Thursday, October 13, 2011

Parenthood as an American Excuse for Apathy

I had a rather funny exchange with a friend on Facebook yesterday.  Have a look:

I just got a psp and 2 new god of war games it is a good day

 ·  ·  · 16 hours ago via mobile · 

    • Ryan-Nikki Wissler psp an xbox bitch!!! GO IRISH!
      16 hours ago · 

    • Graham Lau I just ran a 5k in 20.5 minutes. Almost broke 6 minutes on the first mile. Priorities.

      "Look at your thumbs. They're way too well defined. That is a powerful index of incompatibility!"

      15 hours ago · 

    • Ryan-Nikki Wissler well there mr lau.....IF i was able to run or had the free time that u do to run MAYBE....i would. my prioritie is beign home at night after working all to be with my sons while my wife goes to school at night. me playing xbox is a way to take out aggresion and have some kind of a social life. SO in and your big words can go fly a kite!!!
      15 hours ago · 

    • Graham Lau Dude, I was trying to pick on Nick. Don't get your panties in a bunch. I'm pretty busy myself. I'm traveling to Switzerland next week to do some xray spectroscopy on a particle accelerator, so I've been prepping samples non stop. That on top of my graduate classes, reading books, and trying to move forward in my research so that I can get my Ph.D. before I turn 35... Sometimes we get busy. But that's no excuse for letting our physical and mental abilities fade. I play XBOX, too. I find it to be a good way to keep my mental abilities sharp. But I still read, write, exercise, go out, and spend many hours in my lab (and still find time to sleep). Here's a fun idea, play XBOX for about an hour to relieve your stress and then play some physical games with your kids. They can get strong while you keep yourself in shape.
      14 hours ago · 

    • Steph Ison Ladies ladies it will be ok lol
      11 hours ago · 

I consider Ryan to be a friend, and I'm sure he loves his children, but I have no sympathy for his excuse for his lack of exercise.  For all of the people I've met in my life who've used their children as an excuse for not exercising or challenging themselves, I have known just about as many who have children and yet make the time to keep themselves healthy and strong.  Indeed, it generally seems that the parents who manage to maintain enough discipline to devote time to their children while finding time to exercise their bodies and minds tend to have children who learn to do the same.

One common theme I've seen amongst some parents in America is the attitude that parenting is so 'hard' that it excuses any negative attitudes, lacking health, or failures on the part of the parent.  That to me is the equivalent of not accepting the consequences of the decision to have children.  Apathy cannot be excused through children.  Indeed, that attitude just creates more apathetic children who then turn into apathetic parents themselves one day.  Break the cycle.  Get off the couch.  Take the kids for a walk, read a book with them, teach them how to do cartwheels, etc.  Children live what they learn.     

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