Unless you live in a cave (or maybe your kids aren't old enough to do this), you probably are aware that Water Bottle Flipping is A Thing. Kids toss half empty water bottles in the air and try to land them straight up. They move onto more complicated flips, trying to "cap" them (land them on the cap) and trying to land them on more precarious surfaces.
This snuck up on parents. We all didn't know where our kids picked it up and we assumed they were just being annoying. Because yes, it does indeed make a very annoying thump every time they flip it. We were unaware it was A Thing sweeping the nation.
This article was released the other day and most of the comments are "it's cool, they're having fun". But as I see it getting shared around social media, I'm seeing some crazy negative comments. One parent proudly grounds her kids if they are caught flipping. One parent makes her kid pay for the water bottles. One parent meters out water bottles as the kids do their chores. I saw a lot of complaining about the waste. A lot of complaining about the mindlessness of flipping.
Even though there's science behind the flip. Even though, they're hands-on testing physics.
You know what? We, collectively, are a bunch of assholes to our kids.
We bitch and moan about screen time. And then our kids start entertaining themselves with a WATER BOTTLE. And we bitch and moan about THAT.
We bemoan the fact that they only know how to communicate through devices and then take away an in-person, social thing; a fun way to have friendly competition.
We boo-hoo about yester-year. When kids had good, clean, simple fun with each other. When they weren't locked to all the digital things. Then when they play for hours with a freaking WATER BOTTLE, we boo-hoo about that.
We get all wrapped up in "teaching perseverance" and then when our kids work on something for hours, something they enjoy, something they are trying to master, we find fault. You don't "teach" perseverance. You let your child run with it when it hits.
All I see everywhere is moaning about the lack of empathy in our kids and then we go and turn the things they love into small crimes. We tell them how stupid the thing they love is. We did it with Minecraft. And we're doing it with water bottles. The way to teach empathy is to live it. Not come down on a kid, calling their current passion "stupid" and "worthless". No wonder empathy is on the down swing.
And please. If you use Ziplocs and paper towels, you are already wasting. I'm not making a judgement call on that...just pointing out the hypocrisy. Unless you live off the grid and make everything and live a zero-waste lifestyle (which is cool if you do), you don't really have an argument here.
And the cost? My kid has a case of water that he still hasn't gone through and it cost $3. Significantly less than his iPad and half the apps on it. The iPad made in China. Given the amount of plastic crap a kid brings into your house in their first 10 years, I can honestly say, the water bottle waste thing is minimal.
Could we give our kids a freaking break? And get off their asses?
Yeah. I get it. It's the most annoying thumping sound in the world. And I definitely have my own limits on the sound. And I've definitely kicked him out of the house to flip his little heart out OUTSIDE. But given the myriad of truly awful things my kid COULD be doing, I'll take water bottle flipping.
Here's an idea. Learn how to flip WITH your kid. Show them how to video themselves and LEARN TO EDIT (if they don't already). Maybe join in and spend some cool time with your kid, learning about why they love this. Have your kid design a water bottle flipping show, with his friends, timed to music. Watch some flips and dare your kid to master it.
There's a lot of ways we could actually SUPPORT our kids. Or you know...at the very least, get out of their way.
I often hear how sad it is to be a kid these days, never knowing the fun and freedom we had in our childhoods. We're the fucking problem. It is sad being a kid these days and having your parents up your ass for every little thing.