Adult Reality Check 101  

Generations of pathetic parenting

The distressing aspect of today’s parents, both the young parents, and perennial rescuing boomer parents, is they have forgotten or have forgone the very model of successful parenting that has kept society strong for decades; the strict, no no-nonsense style the parents of baby boomers adhered to. A model based on being responsible for your actions, your choices, and ultimately your own independence.

Today’s parents have deluded themselves with the self-important idea that their world is the fastest, and most challenging time in history, when in fact our parents and many of boomers have lived through exactly the same mindset. The 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s were no picnic when it came to a changing world. Fortunately for us boomers, our parents were in a family friendly and consummating kind of mood. Consummating, as opposed to the consuming mantra of today’s parents.

The difference in generations are painfully obvious by values each hold or held dear. Today’s parents seem to gauge success by their perceived status, and by their possessions, yet for previous parents, the family, the members in it, and the happiness of the family unit were the window to the family’s success.

Seniors realise now, that they don’t reminisce about the new 26” Sony Trinitron they bought 1976, or the memory of the shiniest Oldsmobile on the block in 1982. They do however reflect fondly on the memories of who was in the living room watching the Trinitron, or who came out on drives in that Oldsmobile. It was the people, not the possession’s that made life’s moments and memories grand.

Money came and money went, they got richer and they got poorer, many were down then came up, just the cycles of an ever changing, always growing, western society. Somehow all these lessons got lost in a media and consumerist society where bigger, better, faster, has falsely made everything superior. The focus shifted to the possessions of people, the property that pronounces the peoples, over the substance that truly defines the people.

In an informed world, where we are supposedly self-aware, how did helicopter parenting, coddling our kids, and paranoid parenting ever take root? Did we miss something from our parents that makes us over compensate with our own children? The Boomerang kids, (adults) are rampant in western society, even though posing a serious embarrassment for both generations. It is considered by many professionals a disservice to the growth of our children, a convenience of circumstances that is self-serving to both parties but detrimental to the natural path young adults should be taking.

Many of us were faced with adult choices by the end of high school, a job, college or university, a marriage and family, all with adult consequences, good or bad, success or failure, and all by our own hand. We faced recessions, tough economic times, and a changing world just like today, but with no parental safety net to bail us out over and over again.

In the end, it made us responsible, accountable, and in many cases successful. Judging by the successes of many of my peers, was there anything wrong with that?

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About the Author

Jeff Hunkin is a 47-year-old Community Service Worker working with autistically challenged male adults in Vernon. The son of a retired Edmonton city policeman, Hunkin was raised and educated in both BC and Alberta. Hunkin continued his studies of the Human experience for over 10 years, in 7 provinces, 3 states, 15 cities and at least a 100 postal codes.

At times he has known the privilege of materialistic wealth and at others lived in a world of harsh poverty.  He has loved and lost more than most people see in a lifetime, he has been a free, happy and unbridled spirit, yet for a period of time, imprisoned within the depths of depression, all the while studying and observing the human experience unfold before him.

Hunkin's subjects are the very topics we usually discuss in our staff rooms, coffee shops or dinner parties. For whatever reason; being fear-based, being politically correct, or just no mainstream media theatres of discussion, these subjects rarely see the ink of print. HER side, his side, their side, your side, you may not like it, but someone will. Hunkin will take it, talk about it, run with it, roll with it, and see where it takes us all.

If you want to contact Jeff Hunkin about this week's column please e-mail - [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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