Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas wishes for 'millennial' parents

I read this column in my local paper this morning. As a mom of teen girls for the past 10 years thru the next 7 years, I couldn't agree more! 

By SUZY RYAN - For the North County Times North County Times - Californian
Posted: Monday, December 27, 2010 12:00 am

This holiday season, I'm sending a different kind of request to the North Pole. As a "millennial" mom, I need wisdom to help my children navigate through a changing culture. So, here was my Christmas list to Santa for all parents out there:
1. Help us be invisible "friends" on Facebook to our kids. No embarrassing posts or status updates without permission from our teenagers. And remind us to refrain from constant comments on every new photo of theirs. If the tables were turned, I can't imagine my mom writing on my "wall."

2. Help us mothers not dress to rival our teenage daughters. We are supposed to be mature, so no "Juicy" booty shorts. Please. Now, I'm not advocating Pilgrim chic, but some mothers show so much cleavage that they frighten the males in close proximity.

3. Help us age gracefully. Why compete with the younger version of ourselves? It's not all about us anymore! We enjoyed our day in the sunshine, but we should move from the starring role to a support player. Instead we push up, snip off and trim down, trying to recapture our glory days. With unlimited money, maybe it works for Demi Moore. But when will most of us learn that no amount of exercise, surgery or hair extensions will stop the aging process?

4. Help us be the parents who don't always attempt to please our offspring. This leads to confusion. Although kids may think they want a friend, deep down they really want someone who loves them enough to hold them accountable. When my generation grew up, parents didn't worry about pleasing their children. They expected their children to please them.

5. Help us not take everything personally. We need to "have the heart of the child, the brain of a scholar and skin like a rhino." Yes, it's easier said than done. After almost 20 years as a parent, I'm still struggling with this one.

6. Help us understand the college "panic" and assist with the never-ending selection process. Years ago, when we applied for school, the university gig was a simple report card, ACT and application. In today's world, students even secure themes by junior high with companion websites by high school to compete for coveted college spots.

Over the years, I've teased my "millennials" that I had it tougher than they do. I trudged uphill to school both ways ---- in a blizzard. In North County, we don't have snow, but the relentless pressure on our youth is enormous. This Christmas season, may Santa help my generation be parents whom their teenagers will not want to "unfriend" on Facebook.

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