Eden Chen

Hypocritical Parents and Our Love for Cute Things

Eden Chen January 06, 2019

What does it say about our society when people are willing to wait 20 minutes in a drive thru line when there’s no line in the actual restaurant. We increasingly refuse to engage or connect with others when we’re able to stay in the confines of our cars… or our phones, games, computer screens etc.

One of the biggest questions that’s talked about in parent circles (I feel so mature) is the dilemma around screen time. The irony is that technologists and Silicon Valley parents are at the forefront of limiting their kids from screen time. Is this something that low income parents have the luxury to care about? That’s for another post.

There are parents who refuse to let their kids use ANY screen time. They think it warps the brain… but just for the kids though… which is why those same Silicon Valley parents need to hire nannies to enforce this. I can definitely see this in Talitha. When I have the TV open she stares at it. I’m not even sure she can see what’s on the screen but for her it’s some kind of magical drug.

I’ve been curious as to why certain things comfort babies and why they don’t apply to us. Sucking, being swung back and forth, being swaddled, being put on our side, and the shushing noise (better known as the 5 S’s). Maybe in one or multiple one of these is a therapy for insomnia and stress?

What lessons can we learn from the 5 S’s and what lessons should we be learning from the danger of screen time that we apply to our own children — if it’s dangerous for them, it’s dangerous for us.

This week I’ve also realized that people care so much more about Talitha than me. She has brought everyone in my family together (on both sides), people are FaceTiming us more than ever, and there’s no posts that engage like posts that include pictures of Talitha. I think it’s really similar to cat videos, there’s no clickbait like super cute things like babies and cats.

This made me think about why it is that we care so much about cute things? There’s nothing we learn from seeing a cute thing and we get nothing out of it personally. There’s a visceral, natural response to something that is cute that makes us forget about our worries. I think we’re wired that way and I think it’s great to be in a season where so many of our friends are having kids as it naturally provides perspective to our self centered lives.

We live in a society though is producing less and less children (in most cases the survey says it’s because people don’t feel that they have enough money or time, but there’s definitely something deeper going on here as people don’t have less money than they did in the past). I love the world that Alfonso Cuaron creates in Children of Men. There are so many implications here but a society that has no children and that doesn’t care for the next generation is a society that has no hope.

God is good,

Eden

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