By: Revanche

What’s scary for the next generation?

August 23, 2017

The post where I talk about my parenting fears, tell me about yours! My reply to Harmony’s question (What scares you the most about being a parent?) turned into a post. Of course it did! There’s so much about parenting, the inherent responsibilities, and to some degree helplessness, that I worry about.

As the good kid who took few risks, I worry about holding my JuggerBaby back by thought or attitude, but also I worry so much about zir safety in this world. It’s gotten meaner and colder in many ways since I was a kid, though I know for a fact that there are a lot of wonderful, amazing, supportive people out there too.

The best thing I feel like I can do in a situation where I have no control is to make sure ze knows that ze can talk to me about anything no matter what, and that there’s always another sensible adult who has tried silly, stupid, risky, or scary things and grown up to gain some wisdom from it to ask if ze doesn’t want to ask me.

I hope that ze will take acceptable risks and live the best of zir life, and have enough pain to build character but so much pain that it leaves indelible scars.

I hope that ze learns that there are people in the world who are terrible, awful, horrible humans and it’s ok to call evil by its name – like the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville. That there are people who will manipulate you six ways to Sunday for their own personal gain or amusement – like my sibling. That there are people so entirely selfish, and such utter blowhards, that the harm they do to you is just collateral damage in their eyes – like my mom’s siblings. But I hope there’s a way for zir to learn these things without having to be exposed to them daily like I was.

I’m scared that of all the things we try to teach JuggerBaby, the lessons won’t be heard and ze will turn out to be someone we don’t recognize or even like, like my sibling did.

I worry that I won’t be here for JuggerBaby the way ze needs, for all of zir life. I worry that if I do end up crippled in ten more years, ze won’t be able to see the example I’ve always tried to set for zir – work hard, work smart, advocate for yourself, advocate for those who can’t speak up for themselves without being harmed for doing so, leave the place at least a little better for your having been there. I believe in showing, not just telling, when it comes to real life values.

Financially, I don’t want zir to experience the same pains that I did but I have no interest in shielding zir from even most of life’s bumps – it would be far worse in my eyes to cushion zir every fall and end up with an adult who still needs zir mama to do all the accounting to make sure ze has money at the end of the month. Ze has got to make bad choices and mistakes early enough so that ze has time to learn from them and recover, my competence with money can’t be the reason ze doesn’t understand why ze should not carry a credit card balance in zir college years.

We can’t be the parents who sheltered JuggerBaby so much that ze has no idea how much grit ze has.

I have to take comfort in the fact that I got this far in life being me, which wasn’t always a good thing, and yet somehow nurtured enough loving friendships to feel supported and to know JuggerBaby is well loved even if most of my family is too toxic to allow in our lives. I’ve had to come a long way to be a good enough person that I’ve not been embarrassed to look in the mirror, and I know that JB has to take zir own journey to become a compassionate, caring, canny, strong and generous person. At least I hope that’s the goal.

And in today’s world, I hope that the worry about nuclear war doesn’t come to pass, and that humanity will stop trying to completely destroy itself whether by allowing the rise of facism and Nazis in America, or because we’ve bombed ourselves out of existence. Our kid’s generation should be better than we were, not worse.

It might also be a good idea for me to stop watching cop shows. Law & Order alone has given me more nightmares than I care to think about.

:: What do you worry about for the next generation? What did your parents worry about for you?

11 Responses to “What’s scary for the next generation?”

  1. I worry my kid won’t take enough risks, and that she won’t learn resilience to bounce back when a few risks inevitably fall through. I worry that the job market will be even crazier when she goes into it, and that she’ll struggle to find a career that compensates her fairly and is somewhat secure. I worry that public policy will be dominated by selfishness, blame, and short-sightedness as she grows up and that those factors will compromise her education, the environment, and the infrastructure she needs to operate within.

    So basically, everything but an alien invasion is on the fear list.
    Emily @ JohnJaneDoe recently posted…New Grocery Store in Town: How Does Lidl Stack Up?My Profile

    • Revanche says:

      Now you’ve added alien invasion to my list! 😉

      But the state of things is such that maybe that wouldn’t be so terrible at first.

  2. I read somewhere that there are more child abductions on tv crime shows like law and order than there are in real life… hopefully that’s true!
    nicoleandmaggie recently posted…Handy-dandy list of cut-n-paste responsesMy Profile

  3. eemusings says:

    I imagine I would worry about what the housing market is going to mean for any kids I have – will they have to live in substandard unhealthy rentals, if the laws and the market don’t change? Will they be paying over 50% in rent? Will they ever be able to buy a place? If not will things have changed that give renters security here?
    eemusings recently posted…Class, relationships and money: What happens when opposites attract?My Profile

  4. Taylor Lee says:

    I worry about global warming and whether it is ethical for us to have kids if it means they will come of age in a resource-strapped world.

  5. First of all, thanks for the shout out! It’s so awesome to have inspired a whole post from such an awesome fellow blogger <3

    The world really does seem to be turning into a scarier, darker place recently. I often talk to Mr. Smith about taking the family to go live on an island somewhere, but we can't just keep the kids sheltered in a perfect little bubble forever. During my last seven years as a parent, I've learned that this journey seems to involve a lot of give and take, balancing on the line between coddling and traumatizing your children.
    Harmony@CreatingMyKaleidoscope recently posted…Monday Medley: Birthday Party, Zoo Trip, and Back To WorkMy Profile

  6. I’m afraid Baguette won’t be able to live independently and have the choices I want to be available to her. I’m afraid she’ll be lonely; I’m afraid she’ll be mistreated.

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