This is not normal.

Most people just are like whatever, yes there is a problem, and move on with life but not me.

The past four years have shaken me so hard that I have decided to drive across country to raise awareness about teen issues, mental health and what’s going on with our nation right now.

My trip has mapped out to be about 4,000 miles!

Now through my research, this isn’t as simple as you would think. I am not talking about the trip but the issues at hand.

Today’s Issues!

This is not all sunshine, rainbows, lollipops, and unicorns.

No, this is more like trolls under the bridge ready to scare you.

If I had to write a book right now about the complexity of what’s going on the book would be huge.

Almost the size of a desk dictionary!

If you have no reference, it’s big!

Maybe larger!

Why?

Because the story of our youth isn’t just one simple story.

No. This story needs tons of therapy! Years, people.

These stories are multi-dimensional and super complex and involve not just those kids but everything that surrounds them like their parents, community, environment, events, society, situations, etc.

There isn’t one single ‘that’s it’ thing. I mean you can point at 9/11, the invention of technology, single parenting trends, two income families, recession, etc. but it’s super hard to say, ‘that’s the culprit.’

I read a lot and I talk with people a lot and everyone seems to have their own spin of growing up, teen issues, and parenting.

You have to know idea!

Everyone is so different.

It is mind-blowing! Boooom. Seriously.

Everyone has their twist on kids, parents and today. It is super interesting to hear the experts, parents, kids and everyone else. At least for me. But somedays, I wish for a single fix, but there isn’t one yet. There are ideas, but not one key solution!

When I think about all of this, questions pop up like:

How to do we parent right?

What should we do? What should parents try?

Why parents aren’t doing it this way or that way?

The list of questions can go on forever, which makes it really hard to figure out what makes one path better or worse for a kid.

And truly if anyone is doing it right.

Or is there a right or wrong?

Or are we all just trying to muster through raising kids the best we can with the knowledge we have?

I think that what’s happening. And we are either winning, struggling or failing terribly.

When in college, I read the book, The Irrational Voter.

Today, I would love to write, The Irrational Parent.

Because currently, I think that’s what we have. We have a group of adults irrationally trying to parent kids and sorry to say but we are selves as parents are messed up and struggling to be ourserlves, find happiness and keep our heads above water so of course, our kids are, too. And if they are not, they are super awesome and they have figured it out better than us and they deserve a sticker.

As I speak with people, I am like wow that happened or wow that’s how it all occurred or wow that’s how you handled that situation. Today’s stories are fascinating, strong and insane all wrapped together. And creating this generation.

Hey, I have faults, too, but I am always amazed to hear what’s going on in others lives and shocked how parents are approaching situations and then how their kids are functioning.

Again, I am not a parenting goddess. But when you start to read, observe and listen, you start to put major pieces together and you are like, “what’s going on” and “how can you, I, we do this whole parenting thing better.”

I told I wouldn’t write what you would like to read. I am not saying parents are insane. I am saying I believe parents have lost their way resulting in this lost generation. A generation who lacks control, character, values, self-esteem, gratitude, grit, and a lot of other things because we are lost, too. Have you ever looked at the self help section in a bookstore?

You can’t ignore the huge industry of self-help for our generation!

As a teacher, mom and community member, I have seen it and I don’t like it. I don’t like the state we are in. Not at all.

I have seen apathetic parents just except this generation. I have seen parents send kids to therapy but not fix home life. Or parents hand their kid a device and ignore it and hope the problem just goes away.

But it’s not enough.

Because we are losing this generation, we are feeling horrible pain and we are all crying to find help.

This isn’t easy. I have been through it myself with my son.

I get it. It sucks to admit faults, imperfections, and weakness, but personally, I am tired of my generation saying, it’s not me, I can’t fix it and it’s everyone else’s fault.

The blame game isn’t a good one.

The ‘It’s not my fault. It’s the school. It’s their friends. It’s their peers. It’s this generation. It’s their fault.’

We need to reverse this to say, ‘It’s my issue. It’s my fault. I have to change this.’

Yes, parents need to own their parenting and take some of the blame. Not admitting, we are part of the problem is the problem.

I believe for once and owing to our mistakes, decisions, issues, or problems and taking some of the blame will help our kids. Painful as it is but very true and part of the solution.

The kids aren’t to blame. But it’s us!

Sadly, our generation is to proud to say sorry, it’s my fault and I made a mistake. We are too distracted by work, tech, and other things to admit. We just don’t have time for that.

Fact!

I will admit. I have had to own up to mine. I have had to say sorry for drinking too much. I have had to say, I am sorry for being sad for a while. I have had to say, I am sorry for hurting you.

Because I have done all of that and I have had to own up  and parent and yes, I am not perfect. And that’s okay.

For real, I am their imperfect parent who is trying to guide my two boys through life awhile experiencing life myself and in reality, I am gonna to make mistakes, have to say sorry and admit to making mistakes.

But from now on, I am going to be part of the change and own my parenting, push for better and be informed as I parent.

See that’s it, people.

We are all living. We are going to make poor decisions. We are going to stumble and fall, but it’s up to us to make the decision to say, I am part of the better tomorrow. I am part of the solution.

This is how I see it…. as parents, we need to take back parenting, own up to our mistakes and reboot the parenting as something that is cool, trendy and must to raise kids again.

We need to take back the power, teach values and put our kids first. We need to invest in them and see them, not ignore but truly see, listen and be present with them.

Now, I can enlist every parent to join my little movement but that’s not going to be enough.

This parenting thing has to be a community effort.

Yes, every one of us has to contribute to this generation because we are all parents and we need all hands on deck to tackle this generation’s issues of depression, suicide, poverty, education, drugs, abuse, etc, as a nation.

Listen, parenting is hard.

But it’s been with us for years. Each generation has done it their way. Good or bad? They have tried.

Now more than ever, we need to try, commit and restate parenting as a nation!

Happy,

Allison

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