In the past, I've complained about raising children in a culture suffused with 24-hour kids' TV and endless access to video games. I'm not going to do that any more.
Over this last holiday season, I spent time riding bikes with my daughter along the boardwalk in Mission Beach. I took my son to a local baseball diamond and hit him ground balls for a while. In both cases, without my intervention in some way, they would have sat themselves in front of a video screen of some kind. That used to bother me, but it doesn't any more.
As I rode bikes with my daughter, it occurred to me that every generation of parents has had its share of problems. We complain these days about our kids being inactive or obese and spending too much time in front of the boob tube. However, every time I offer to go do something with them, they jump at the chance. If I accept the fact that in my era a parent's burden is that you have to provide the incentive to get off the couch then it all falls into place.
Less than 100 years ago, parents worried that their children would be stricken with polio.
At the height of the polio epidemic in 1952, nearly 60,000 cases with more than 3,000 deaths were reported in the United States alone.
About 30-40 years ago, parents from a very different generation had to deal with the introduction of illegal drugs into society. Not being familiar with drugs like heroin and cocaine, they didn't know what to look for and many times their children were terribly harmed before they even recognized the problem.
There are lots more examples of the burdens various generations of parents have had to face, but I think you get the point. These days, we have to be the stimulus to get our kids off the couch. It's a drag, but it's just the way things are. I'll take that over polio any day of the week.