A few weeks ago, I was out on a walk with the boys, we stopped at the playground for a bit so Bennett could get some of his energy out. There was a lady there with two little girls, I'm assuming these kids were her daughters. The little girls were playing and swinging like normal little kids. I watched as the lady lit up a cigerette and started talking on the phone. Two minutes later, the older of the two girls, I'm guessing she was around 4 y/o, went over to her "Mom" and started digging through her purse. Meanwhile, the lady had no regard whatsoever of the smoke that was being windblown directly into her daughters face. A few seconds later, this lady noticed that the little girl was digging around in her bag, swatted her hand and told her "stop it right now, go play or we're leaving!" And just carried on with her phone conversation and cigarette. Everyone has their own way of parenting but, WTH.
I see this kind of thing happen all of the time. Adults blatantly disregarding their children's needs and best interests. What are these little girls exposed to on a daily basis? They are way too young to be dealing with that kind of behavior from anyone, let alone their supposed Mother.
Later that very same day, I was reading a facebook post about how a little boy around Bennett's age said the F-word. I was shocked to see 10+ comments of people saying "oh my gosh, LOL"... etc. I'll just come right out and say it, I don't think that's funny, not at all.
But what impacted me the most was this comment on the thread: "Well, you can't shelter them forever."
Frankly, I hate that statement.
Of course I realize that when people say that, they are usually referring to tweens, or teenagers or whatever. And I get the reasoning behind it, to an extent. But this little boy who was using this awful curse word, was FOUR years old. Maybe it's just me, but I will most definitely be sheltering my kids until MUCH older than 4 y/o.
I look around and see what is happening in our society and my heart skips a beat, in a bad way. There continues to be more and more violence, television is offering more leniency on foul language, and sex and drugs are becoming the "norm" for middle schoolers, and *gasp* even grade schoolers. And what's worse, is that our culture seems to be more tolerant of it. Truthfully, that scares me to death.
Every. Single. Thing. affects our kids. Our language, attitudes, who they spend time with, and the things that go on around them. A little boy saying the F-word and a young girl inhaling second hand smoke is unacceptable in my book. That's not me being overly judgmental, that's me being a Mother.
Children are pure, and untainted, and offer the most sincere kind of love there is. No one is perfect, and as adults & parents, we all make mistakes, and don't always act as good examples. But I just wish people would work harder to be more careful around their kids, and to maintain children's innocence a little longer. Let our kids be KIDS without all of the negativity.
That's not to say I'm going to put my kids on lockdown and hide them from the world or anything dramatic, but for the most part, I will always out of my way to shield them from things that could negatively influence them. Call me overprotective if you want, but I am not ashamed of it.
I know how this might come across and I promise I'm not trying to be self-righteous. I am the first to admit that I have a lot of work to do. I have done things in the past, and probably will continue to do things that makes me a hypocrite in writing this. But I really am trying to work on myself to be a better influence for those around me.
I want this world to return the innocence to our children, and stop robbing them of it at such a young age. I look at my two little babies and want nothing more than for them to hold onto that purity for as long as possible.
The next Mama Memoirs Link-up will be Thursday, June 13th!