Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Loving yet Tough

Here is an article, published three weeks ago, that I think captures Gen X parenting quite well. I see many of examples in my own life and those of my freinds. What do you think?

Jacqueline Frazer, 40, a stay-at-home Toronto mother of two children under the age of 2, is another resourceful member of Generation X. One of the things she has done to reduce conflict with her 21-month-old son is teach him American Sign Language, so he can ask for juice or a snack.

Like many Gen Xers, Frazer says she is open to new ideas about child-rearing and looking to non-traditional sources for information. She relies more on other mothers than on her family doctor.

"People our age understand that doctors are just educated guessers, particularly when it comes to parenting," she says.

Mothers groups are important to these women, providing a sisterhood of support and a treasure trove of child-rearing insight. This is another natural consequence of few family supports.

When her daughter was born three years ago, Rachael McCaig joined the Metro Mother's Network, which has numerous branches throughout the city providing informed discussion groups as well as group play time. Sessions cover everything from nutrition to post-partum depression.

McCaig, a 33-year-old actor whose parents are in their 70s, notes that Gen Xers don't necessarily want older generations helping out. Nor would she turn to boomers for advice – they are raising undisciplined kids "who think the world owes them a living," she says. "We are raising our own kids so differently."

Daughter Molly already knows she must pick up all her toys and put them away after playing or she won't get to play with them for a couple of days.

Frazer, too, says kids need to be taught to be responsible.

"I find teenagers today don't have a lot of discipline. Parents are trying to be their friends and not parents."

The dozen women in her mothers group share this concern. In a problem such as correcting rudeness on the playground, "we make sure we are fair and tough," she says.

Read the rest...


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