episodic list articles by Corey B. Buckner

The 5 Best: Things My Kids Are Allowed To Do That I Wasn't

by Corey B. Buckner

One thing my parents will never understand is that raising kids in the 2000s-2020s is dramatically different than raising kids in the 70s, 80s and 90s. These kids today have more freedom and more access to things than my generation of kids could have ever imagined. Then, when you add to it that I have a blended family, we are living through a pandemic, and the world's legal restrictions have changed how parents parent children; some days I just stare at my kids and say to myself, "Man… I could have NEVER done that." Here are 5 things that my kids can do that I couldn't do.

5. Ask My Parents for Money

Let me be clear, my parents were not poor, BUT I WAS. Yeah, my parents spoiled me in some ways, and I had a great childhood; but one thing I didn't have growing up was what they call walking around money. If I was going on a school trip my parents would provide me with spending money IF, and ONLY IF, the permission slip said that I needed it. Even then, my mother would tell me to ask the teacher how much money I needed, and that is what I would get. What I wasn't about to do is tell my parents that I am broke and need some money on me. Imagine then, my surprise the first time I heard one of my kids call my parents, the same people who told me I didn't need to just have money on me for no reason, and say that they were broke and needed some money in their pockets. THEN.. have MY PARENTS get in their car, drive to my house, and drop money off to them. Are you kidding me? Who are these people? I wouldn't even imagine these same people allowing me to walk into their bedroom as a kid and ask, let alone walk away with cash in hand. Now, my kids are getting UBER Cash?

4. Stay In The House All Day

When I was a kid, if it was hot outside do you know what elses was outside? Me. One thing I wasn't about to do on a hot, summer afternoon was sit around my parents' house messing it up. I can't tell you how many times I was sitting in the basement enjoying the cool, air conditioned air and minding my own business only to have my mom or dad tell me to get up and go outside. I'm sure I'm not the only one who was told not to come back until just before the streetlights came on. What I wasn't about to do was sit in the house running up my parents' electric bill when God had supplied me with an abundance of free sunlight and activities on the outer side of the four walls of my parents' house.

These kids today; I can't tell you how many times I've come out of my bedroom and gone from room-to-room and seen kid after kid slumped down watching or playing something electronic. Now, Meeks (my wife) and I didn't use to let them do this all day, but the pandemic really changed the game in this regard. So, due to a confluence of events; my kids now get to do what I wanted to do as a kid, and that's stay in the house all day playing video games, watching TV, using up all their parents' A/C and electricity and eating up all the food in the house.

3. Choose What they Want for Dinner

Believe it or not, for some reason my parents never once brought a menu to my bedroom and asked me what I wanted for dinner. I know… THE NERVE. When it came to food in my parents' house the rules were simple. We ate what my mother cooked, when she served it and after that the kitchen was closed. PERIOD. But these kids today, they literally get options for anything in the house they want. Now, this one is not all roses for them because they also have to COOK the food. Meeks and I together have five kids, four of which still live with us. But, up to a year ago before one left for college, there were five kids in our house; three of which were teenagers. So Meeks made it priority number one to get them all up to speed on cooking duties. Now, they get to choose the meals they want and cook them themselves. With that said, I would have gladly taken on cooking duties if it meant that I didn't have to suffer the injustice of being forced to eat my meatloaf or liver as a kid. These kids, they have no idea how good they have it.

2. Watch What They Want When They Want

I didn't get my own TV until I was a Junior in High School. I had a TV in my bedroom growing up; but unfortunately I also had a whole other person (my older brother) in my bedroom with me. That meant that any TV I had access to in the house had to be shared with other people. I couldn't just guarantee that I would have control of the dial when something I wanted to watch came on. At best, I could navigate that "you watch a show, then he/she watches a show" schedule to catch as many shows throughout the day as possible. I didn't have DVR, and trying to record something on a VCR was a losing proposition.

Not only do these kids have DVR, on demand, YouTube and everything else; every single thing they own plays video. Phones, tablets, laptops, computers, gaming consoles; these kids never have to worry about sharing the TV with a parent or a sibling. Neither do they have to care at all about what time a show comes on because one way or another they'll just watch what they want whenever they get around to it. I couldn't just pause my TV show, go use the bathroom, make a snack, talk to a parent, and then resume the show when I was ready. I had to wait for a commercial break, then had two minutes to use the bathroom, get my snack, do whatever my parents asked me to do, and get back to the TV. All the while, I had to HOPE that a sibling didn't "take the TV" and turn the channel on me while I was gone. If I missed something on TV, I just missed it. There was no rewinding or restarting the program; I had to wait until the episode was randomly replayed as a rerun during the summer months… you know the months that I wasn't allowed to sit around and watch TV all day!

1. Call Me By My First Name

I find this one most entertaining. As I mentioned before, Meeks and I have a blended family. Three of my kids have only known me as "dad" since birth. My other two kids met me at the ages of eight and fourteen and first met me as "Corey, their mom's new boyfriend." So, for several years that's who I was to them, "Corey". During the time I was getting to know those two kids, I was going through a custody battle because my other three kids were being kept for me. So, for about eighteen months I was just Corey.

Fast forward a little bit and Meeks and I were married with full custody of all five of our kids. So, I have five kids… three of which call me dad, and two who acknowledge me as a dad but often refer to me how they always have… as Corey. It's always a little funny to me because I have five kids; with no distinction, just five kids. But I allow two of them to call me by my first name. This is something my father would NEVER allow one of his kids to do! Heck, I wasn't even allowed to refer to my mother as "her". Yeah, I know how we got here; but I literally don't see a distinction between my kids and it is still funny to me when I'm standing there talking to my youngest son and he says, "Hey, Corey. Can we go to the store?" It gets even more hilarious when I hear one of them say to a friend, "Hold on, let me ask my Dad," and then turn around and say, "Corey, can I walk to the store with my friends." I know, that's a technicality; but still the same; I WOULD NEVER have been allowed to turn to my dad and say, "Hey Clarence..." update: all my kids call me dad now

Anyway, that's my list.

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