Tag Archives: parenting

Parenting

Parenting is a wild adventure. So how could another parent not feel the say as I? Wait? What? The hell am I talking about. I must be running a fever from all the drinking I do, due to parenting. Ha-ha. No, I’m kidding.

Listen, there is nothing easy about parenting. Ruling with an iron fist becomes very heavy, nah, all the time. I have one that runs up my pant leg, another one that lives in my wallet, and a third one that eats all the Colby jack shredded cheese. Anyway, parenting cannot be their children’s best friend. These children must understand place value, like math. At home, there’s a parent or parents. At school, there are friends and enemies; hopefully no enemies, but hey, they exist. Anyway, at home these three kids are relentless. They are never satisfied. No matter what they’ve just received: new phones, money, combo meals, etc, all of that shit, they still have the mind frame of “but dad, what have you done for us lately?”

It is in those moments, I jokingly wish I could say, “Get out my damn house! Take that lazy ass baby with you. Come back when your 40. If I still remember who you are.”

No, Im kidding. However, children bring out a part of you that is inherently a slice of yourself. So with that said, do I ever feel like I’m struggling with myself? Hell no, these fuckers are ruthless. I can’t even enjoy a bag of chips, a single bag of fruit snacks, or a glass of milk or juice, because I feel that if I ever plan on sampling the shit that my money buys, I’d better drink it as I’m backing into the garage. Otherwise, that shit is good as gone. They will stand around the snacks until that shit is gone. But then I ask, “Why don’t you assholes stand around the goddamn green beans and zucchini?” Oh, that’s right, because it don’t taste like fruit snacks, Nutter Butters cookies, or Cap’n Crunch cereal. Pardon my funny French, I only cuss in this medium as a means of emphasis.

Anyhow, Im going to test out the new Samsung fingerprint reader for the pantry and fridge. Hahah j/k

Planning and Thinking

“Cameron, I need you to start planning and thinking about your life. No, I don’t mean go out and land a job or anything. I just mean you need to begin thinking about what your interests are and start looking into them to see if they still interest you or not.

You’re getting to that age when every second will start to count in favor, or against you, because there are alot of things you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming as to which path to take. So start now. Every decision will also begin to affect you, too.”

This is the level of conversation that I am quickly approaching with him. Not that the kiddie gloves have to come off now, but the language I use is more aligned with the real world. I remember my dad telling me that a young boy doesn’t go to sleep one night and wake up a grown ass man, but that behaviors and the choices made will foster results that affirm that he is indeed coming into manhood.

I wonder if Cameron is ready for that world of cold hard truths about life. Or maybe I’m more concerned than I should be. I think it has alot to do with my expectations of him, rather than let him be a young man who will reach the standard of a man that will become more than what I believe he can be; for himself.

He’s interested in Robotics, and computer sciences, but he also likes cars, and tinkers with the idea of becoming a high end certified mechanic, which is not what I thought he’d pick since I’m always telling him to think about going to school to become your own boss, as opposed to going to school to potentially get a job working for someone else. Then he tells me he’s interested in Sports Medicine. Well that’s a good direction too, since he likes to tell me about muscle groups and how they perform. It’s really interesting stuff.

Like I said, I’m not telling him specifically what to do. No laser-focus here, but again, as a parent, I think it’s a good idea to have him begin looking into his interests alot sooner than what it appears he’s doing.

I’m sure sometimes he thinks I’m rushing him to grow up, but actually all that I’m doing is equipping him with some basic knowledge. Like boiling pasta, washing clothes-which I did when he was probably ten or eleven years old. Things like paying for shit at the grocery store. Using measuring cups, Browning ground beef for different things. I could go on and on. So I don’t think it’s about raising him up too fast. It’s about equipping him with a little know how.

For example, he’ll ask me a quick question about something, and usually I’ll answer, but sometimes I’ll ask him if he checked with google first. I could answer him in two seconds, but I challenge him to be resourceful, to be creative, and think through possible solutions to some things. TO THINK!! That’s what I’m doing here. Training him to get by with at least some knowledge, because the rest he can figure out however he chooses to.

A parent who is really invested in a child’s wellbeing-in my opinion-will challenge that child to discover; but without reckless abandon. In the animal kingdom, those animals are brought up quickly to hunt and survive. I understand that it’s a tough example, but the idea behind it all is that we equip these children with a few basic know-how’s.

Raising Kids

I wonder how many parents today would raise their kids like, and in the same fashion that their parents raised them. As for me, I give thanks to both of my parents for being as stern as they were. But everybody has a different approach to raising kids. Otherwise in my early years, I may have veered off path and become something else. And I say this because as kids grow up and pay dues to become functional adults, they don’t understand the reasons behind the answers their parents give them when they [the kids] don’t get what they want. It is not in a parents best interests to always, or ever make their children happy. It produces nothing for society but more cleanup work. So I thank my parents for making sure that my three brothers and I grew up with the coping mechanisms for when life doesn’t always give us what we want.

But with that said, Im a different parent to my kids. In the time that I grew up, kids didn’t have opinions, well we did, but our parents weren’t open to a child’s words. In that time, a child did what he was told. That was all there was to it. Even if you weren’t responsible for that broken window next door, you received punishment anyway. The reason for this was crazy. Let me explain.

Your parents couldn’t prove you were involved in that window breaking next door, AND you actually had nothing to do with it, other than just being outside. Well what would happen is the asswhooping with the belt was still coming, because the parents would just whoop that ass for something else that they know you did. So the asswhooping was always a ‘just in case you’re lying to me Im going to give you this discipline’ kind of thing  ..WTF..crazy right?

So, in some ways I’d raise my kids how I was raised, but I definitely allow my kids to use their voices, and to explain what actually happened in a given situation. And my reasoning is that, if your children cant express to you how they feel, how in the hell will they be able to articulate how they feel when they come of age and need to be able to defend a position on some decision, or what have you?

Also, you can be your child(rens) friend without be their friend. What I mean is you don’t always have to have an ironfist. You don’t have to wait until those kids are grown folks to get to know them. You can get to know your child(ren) right now. That way they can always come and talk to you.

My parents approach to raising us was, “Kids should be seen and not heard from’. Well that doesn’t promote open door policy…

Bottomline is this, your kids should understand where the line is drawn when it comes to dialog. They should also understand whats expected of them. And with that expectation comes reward.

Bedtime

Bedtime use to be between 9-9:30p, but then I realized that when I’d go into their rooms around 11p to check on them, they [Cameron and Lexie] would still be woke, looking at the ceiling and walls. I’d asked them why they were still up, and the response was clearly the most obvious: “I’m not tired”.

So I decided to let them stay up until 10, and they’d actually fall asleep by 10:30p. It’s like magic. They get up every morning around 6-6:30a and are ready to leave for school within the hour.

The reason why I’m saying this is because as parents, somehow we think we know everything about our children. When in fact, we don’t. We know that we want them in bed at a certain time, but this is due to the fact that they need to be bright-eyed and bushy tailed for class lectures and assignments, so that the good grades come to them. We can assess when they might be tired and cranky, but we don’t know things just because we are parents. We make assessments. We give instructions. We aren’t all-knowing, we learn as we go.

I never gave or made my kids take naps. Well, when Cameron was probably two or three, and he’s the oldest, I stopped trying to make him take a nap. I’d look at the clock and it’d say 2:15p or something early like that. I’d decide that, “Oh it’s time for a nap.” I’d take him in the room make him lay down, even though he wasn’t tired. He’d be fussing not because he was tired, but because I was trying to make him sleep. Well forty-five minutes later, he’d given up and gone to sleep.

Now, that he’s sleep, I’d say to myself, I can now have a short while to myself. No sooner than when I’d leave the room, he’d be up running around like we were never in his room to begin with. Seriously, ten minutes after leaving his room, he was up. It would make me mad that I’d wasted nearly an hour trying to make him go to sleep, because I decided he was tired. That’s crazy. So because of that one instance nearly fourteen years ago, I have never been so bold as to make them take naps.

But now the beautiful thing about it this, even to this day, they’ll take a nap when they get ready to, and they’ll sleep one or two hours and be functional.

I don’t think it’s worth the time trying to make two, three, and four year olds take naps, unless they’re clearly cranky. I noticed that as they get older like seven, eight, and nine, etc….they’ll lay down all by themselves.

I know things in terms of learning and growing, parenting, etc. But I don’t know when another human being should take a nap.