Panic Attack Parenting

I’ve been reading a lot of parenting articles on Facebook lately, and they are freaking me out.  The first was about how kids aren’t getting enough time to be free and unstructured, but you don’t need to read it, I just summarized the entire article.  I kind of agonized over this for days.  Oddly, I was mostly worrying about Luke, who has about 10 hours of baseball a week, and nothing else going on.  My full time daycare child is in a great place and I know he has plenty of time to use his imagination and play kick the can or whatever else people did in the article’s Utopian world.  The real question I had from that article was, “Am I Supposed to Quit My Job So My Children Can Have Unstructured Play Time?”  Because I don’t see how it’s possible to come straight home from school, make yourself a snack and play some pickup baseball with the kids on your street when both parents work.  Why did I get irate about this article, when Dave and I both work from home, and Luke comes home from school and plays baseball in the street all the time?   I’m not sure. Because I am crazy?

The next article to freak me out was about American Kids being spoiled.   Again, I was filled with “I’m-doing-it-wrong-malaise.”  But the thing that bugged me about that article was that no solutions were offered.  In retrospect, the title was “Why Are American Kids so Spoiled” not “How to stop spoiling your kids.”  In summary, kids are spoiled because their parents spoil them.  It was a really groundbreaking article.  Sorry I spoiled it for you.

So, all this has lead to a great deal of self-analysis, and as I pondered my parental failings, I remembered that back in the day, I used to ridicule parenting articles.   What, pray tell is the difference between then and now?  Have I lost my mojo? Is losing your mojo too 1999?  What happens now?  I lost my swagger?  That sounds like it needs air quotes.  Did I “lose” my “swagger”?  OMG, I really have turned 39.5 haven’t I?  It’s all over.  Forget I ever said swagger.  I am having a midlife crisis and I lost my mojo.  I think it’s much better that we all agree that the problem is a midlife crisis.  Because what else could possibly have happened in the last 4 years to cause me to doubt my parenting skills?  Dun dun dun: Jack. Nope, it can’t be my sweet, sweet boy.

Summertime goal:  If I must read parenting articles; view them as opportunities to revive my Panic Attack Magazine blog series.




6 thoughts on “Panic Attack Parenting

  1. Jack

    Here’s the deal. Kids need to be kids. They don’t need parents organizing every moment. Everybody doesn’t get a trophy. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose. And they should learn that. Life is hard and frustrating, helicopter parents (those who hover over the child) do that child a disservice. Kids need to learn to entertain THEMSELVES. Use their imaginations. Fall down and get up. Get bruised and try a different way. Strike out. Learn. Start over. They will be better for it.

  2. Laura

    unstructured time: hogwash! just a generation ago (all my grandparents and Mike’s) – kids the same age as our kids were expected to take care of younger siblings, help with the subsistence agriculture (ie – FARMWORK!), do non-automated house work, mending, hand-washing clothes etc. kids today need the activities due to the absence of meaningful chores. Idle hands….
    RE: Parenting articles – I found a book at the library a couple of years ago – “Momfidence” by Paula Spencer (who makes her bread & butter writing for Parenting magazines). Her book basically said that they have to sell magazines, but none of that stuff means anything and just listen to yourself. oops spoiler alert.

  3. Laura

    oops, in my excitement I forgot I was going to do all U2 themes. ok, As Bono once said, ‘In [New York] freedom looks like/ too many choices. Tell yourself you will stay in./ But it’s down to Alphaville’

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