Why We Limit Our Children To One Hour Of Good Parenting A Day
As a parent, it can be daunting trying to organize your kids’ days. How much time should they spend on homework? What about exercise outside? Or fun with friends? Who knows? But if there’s one thing we all can relate to, it’s the worry that our kids are spending too much time plopped in front of their families, growing lazy from all that unconditional love. That’s why my wife and I are committed to limiting our decent parenting to just one hour a day, no matter how much our kids whine, or throw tantrums. We’re confident that in the end, they’ll thank us for the time we freed up. Also, I just joined a new golf club, so …
The fact of the matter is that modern children are receiving more committed parenting than at any point in human history, and we just don’t know what the side effects from that may be. Could it inhibit cognitive ability? Possibly. What about obesity or diabetes? I could see that happening. Frankly, tuned out kids, trapped in the tender embrace of their participating parents, aren’t being equipped to face the outside world. Take it from me, a guy who really needs to make my tee time, so can we wrap this up?
Just go back 30 years, to my own childhood, and you’d be shocked at the amount of time parents spent engaging with their children. I’m honestly not sure I met my father until high school, and he played the TV in the basement loud enough to let me know he was there the whole time. If I can be half the neglectful parent my own Pops was, my kids just might have a chance to achieve like me. They don’t just hand these golf membership out, you know.
According to the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Youth, children between the ages of 8 and 11 should be getting at least 60 minutes of physical activity, 2 hours or less of screen time, and 9 to 11 hours of sleep a day. Wow, must be nice. I only got 10 hours last night, and I still squeezed in the back 9 before lunch.
But here’s the point. You’ll notice, nowhere in there do they mention even remotely competent parenting. That’s right, they’ve partitioned out zero hours for parents to give a crap about their kids. I’m willing to do one!
Let Them Soar
My goal is to give my kids wings, but then let them learn how to soar on their own. And I mean that literally. I bought some wings off of Amazon to shut them up, and I’m assuming they’ll read the instructions before rushing off of any roofs or bridges. But I really don’t know that for certain, and that’s the point.
My only concern is if they get too much decent parenting at their friend’s houses, without my supervision. What if they come home expecting us to spend time with them, or help them with homework, or be on a first name basis? We have different rules in this house, and I don’t care how “cool” or “present” their friends’ parents are. That’s just not how it’s done around here.
Life Lessons? Sure.
In the end, I’m hopeful that my tough love approach to parenting will teach them a valuable lesson. And what’s that lesson? I know it. I really do. Hmmmm. I was just talking to my wife about it, but she went somewhere. Actually, where is she? She knows I need to get to the club, and the kids are going to be home any minute. Shit, what am I supposed to do if they run in and just sit in front of me, starring?
Okay, maybe I could just put them in front of the TV. Or they’ve got iPads, right? Or phones? I’m pretty sure they can just veg out on one of those screens, and they won’t even notice if I slip out. Okay, that’s it. Whew. Close call. I would hate to do anything that would stunt my kids’ development…Oh no, I just heard the door slam. I have to get all these screens on! Good luck.