Ah…Good Times, Good Times

posted by Momo Fali on April 11, 2008

Kids today seem so different than the kids I knew growing up in the 70’s. I realize that makes me sound old enough to wear knee-high stockings and a plastic hair cover, but it’s true.

Most recently, I’ve taken notice of their “can do” attitude. Having been brought up in an era when they don’t keep score at soccer games, when every kid gets a trophy at the end of softball season, and when computer games tell you it’s okay to lose…kids today receive an incredible amount of affirmation.

Yesterday my nine year old daughter had a friend over, and I had a back window open so I could hear them playing in the yard.

Apparently they were attempting to do something with a degree of risk, because I heard my daughter’s friend say, “You can do it! Believe in yourself! BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!!”

I couldn’t help but flash back to when I was nine and had just watched my friends swing across a ravine on a rickety vine. They were all waiting for me on the other side, and when they swung the vine back to me, I got nervous and hesitated. But, instead of saying, “You can do it”, they said, “Come on! Hurry up, you pansy!”

Maybe, just maybe, things are changing for the better.

    Comments

  • The MomBabe


    I don’t know. the whole pansy bit was a pretty good motivator….

  • Lisa


    I’m not sure if I like all the positive affirmation even when they get stuff wrong but then MY kids never do anything wrong so they DESERVE all their positive affirmation 😉

  • BusyDad


    Disney has burrowed its way deep into our children’s collective psyche. This is (hilarious) evidence. did she break out into song afterwards?

  • Heather


    Well, Disney has a way of making everything seem doable. Have you seen Enchanted? I totally have the rats at my house trained to do the housework and it’s all because of the positive affirmation I get from Disney. =D

  • Ashley


    We’ve all become touchy-feely. I mean, shit…everybody’s blogging. And if you check into my blog, at least every week I’m being all sentimental.

    I think it’s a good thing…but does this mean some of our kids are going to be all cocky and a pain in my ass? I mean, I know not MY kids…because Lorelei is perfect. KWIM? lol

  • The Immoral Matriarch


    *lol* I woulda called you a pansy too.

  • Corey~living and loving


    Life is good. and this post is better.

  • katye


    Your daughter’s been watching those motivational infomercials again?! Cute!

  • meleah rebeccah


    Oh My God…

    That is sofa king true.

    “We” never said things like “believe in yourself” back in my day either. It was always more like “c’mon chicken!”

    Great analogy.

  • Angie


    Yeah, what happened to all the pansy’s anyway?

  • Tara R.


    Oh, our childhood days… good times, good times. That’s hilarious!

  • Ed (zoesdad)


    Your friends were kind. You got off easy with pansy.

  • Dapoppins


    This makes me chuckle. My boys will encourage each other to be naughty this way too…but not so much when it is time to clean their bedroom. I just can’t figure it out.

  • Bean


    Hilarious!

  • Bee


    Ha ha ha!! We would make kids jump off the diving board by saying “You jump or we push you sideway!” They always jumped!

  • MommyTime


    I remember “chicken!” and “baby!” as some of the less aggressive motivators. It is nicer with actual encouragement.

  • Karen MEG


    Pansy, well, that wasn’t so, so bad. Bet you didn’t hesitate too much after they called you that, though.

  • Stephen


    Maybe things have changed…positive affirmation is something I’ve almost never seen, from elementary school up to the corporate world. 😛

  • NukeDad


    You nailed it. I’m getting ready to coach my sons flag football team and the YMCA reminded us about 10 times that “We don’t keep score”. I said, “Why not? The kids sure know what the score is, just ask them”. God help the kid who doesn’t experience something “non positive” (was that pc enough?) until they’re too old to know how to handle it.

  • Monica


    Hilarious! But I dunno, I think kids might be better off with the old-fashioned “find your self-esteem or else” method.

    I found your blog via the “More from BlogHer” links from another site. Your posts are quite funny — I thoroughly enjoyed my stay!

  • Jo Beaufoix


    Momo this is so true. Fantastic. And I love that you butt pinch up the stares to bed,, We do the bum smack, That works well too. 😀

  • LiteralDan


    If they had been boys in the same situation, you would have had to close the window in disgust

  • secret agent mama


    I think that the pansy-comment is better for character building, yo!

  • Birdie/That Girl


    this is off the subject, but since you’re more of a cre8buzz expert than me, tell me this– do you accept every friendship request?? I guess what I’m asking is, is it rude not to accept friendship requests?
    Thanks Momo & have a good saturday

  • Cheffie-Mom


    WOW, I love this post! It reminds me of Peter Pan when they say “just believe”. Yes, maybe things are changing for the better 🙂 I am new to the blog world and have a blog called I Overcooked My Family, I’d love to chat!

  • Stacey @Real World Mom


    What a great story! I sincerely hope things ARE getting better!

  • transfattyacid


    I grew up in the seventies – and you are right that we were franker then – but I think in part it was because we did more stuff. I rememeber that from quite an early age – say eight – it was not uncommon to walk a mile and a alf to the river to spend the afternoon playing on the bank – so if you were slow or held the group back you could expect a mouthful, but I don’t recall meaning it in a nasty way.

  • transfattyacid


    Oh and we did used to keep score when we played football, but mainly the punishment for losing was that you had to go in goal.

    Mind we mainly played Wembley – which was that if you scored you went through to the next round – and the game continued until there were only two people left and the one who scroed was the winner.

    Or esle we played kick against the wall – which was just as it sounds, but you were only allowed oe touch of the ball and if you took two touches or missed the wall you were out – when we played at school the tactics were always the same, kick it so it went under the mobile classroom and it was virtually impossible to get it out fromunder there and still stay in the game.

  • Bec


    Yeah, “hurry it up ya big whimp” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

  • Selma


    I remember being motivated to try really dangerous things by being called ‘Loser’ and ‘Spaz.’ Those were the days.

  • Jared


    I think positive reinforcement is good, if they do something that deserves it. Not keeping score in sports is not a good idea in my book. What next, not getting grades in school? Life is full of wins and losses, and childhood is all about learning to be an adult. Why hide the truth?

  • holly


    i wish there were more of that kid around. my daughter’s friends have sucked the life blood out of her with comments like “you’re not a very good singer” (lie) “you’re not a very good drawer” (lie) and “your mother smells funny” (that might be a bit true…)

  • soapbox mom


    What an encouraging, lovely post. I’m glad to hear it. I hope you’re right and that things are changing.

    When we were on vacation recently, I saw the exact opposite. Kids shoving kids to get to the front of lines, never saying “excuse me,” not taking turns (or not waiting to take a turn).

    Your post was just what I needed to regain a sense of hope.

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