Oh, come on. Are we new modern parents even half as ridiculous as we’re still made out to be?
A pack of old coots up in Canada seems to think so. They’re shaking their fists in the air and complaining about a perceived, collective, prolonged adolescence in a series called “Grow Up” running in Canada’s National Post (I know, I know, why am I reading the National Post?!).
Many parents … aren’t growing up at all, they write in the introduction. From middle-aged women dressing like high-school fashion victims to daddy’s X-Box addiction, modern adults are reverting to childish habits en masse.
If only we’d embrace the elasticized waistband! If only the old man would take up golf! (Wait, now what are we doing wrong again?)
What’s weird is that while reading the first installment of this I kept checking to make sure I hadn’t clicked on a really old link. The commentaries, which can be summarized as “parents these days!”, reads like a rehashing of the whole hipster parent/Ramones onesies discussions of early 2007. (Think I’m exaggerating? They quote Neal Pollack.)
And like those who filed their “hipster parents are ruining society!” missives years ago, Christine Rosen argues that today’s parents care more about themselves or being cool and raising cool kids, than about raising good people. Her evidence? Dooce discussing PPD aaaaages ago, excerpts from Ariel Gore’s Hip Mama’s Survival Guide (published in 1998!), and Cookie magazine’s children’s fashion spreads (Cookie is gone, Rosen, gone! It was shuttered last week because, among other things, too many of today’s parents were just not that into it.) And an indorinate amount of condemnation aimed straight at Babble and all those who can relate. Although the evidence came from Strollerderby blog posts from (ahem) 2007.
So what’s Rosen’s big beef with parents today? I think she’s upset that parents like their kids. How completely un-old-fashioned of us.
She doesn’t say that, of course. None of the contributors in the series does. Instead, they harp on how unwilling to grow up today’s adults are. We want to share our lives with our kids. They make sweeping generalizations that apply to everybody except the people they know. Barbara Kay writes: Adolescence as the new adulthood is a widespread but thankfully not a universal phenomenon. A smart and savvy subsection of the middle class — my own children and most of their peers, for example — present as counterweights to the extreme solipsism that Christina Rosen wrote about in these pages yesterday.