America, Stop Acting Like a Teenager

americaWe can all agree that there’s a problem in America today. I’m not going to say that I’ve got the solution, but I think I’ve figured out what’s wrong. America has turned into a teenager. She needs sleep, guidance, healthy food, room to test her boundaries, and a hug. Most of all, she needs to grow up.

For many generations, America was the baby nation. We were so cute and cuddly and filled with a vibrant youthful spirit that others, for the most part, couldn’t help but want to be around us. Sure, we bounced on the walls a bit and couldn’t help but fall down. At the end of the day, we were growing and learning. A few decades ago, we hit an awkward pre-teenage phase. Our clothes were always too big or too small, we never had enough money, but we still came home and had dinner at the table. We were in a hurry, though, so those microwave meals and fast food hit an all-time high of popularity. Recently, we have entered the God-Awful teenage years.

I’m not going to sugar coat it. Americans, in general, are putting on the appearance that we’re a group of rambunctious, immature, gossipy idiots and we’re spoiling things for the good kids. The people who act out the worst are getting the most attention. We’re diverting resources from those who want to help and giving them to those who won’t help themselves. The art of parenting has turned into a busy dance of babysitters, with few people accepting full responsibility for the charge of raising their own children. Parenting does not stop at the age of 18. We need to form lifelong bonds in order to get back to our roots and build a better future for our kids.

We can’t keep up like this. People are getting hurt.

How do the best parents handle the teenage years? They offer forgiveness mixed with sternness. Maybe America needs to be grounded for a little while. No more amusement parks, no more new cars, no more allowance until you make an effort to change. Stay home, be with your family, do your chores. After that, we’ll see if we can start to fit in some rewards. And, no, you don’t need another bag of Doritos. Have an apple.

We’re in a rough patch right now, but I’m hopeful that better times are ahead. I don’t know how long it will take everyone to grow out of this phase, but I think that things will get better when America cleans up the mess from the keg party, quits drinking cheap beer, and settles down. Look how much people change when they find love. If the answer is that simple, all we need is to support a love for the Earth. Whenever things are difficult, I go outside and get back to nature. People might be doubtful that being green is the way to go, but I know that it’s true. The Green Kids aren’t all the most popular people in our crazy-America-high-school, but they’re the ones who are going to be our bosses in a few years.

When all else fails, more rules won’t help. Let’s give things time. Watch a garden grow, go camping, make food from scratch. Do something that takes time. We’ll look back and these teenage years will flash by in an instant. Right now, they’re dragging, but the end is in sight. Get ready for graduation.

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2 comments on “America, Stop Acting Like a Teenager

  1. Karin says:

    If it took us 200 years to grow from infancy to teenagers, how long will it take us to grow out of being teenagers? 🙂

    Also, can you clarify your meaning behind this sentence? “The art of parenting has turned into a busy dance of babysitters, with few people accepting full responsibility for the charge of raising their own children.”

    • ecoincognito says:

      Oof I hope it doesn’t take another 200 years! I could probably fill an entire other blog post with my commentary on the statement that few people accept full responsibility for the charge of raising their own children.

      It has less to do with using caregivers and more to do with the responsibility of following up with shared parenting. Every parent should take the time to know what their kids are doing in school, with an ex-spouse, or a babysitter. It’s important to follow up and have conversations with these people. By using open communication and respect with everyone, your child will learn those skills in relation to the people they see most often and pass that on.

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