Let’s Bring “Normal” Back!

I would like to go back to a “normal” world!

Normal will be simple, pleasant and good.

Normal will help us live the way we should!

Normal for me may not be normal for you, but we all aspire to some other style for sure.

Long before Twiggy there was Paul Rubens. Women were voluptuous and men loved painting them. Before, I would’ve been considered too skinny. Before, people would’ve stood in line wanting to feed me … I’m sure of it.                                            


Before Freud you could scream at your child without feeling that he would be scarred for life; and a spank on the tush didn’t make you feel like you were creating a future violent offender.

Before Martha Stewart you could serve meals without a perfect table setting and gourmet fare. Just simple hearty food would have been a cause for happiness, shared by all.

Before the rise of individuation we didn’t cater to children, serving chicken to Jimmy and hamburger to Johnny. The mother cooked and you had to eat. If you didn’t like it, then you were out of luck!

Orthodontists used to be a rare breed, since not everyone thought your teeth had to be so perfectly symmetrical. Your pearly whites were independently aligned, or not.

There was no “perfect smile”. There was a natural smile, hopefully from the heart.

Before big homes and consumerism, children used to share rooms. Nobody thought each child had to have a room of his own. Did you ever think of how ludicrous it is to have a lone two-year-old occupy a single room? This 28-pound midget needs a whole room?!? And, because we are not tough enough to control our children, we buy them their own PCs and TVs because we don’t want them to fight with each other. Besides, TV is such a great baby sitter!

Because I’m old, I remember a time without TV; a time when we had to go outside and play together. Because we were of modest means, we didn’t have many toys, so we made them up from sticks and leaves and branches. Lo and behold, we never felt deprived, poor or neglected. This was normal.

We came home from school, had half-hour of homework, and then played in the street. Nobody wanted you to know how to read when you were two years old, just like no one wanted you to walk when you were two months old. You walked when you walked, you talked when you talked – and you read (hopefully, but not always), when you started first-grade. In kindergarten you played, and nobody expected you not to. This too, was normal.

In normal times, dogs didn’t wear sweaters – and certainly not designer outfits.

And to continue my venting on ridiculous consumerism (not that I’m above it myself) …

In normal times, pets didn’t have their own stores, and they didn’t have 100’s of different kinds of food to choose from.

Sometimes I wonder how we survived without a plethora of plenty.

Sometimes I wonder how we remain creative, with so much to choose from nowadays.

Sometimes I wonder if “separation and individuation” actually increase emotional pain.

And I mostly wonder, like I always do: How come we’re so positive that what we do is right, and how we do it… is normal?


About rachel bar

Psychotherapist and supervisor.
This entry was posted in diet, Indulging Children, Parenting, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Let’s Bring “Normal” Back!

  1. Sue Cox says:

    I agree with everything! And, I do love my straightened teeth 😉

  2. Barbara Cooper says:

    You mean it’s not normal for my dogs to be dressed? Don’t tell them, they like it!

  3. Martha Carr says:

    Yes – things have changed, but I agree, not everything for the better! My niece is being raised with out TV or electronics (she is 6 1/2). One day my sister let her watch a TV
    show – her response? “Mom, I don’t get it! All you do is sit here!”

    Will always want my kids and their kids to know how it feels to swim in a swimming hole, or sleep out under the stars, or hike to a great waterfall and use their imagination to play, play play!

    • rachel bar says:

      And indeed Martha, your niece is an exceptional little girl.

      I so agree with play, play and play. How fortunate are your kids to have parents who exposed them to the nature of nature and to the nurturance of nature.

  4. Stephanie Kirschner says:

    Yes, yes and yes! You took the words right out of my mouth! I love that you say what’s on your mind out loud! I always swim against the tide… Our boys shared a room, didn’t watch TV, played outside, and I never asked them what they wanted for dinner! When my youngest son started first grade his teacher was in shock because all of the other children in Sherman Oaks already
    knew how to read! (We had just come back from living in Israel, where he played in kindergarten). I had to ask her if she was going to teach him, and in the end, he had to move to another class. I always drove a small car when everyone else was in SUVs (principe!). Sometimes it’s hard to be different, but I am also proud to be different!

    • rachel bar says:

      Your life and your boys are a testimony of “doing it differently”. And yet, everything turned out so well. You have two sons to be proud of, not only because of their achievements, but for the soul and character they have. These are the intangibles which cannot be obtained by degrees.

  5. Let’s bring Normal back…I feel the same way often…with today’s “advancement,” it’s hard to remember when things were simpler and quite fun. The days of children running and playing outside free of worries of the “child molester van” (van with only passenger and drive side windows, with the slide door) and street thug shooting up the play grounds are over. Everyone have to be overly protective and conscientious about everything, so what if your child eat a little dirt (builds up the immune system), get bully a little (helps develop character), gets sweaty and play in the bushes with other children (have to learn some way)…I did them and I’m OK…

    • rachel bar says:

      Yes, I agree that the days of “carefree play” are over, especially in the big cities. There is also a level of hysteria attached to raising children nowadays.

      • stormcastle says:

        An elementary school in Toronto just banned any type of ball used in playing sports – aside from the venerable Nerf – because someone might get hurt if they’re hit in the face with one.

        …And people wonder why we’re raising a generation of dumbasses!

        Kids get hurt… and that’s perfectly okay.

        It’s how children learn to be attentive and aware of their environment… and when you take away situations like that, you’re going to produce the type of kid that’s going to get seriously hurt later in life because they’re unaware of their own limitations.

      • rachel bar says:

        I think that no one wants to see their child hurt. On the other hand, to start taking away balls or sticks or baseball bats because someone may get hurt is insane. We might as well just stay home and not go out, as we can get into an accident or any of the other injuries which may befall us…

  6. stormcastle says:

    Heh. Someone after my own heart 🙂

    See here: http://wp.me/pDcn2-13
    And here: http://wp.me/pDcn2-5E

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