For starters, someone else is always telling you what to eat. Oh, you hate broccoli? Too bad. You want cereal for dinner? Too bad. As an adult, you can eat cereal for every meal, and no one can say a word. Cake for breakfast? Have at it! My husband hasn’t eaten a mushroom in the 13 years I’ve known him. If he was my kid instead of my spouse, you can bet your ass I’d make him at least try it.
Now that you’ve finished your breakfast cake, what are you going to wear? Whatever you what, that’s what. Probably not most kids out there. Even the ones that are old enough to make that choice may have to wear a uniform to school. Who picks that uniform? Some grown-ups. You may say, there are adults that have to wear uniforms to work, or at least have a dress code. Sure, but those adults chose the job they go to. Kids don’t have a choice about attending school, or usually even which school they go to. Who chooses? You got it. More grown-ups.
Don’t even get me started on curfews. Adults commit much of the after-hours crime, but kids are the ones who are bound by municipal curfews. Just another way being a kid is like being a felon.
Of course children can’t be allowed to make all of the choices in their life. They aren’t capable of complex decision making, and given the choice they would mainline sugar, never bathe, and watch cartoons all day. Actually, that sounds like some underemployed adults I know. We need to remember that when we talk about how great kids have it, we are thinking from OUR perspective, and that does our children a great disservice. I’m not saying parents should allow kids to make the choices I’ve highlighted here, but don’t discount their worries and troubles. Try to remember back to when, as a kid, you felt disrespected by an adult, or when you were disappointed and an adult minimized your feelings. A broken Lego creation IS a big deal to a five-year-old. A fight with a friend really is a catastrophe to a twelve-year-old. Respect that.
Being a grown-up can be tough. Our decisions are difficult because we understand the consequences and we usually have others relying on us. That can feel heavy and scary. But never forget: We have booze, and the other awesome grown-up things that kids don’t. And those poor suckers have to go to bed early while we stay up eating the good snacks.
About the Author
Amy and her husband made two kids, a three year-old-girl and a five-year-old boy. She stays at home, but doesn’t consider herself a housewife or homemaker, as she owns no aprons or pearls. Amy is an expert in nothing but laughing at the absurdity of parenting. You can find her at Funny is Family.