Brent and I are millennial parents raising 4 alpha children and before tonight we thought we had it all figured out. We had this plan to rock this parenting thing but there are so many layers to parenting and we feel so unprepared now. Today, Anayah celebrated her 8th birthday and birthdays are a big deal in our home. We make the kids feel like that day belongs to them and them alone and they love it. Anayah’s requests were very small this year, a reborn doll, some clothes for the doll, a sewing machine, and a highchair for her reborn doll. I informed her this is the last year I am buying doll clothes, now that she has her sewing machine, she can make her own doll clothes. She has a keen sense of style; she will do great in this area. Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, for breakfast, she asked for heart shaped pancakes, pizza for lunch and birthday cake for dinner. The pizza at lunch time was supposed to be made by me and I woke up feeling gung-ho to get the job done but I decided instead of spending all that time in the kitchen, I would simply order in and spend more time with her on the day that was made especially for her. Thank you, Domino’s Pizza, for never disappointing.
After our cake dinner, we decided on Karaoke. We had the best time. In the beginning, Brent and I mainly participated. We sang lots of oldies. My favourites are Diana Ross and Aretha Franklin to name a few but tonight I included reggae and soca. Then it came time for the children to choose their songs. Anayah’s first selection was from Maroon 5. I absolutely love them, but I have not heard any new music from them in a while because I have not been paying that much attention. The song is called Memories. Beautiful song but I never played it in my home, so I asked her where she had heard that song. She heard it from a Gacha Life video on YouTube. Hmm ok, then came the next request Lewis Capaldi and someone called Billie Eilish, then Eli asked for Ayo & Teo. Good grief I never heard of them.
I had to stop for a moment and take it all in. The children are growing up quickly and as parents we want to have a handle on things but how possible is it to know everything? At 8 and 9 years old they are already having preferences to music; they are using apps that will expose them to issues and topics that I would rather postpone. I feel like I have missed so much but now that I caught wind of it, I will address it. I am guilty of letting the screen keep the kids’ company when I may be preparing meals or cleaning or any other chore and that time they are being exposed to so much and yes there are parental controls and all that, but a few things will always slip through the cracks.
To be honest, we panicked a bit. I know this may sound a little far fetched but we have just a few years to mold these little humans before the big bad world steps in and tries to rob them of their innocence. We sat and tried to remember when we grew up what it was like but considering we were millennials raised by baby boomers, it was different. Yes, a few basics will always remain, but the world has changed since then and that stencil that was used on us, might not work on them. Do we try to tighten the reigns on them? We can see them rebelling completely against that method. Do we continue to have the light approach that we have now which leaves room for compromise and debate?
I still see them this small!
We had to quickly, get ourselves back to reality, it was just a music choice, it is not the end of the world. We can continue to go as we are and make a few tweaks, have a few more nights of karaoke, be deliberate with the amount of allotted screen time, check in from time to time on what they are doing, have wide open doors to communication and so on. Our children have many layers to them, and we must learn how to peel those layers as best as we can to get to the core so that we can gather a little more intel on them. If all else fails, tracking devices are our friends, I am serious.
So, our 8-year-old described her day as the best day ever and we feel ready to get back on the parenting bandwagon again. No one said it would be easy, but it is worth it. Our parents must have felt this way at some point, but they kept moving on and that is what we will continue to do. Side note, Anayah is already planning for her 9th birthday.