Leave it to Beaver Lied

Not at my house!

Does anyone else wonder what happened to the quiet, calm peace of the 1950’s Dinner table?  Sometimes I wonder what I’m doing wrong when I glance longingly at the wine bottle wondering if I should have it with dinner or enjoy a glass as a reward once the kids are in bed. Dinner at my house could qualify for armed forces training. There is flying plates to dodge when Tiny Tyrant spots something she would rather have than her designated dinner, search and destroy missions by Moody Tyrant when he flees the evil poison hidden in his food (anything red or green is immediately under suspicion) and negotiating worthy of the United Nations as I try to keep Mr. Tyrant from loosing his temper with all the drama and chaos.

Meal planning helps to some extent (www.savingdinner.com thank you so much!) but for the most part any given night can be a surprise raid that can turn my world upside down. I constantly walk a very fine line between trying to cook dinners that will suffice for my kids (or have components that I can quickly change up to something they enjoy (such as making Pad Thai but leaving noodles and chicken out and plain), and creating an atmosphere that doesn’t completely cater to the tiny tyrants in my house.

I wonder sometimes how much of this is the changing society that our children grow up in.  Are they so demanding of our time because they have so little of it anymore?  Did kids use to enjoy playing outside or by themselves more because they were home with mom all day? Or have we created a generation of children that need to be entertained constantly since they are so very used to the instant gratification of television, toys and constant companions at childcare centers. Moving into the holidays I’m attempting to keep digital interruptions out of our evenings by keeping the computer, iPad and my phone off or ignored until the kids are in bed.   It’s my own little social experiment and at the very least I’ll spend sometime proving to myself that Pinterest doesn’t run my life! 🙂

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5 thoughts on “Leave it to Beaver Lied

  1. Courtney Shukla (@courtneyshukla) says:

    I have thought about this a lot myself – the instant gratification/need for entertainment thing and kids of the post-Internet generation. So many of the things we did as kids – staying out until the street lights came on, making up imaginary games and worlds – it just seems like kids don’t do that stuff as much anymore. I think your experiment idea is awesome…oh and by the way I am struggling with the Pinter-obsession also…thanks for that, since you got me hooked…. 🙂

  2. Amy says:

    I like the questions you pose here and I think, like with most big issues, that the causes of children/families being different these days are complex, varied, and that there are lots of factors. For example I can show you quotes of parents saying things like “Today’s kids are so selfish!” or “Kids nowadays just can’t take care of themselves,” etc…and more, that are quotes from 50 years ago, 100 years ago! So one thing I think lots of us don’t realize is that ALL little kids have always been restless, hard to control, “bad” etc…and ALL young people have always been self-centered, contrarian, sullen, difficult, etc… We have much more transparency in our culture now so we TALK about it now and we have 24/7 access to see, hear, watch, and judge all kinds of parenting nightmares. These exact nightmares happened in Leave it to Beaver time but as a society we covered it up, acted like things were great, wore rose covered glasses, idealized, hid and LIED about it. That’s just one facet I could talk about. Motherhood blew the ideal off any misconceptions I had. Exactly NO family dinner, holiday, tea party, birthday, holiday, pony ride, grandma visit, beach trip, train ride, Broadway show, petting zoo, cupcake trailer, stroll in the park or music concert has ever matched the ideal. I find it hilarious.

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