Next it was makeup. Yes, makeup. This was in 3rd grade. Again, why does my 8 year old need makeup? She has no blemishes to cover up, no under eye circles, she definately doesn't need mascara (hello racoon eyes!).
Then cheerleading, soccer, swimming, and any sports imaginable, mixed with art classes and ballet and whatever else may be of the child's desire or parents for that matter. But, all of the activites at once causing many of the 3rd and 4th graders we knew to not have time for play dates due to their ever busy schedules. We want cultured, athletic and highly intelligent children right? We spend our children's childhood whisking them from one activity to another leaving no time for learning to wait.
Towards the tail end of our intermingling with my children being public schooled (they are now homeschooled) it was coed parties. This was in 6th grade. I don't mean the kind of innocent coed parties where the kids play who can swing the highest while all the parents stand around and laugh, while supervising. I mean, the kind where as a parent you have to be sure that parents are supervising and not leaving the house during said parties...my children did not attend any of these.
The question begs to be asked...What is there to look forward to??? When I was a kid I looked forward to being 13, that was when I was allowed to start wearing makeup. I looked forward to being 16, that was when I was allowed to get my driver's license and also allowed to ride in the car with friends who had theirs. I looked forward to so many things that our children are already done with before they ever even move out of the 6th grade. If our children have already had the marjority of experiences that their parents had to wait until young adulthood to have, what's left?
I think its boredom...
Not the good kind of boredom mentioned in my earlier article here, but the kind that leads to apathy.
We are now living in a world where you don't have to wait for anything. In fact if you google something and the answer does not pop up in 1.2 seconds we get frustrated. If our cell phones break and we order new ones we expect overnight shipping and what do you mean its the weekend and it may take 2 whole days!?!?! We go to the U-scan at the grocery and feel irritation when the machine is too slow. We don't even bother to call others as it is easier and faster to just text message (yes, I am guilty of this one) We expect instant gratification and we will not be patient to wait for anything that takes time. We aren't doing such a good job of modeling good behavior to our younger generations when we can't wait either.
So what is there to look forward to if we have everything right now, if we do not have to wait for anything, if patience is never a virtue? I wonder if maybe we just need to slow down and create space for ourselves and our children to learn to wait for things, to look forward to things, and to have patience...