A dad and his daughter, a dream come true
This is very relatable even for a Gen-Xer without children, who grew up outside the US and whose parents were Silent Generation, not Boomers. I don’t tend to buy into the stereotypical characteristics of different generations too much (because there are millions & millions in each group and many different variables affecting development of an individual’s character), but this piece brought up feelings, for sure! <3 Great work
LOVED this! What I love about sharing stories across generations, is it helps you see the throughlines. Because humanity doesn’t change from one generation to the next.
My perspective is very similar. My oldest is almost 23 and my youngest is in first grade. So I started out surrounded by GenX parents (like me, but mostly a bit older) and now I spend more time around Millennials.
I can remember when kids started being treated differently. Like in the late 80s, after Whitney Houston sang about children being the greatest gift of all. Babies started being strapped into car seats, rather than sitting on a parent’s lap in the front seat. Child abuse started being talked about openly on Oprah. But she even challenged the norms on things that were perfectly legal, and perfectly accepted: spanking, hitting, and name calling.
My older brother struggled with dyslexia. As a young child, it wasn’t just kids that would call him mean, teachers could then too. Kids were told to toughen up: "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." I saw the before and after, and I was so glad even then that the culture was changing for my younger Millennial cousins and the kids I babysat.
There’s so much I’ve learned from younger generations too and my older kids definitely point out everything I’ve been wrong about — and there’s a lot. But still, there are lessons I’ve learned while growing up that I don’t want to forget and that I think are important to share.
And yes, the girl fishing with her dad video made me cry, the good kind of tears. Thanks for sharing :)
Here's a much less heartwarming version of that "fishing trip" vibe, told as though it's supposed to be just as heartwarming. (By Kristi Noem at NRA forum.) I especially enjoyed the part about how Dad followed her (at age 10) and made bear noises so she'd be scared after he forced her to "hunt her way" back to camp on her own, miles away. Tthe link should be cued to the beginning of her story. I don't know how to make a YouTube clip with an end point, so you can stop after she sums up how Dad taught her valuable lesson by pretending to abandon her in the wilderness.) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvVi7wwMUMg&t=118s
I don't place much faith in the veracity of Noem's anecdote, but true or not, it sort of illustrates a wide range of parenting opinion and ability when it comes to giving children room to fail and succeed without doing everything for them. I think the dad in the fishing video was a great example of how to do it right, while Noem's dad - if her story is true - was something of a monster who makes a little sense of how she turned out the way she did.