All Lost in the Supermarket

Parenting in the Time of Climate Change

by Julie at ProgressiveKid

Picture by Jonathan McIntosh, 2004

After decades of capitalist indoctrination by the pervasive persuasions of our modern media, we Americans have almost come to believe that we are what they say we are—consumers. We slog through the workweek and then seek community at the mall or superstore, where, instead of communing with others or with nature, we are confronted with only one option: to spend. So we spend the weekend spending, hoping to appease that hollow feeling with more stuff. Buying, our modern substitute for the gathering our ancestors did, provides a rush that resembles satisfaction. Yet that near-good feeling often drains away later, at home, away from the marketplace and unfulfilled promise of community—the connection to others that we were actually, if unconsciously, looking for.

What does this have to do with climate change? Everything! Continue reading

Parental Anxiety: Running with Pointy Objects

by Julie at ProgressiveKid

plastic swordLike other parents of young kids, I find myself talking about parenting a lot. Dropping off and picking up my four-year-old daughter from preschool, attending birthday parties, watching ballet classes, hanging out with siblings and friends, I’ve heard the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. We all have our trials, our laughs, our fears and hopes. The wisest among us work hard to help our children develop into mindful, empathetic beings capable of thinking beyond their own narcissistic urgencies. We want our kids to be self-confident and humble, strong and kind, independent and interconnected, fierce and loving.

We parents these days are an anxious bunch. Perhaps it’s that there are 7 billion of us now on this fragile sphere. Maybe it’s that we are spending less time with our kids because we work more. It could be an overresponse to the fairly self-involved parenting many of us received. It may be an effort to combat the continuous barrage of unwholesome messages delivered by the Capitalist media. Or perhaps it’s that we have lost confidence as we’ve drifted apart from the basics of life—growing and cooking our own food, interacting with the natural world, spending time with immediate and extended family, building a fire, tending animals, taking a walk, writing a letter. Continue reading