September 21, 2019

The Myth of a Magical Childhood

“We parents are on a quest of Tolkien magnitude: curating the perfect childhood for our kids. It’s a never-ending and, quite frankly, thankless job that reaches peak hysteria in summer when school’s out. From now until September, for the children of parents who have the means, life is a bombardment of camps, play spaces, theme parks, and vacations.

The reasons we’re so obsessed with cramming our kids’ calendars with imposed fun are myriad, and rooted in the socially-engineered mutant that is modern parenting.

First, there’s that intensely guilty feeling that if our kids aren’t getting to suck every last bit of fun out of every day, they’re suffering and it’s all our fault. This is especially pronounced if both parents work and feel the need to compensate for being family-time-poor. Then, there’s our crushing fear of the words, “I’m bored.” Other than being intensely irritating, this phrase signifies parental catastrophe. Our mission to provide All The Joy All The Time has failed. And, of course, we’re driven to stuff in as much manufactured fun as we can manage in the hope that it’ll mask our parental failings.”

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