Textile Mill

I’ll bite the bullet and say what everyone’s thinking: I’m sick of this new age parenting crap. I can’t deal with these crunchy granola moms who indulge their toddler’s every desire, whim, and tantrum. I’m tired of the people who think being a parent means it’s your job to entertain your children from dawn until dusk. What happened to the days of kicking our kids outside to play, and letting them back in at dinner time?

We’re raising a generation of soft, needy, entitled brats, and that’s why I’m raising my kids the old fashioned way: no cell phones, no video games, and a job in the nearest textile mill as soon as they hit seven. I would also love to see them playing inside an indoor kids playhouse.

My kids will know the feeling of the earth beneath their feet, a scrape on their knee from riding a bike, and a full day’s worth of backbreaking work at a loom or a warp. What kind of parent would I be if I let little things like peer pressure, modern media, and child labor laws interfere with how I choose to parent? Sorry if singeing the fibers off a cotton blend isn’t “en vogue;” it worked in 1852, and it’ll work in 2016.

People often ask me things like “How will they know who ‘Dora the Explorer’ is?” and “How much can a game of Mario Kart hurt?” and “Don’t you think 73 hours of work per week in a sweltering fabrication room is a little excessive?” And to them I say, I don’t tell you how to raise your children, don’t tell me how to raise mine. I honestly do not care if they know who “Fifth Harmony” is; they will know the sweet harmony of 600 cotton gins pattering away in strictly enforced silence.

Every time I see some spoiled brat throwing a fit over wanting the newest iPhone, I’m grateful that I made the decision to restrict sugar intake, be their parent and not their friend, and send them off to earn their keep at a Lowell Mills boarding home type situation. They’re even learning valuable communication skills by organizing labor strikes.

Some days, I wish we lived in a world where kids didn’t even have the option of shouldering the burdens presented by modern technology. It honestly makes me wish for a simpler time, when dirt under your nails wasn’t a bad thing, and the average family lost half their young children to communicable diseases.

I do have my soft spots though, like any parent: I let them play Mancala for a half hour every week. Everyone has to have a little extra fun now and then!

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