I belong to a generation of parents who are going to changed our world.
Even though I “shared” the following quote, “One generation of deeply loving parents would change the brain of the next generation, and with that, the world” the cynic in me thought, ‘This is a bit oversimplified, isn’t it?’ It was such an inspiring thought, though, that I couldn’t help but to keep thinking about it.
So I have been asking myself, can change that significant really happen in one generation? It wasn’t long before I remembered the recent Grammy nominations which surprised me. Music that I like and listen to was now . . . popular? Have I changed? Become milder in my parenting years? Yes, I think so, but I also have noticed a shift in what is popular in rock or alternative music these days.
A Tale of Two Concerts
I could go on and on about the positive messages in popular song lyrics, the decrease in cussing – especially in live shows – or the wider range of instruments (accordions, trumpets, and fiddles!), but instead I’ll share two stories that illustrate the dramatic change in the cultural experience of live shows.
A decade ago, Mike and I went to a music festival hosted by our local rock radio station. Though we had seats, we were pushed around a bit by fellow (mostly 20-something) revelers. At one point, Mike leans into me, and between gritted teeth confides that the very drunk, flailing fellow next to him had just relieved himself on the floor in front of him – a little bit got on Mike as well.
Fast forward to this past holiday season. Mike and I attend the winter version of the same event, with pretty much the same circumstances. This time we listen with a gentler (also mostly 20-something) crowd. When I was knocked around a little bit, the fellow said “excuse me,’ and parents danced with their tween kids. To top it all off, someone pointed out to me where a drink had been spilled so I would avoid it.
I will entertain the idea that our most recent experience could have been an anomaly, but it didn’t feel like it. I think things have changed.
Music Just Isn’t What it Used to Be
Whether you are a person who likes a particular decade of music, or someone who loves music from different eras, most people can agree that great new music is always coming out. Rock isn’t the same music that it was when it first emerged, nor should it be. It has changed, along with our culture.
Parenting, too, has changed. Whether we attribute it to an evolving definition of the family unit, early childhood education, infant research, personal experience, commercial standards, or childhood advocates, our societal definition of “good parenting” is changing.
We may look to the way parenting has been done and even rely on tried and true strategies for rearing our children, but parenting gurus (i.e., Sears, Gerber, etc.) are becoming referenced more every day.
If we as parents can commit to parenting our children with the same passion that musicians commit to their art, then we too can generate a new standard for what constitutes decent and good parenting.
We parent with deliberateness. We try. We reflect. We make mistakes. We try to do better. We forgive ourselves. We love our children. We accept them for who they are.
We are a generation of parents that are going to change the world.