Are we raising a generation of helpless kids?

(241 Posts)
YouTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 09:43:06

Interesting article in the Huffington Post about if we (generally) are doing too much for our kids, letting them get away with things and not letting them take the consequences.

I have to say I find a lot of it quite true, though obviously not about every parent but in a general way. I see a lot of this at school. Parents descending full of violent indignation that their child has been reprimanded or hasn't got a place in an after school club, where I had never seen this behaviour when I was at school (bloody ages ago).

My own dd (18) has some funny idea that she will waltz into a fantastic job after college when, in reality, she will probably have to work in Asda and gain some experience first.

jammiedonut Fri 22-Nov-13 09:48:33

I certainly wasn't raised in that way, and neither are my nephews and my own child. I think a lot of the behaviour you are seeing is a reaction against the harsh upbringing of the parents. My dad was physically and emotionally abused by his parents. We, as a result were treated with kid gloves and probably got away with a lot more with him than we should have. My mum on the other hand was strict and taught us to be independent. I hope that my blend of the two will lead to happy, independent adults leaving my home.

ElfontheShelfIsWATCHINGYOUTOO Fri 22-Nov-13 09:50:28

age of instant gratification. iPhones, iPads, instant messaging and immediate access to data is at their fingertips," he says

I have heard of this before and DC not being able to concentrate long enough in class to learn when older as so used to instant info.

I think schools are also responsible for expectations or rather how they are taught, both my parents were from very poor back gronds in poor parts of the UK but both left shcool with a very good grounding in grammer, spelling, maths I left school after primary with nothing.

noblegiraffe Fri 22-Nov-13 10:01:25

As a secondary teacher, parents swooping in with forgotten homework, PE kits and so on really annoys me. I once saw a kid texting her mum to tell her to go to the shop right that minute to buy some ingredients for making a pasta sauce as said child had not only forgotten her food tech ingredients, but had forgotten to mention that she needed them. The mother hopped to it. shock

But when you see threads on here saying 'should I take x in?' lots of people respond 'of course, it's the kind thing to do'. I think teaching kids responsibility for their actions and to be organised is better in the long run, and if suffering the consequences of not being organised is part of that learning curve, then so be it.

mumofbeautys Fri 22-Nov-13 10:03:38

I was raised helpless at that was in the 90's lol
so yanbu !!

YouTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 10:05:22

I totally agree, Noble.

I can see why a primary age kid's parent would take things in for them (forgotten lunch etc) to some extent but I really think doing it when they are 13 is counter productive. They'll never learn. I have a colleague who still does almost everything for her dd - who is in her 30s. I find it quite shocking.

mrsjay Fri 22-Nov-13 10:06:16

I think i must have been right mean as i didnt read my children that way I was a suck it up sort of mother rather than there there , I wouldnt take pe kit in or whatever and i didnt jump to their defence if they were told off in school, I am not an ogre <eyes dd shiftily> but i am fair but i tried my best to make them independent

mrsjay Fri 22-Nov-13 10:07:27

raise* god knows where read came from

Joysmum Fri 22-Nov-13 10:07:49

My hubby was helpless. Didn't have any life skills when he left home as his mum did everything for him. At 11 my dd already has the grounding she needs to be a good adult.

Childhood is about learning g to be an adult, it's the job of parents to make sure we teach them.

mrsjay Fri 22-Nov-13 10:08:51

I had to hide a recent thread as It was annoying me that so many people were there there a child where imo it was a minor thing some parents blow things up to be major and make a fuss march into school and say how dare you,

YouTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 10:09:07

My dd was never a forgetful type at that age anyway. I'd think if it was a regular problem that, as a parent, you'd try to find ways to help them remember rather than running in every other day with forgotten items.

mrsjay Fri 22-Nov-13 10:09:22

Childhood is about learning g to be an adult, it's the job of parents to make sure we teach them.

^ ^ this

mrsjay Fri 22-Nov-13 10:10:15

yes I agree if they do forget then we need to help them not enable them to keep doing the same thing over and over

Anomaly Fri 22-Nov-13 10:10:45

Each generation always thinks the next is lacking in some way. Life changes, always has.

Crowler Fri 22-Nov-13 10:12:16

Guilty. My kids are so helpless. I try to fix it and implement logical consequences, etc but I'm constantly caught out by a gush of love and guilt.

Interesting point from noblegiraffe, I"m going to remember that one.

YouTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 10:13:53

That's why I've made it a bit general. Not every parent is like those in the article. But it's a phenomenon that I had never encountered as a child myself (I'm 44). Most parents get on with it and hope to bring up independent and happy individuals but some really seem not to be teaching those basic skills to get through life without Mummy having to do it.

fackinell Fri 22-Nov-13 10:16:43

Yes!! My DP had to show his 16yo DD how to stir a pot. I was shock and asked how that had managed to happen. She also can't change her double bed. Her parents aren't doing her any favours.

hillyhilly Fri 22-Nov-13 10:17:11

It's our responsibility as parents to teach our children how to look after themselves and become find, thoughtful, responsible (& lots of other adjectives!) human beings.
Parents who do everything for their children are failing them IMO (though it's usually quicker and easier to do it that way).
If, by the time my children leave home, they are unable to cook, wash, clean, communicate, socialise and remember what they need each dat, I will have failed.

YoucancallmeQueenBee Fri 22-Nov-13 10:18:19

I think a lot of children are being raised to be helpless idiots. It is one of my biggest bugbears about the "preciousness" of kids today. We have gone from being a society that thought nothing of sending kids up chimneys to one that won't even ask kids to make their own bloody bed!!!!!

My DCs are expected to be helpful & responsible - I've been doing this since they were tiny & had to put their toys away at the end of each day. They are early teens now & can cook, iron, do laundry, mow the lawn & even check the oil in the car, not to mention make their way around London on public transport.

However, I have friends who'd be terrified of letting their kids so much as make a piece of toast, in case they got burnt / set fire to the house / got electrocuted or any other far fetched disaster. As for letting them get on a bus, you'd think it was akin to suggesting they work as a trapper in a coal mine!!!!!

mrsjay Fri 22-Nov-13 10:18:30

I also think parents should start calling older toddlers by their ages such as oh my dd is 32 months no they nearly 3 years old IMO it is keeping them babies for too long,

mrsjay Fri 22-Nov-13 10:19:54

As for letting them get on a bus, you'd think it was akin to suggesting they work as a trapper in a coal mine!!!!!

grin my dds boyfriends mum will not let him get the train home late at night he is 21 not a teenager it is ridiculous

YouTheCat Fri 22-Nov-13 10:22:03

Will it all come full circle? Will we end up with a generation that are so helpless that their kids have to take on more responsibility because their parents don't know how?

I wonder what our kids' children will be like.

wordfactory Fri 22-Nov-13 10:22:54

I think it's very easy to raise helpless kids in modern society. Particularly if your family sits in the economically comfortable part of society.

Because of where we live, my DC need a lot fo lifts. Because their schools are excellent, everything is on tap. Because we have a lot of help in the home, they don't need to do any chores. Because I work from home I am available if needed.

I try to constantly remind myself that anyone who can do somehting for themselves should do it.

noblegiraffe Fri 22-Nov-13 10:23:55

I have to say I'm guilty of having a helpless child. I posted on here asking whether my 4 year old would be able to get help peeling a banana and putting a straw in his box drink if I put one in his lunchbox when he started school.

I was blush when posters responded that their child had been perfectly able to do this by the age of 4 for themselves. It hadn't even occurred to me to let him try!

YoucancallmeQueenBee Fri 22-Nov-13 10:26:35

noble - do you mind me asking why it didn't occur to you to let him try? Was it that you thought he wouldn't be able to do it, or did you feel you should be doing everything for him?

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