In my opinion, there are three types of parents.
The first is the “oh shit, you’re pregnant?!?” parent. They are not only ill-prepared for raising a family, but they most likely gave very little thought to being a parent until they were well on their way. They may not have planned their family, but once set in motion, they never forget that it is a human being that needs discipline as much as they need unconditional love
The second type is the “oh, won’t we look so cute with a baby” parent. They’re the ones who see their children as little walking billboards for their affluence. They buy clothes from baby gap, toys from The Discovery Store, and buy super-strollers with mountain bike tires, storage compartments, and a Land Rover to take the little tyke to Montessori.
The third type is the kind that views children as the “next logical step” in the evolution of their relationship. They’re the “well, we’ve done everything else” parent. They often times are as ill-prepared for parenthood as the first type, but make bigger mistakes because they’re just trying to avoid the same mistakes their parents made in raising them. They never discipline their children, don’t teach them manners, and do everything but wrap them in bubble wrap and anti-biotic ointment to keep them from harms way.
You really have to wonder about people who are adamant about starting a family in the first place. It is a big responsibility that few people are prepared to take on, yet, there they go spewing forth another generation. There are very few legitimate reasons for having children, but that doesn’t seem to stop most people from polluting the world with their genes.
I think many people have kids not for some deep seated instinct to procreate, but as a way of righting the wrongs in their own lives. They see their own children as an experiment in a controlled environment in which they will use to prove their worth to the rest of society.
Just so we’re on the same page, I absolutely adore children. Not in a Michael Jackson way, but because they are not yet completely brainwashed into being politically correct. Yes, I like kids because they’re infinitely more honest (and by association, interesting) than adults. But once parents begin parenting, they RUIN everything. They do their best to turn them into clones of their own design, beating down creativity and individual thought.
I guess what I’m saying is that so few parents these days remember what it was like to be a kid. The sheer joy from rolling around in the mud. The excitement and awe found from a simple trip to the corner store on your own for the first time. The feel of your helmut-free head as your hair streams behind you while careening down a steep hill on your bike. The way your favorite pair of pants, holes in both knees, felt just out of the wash. Watching TV all morning on Saturday and recreating what you saw with your friends later that afternoon. Do remember what it was like to be a kid?
I’m sure there are exceptions to the rule. There always are. I just don’t see them very often.