting.