Friday, March 22, 2013

Responsibility vs obligation

So I ran across this on Facebook, about 20 mins after I gave one of my dogs away.

I 98% agree with this.

Pets are a great way to teach kids responsibility and compassion. Sometimes however it is more responsible to give a pet up than to keep trying to fix them.

We got a second Dog 10 months ago. He was left in an empty home with another dog. He freaks out when you leave him home alone or kennel him. HE actually ate my wall once. HE is afraid of teenagers.

We recently moved and our new home is on a much busier street. It seems like all the progress we had made with him over the last 6 months has come undone. He is getting jumpier by the day

Yesterday he broke out a window and went after the mail man. My other dog followed him through the window. I decided the stress was too much for the youngest dog and gave him to a family member who lives way out in the country. He knows this person and spends a lot of time there anyways.

I felt really bad sending him away. I try to teach my kids that your responsibility to others does not end when it becomes hard or inconvenient and here I am sending my dog away because I just can't handle  him. His new home has a LOT more time to dedicate to him but it still seemed a lot like passing the buck to me.

Now I have found out that one of my Dogs bit the mailman. The dog catcher thinks it will all be ok as I have done my best to rectify the situation and sent the instigator away. I had not realized that he was bit when I made the decision but now I realize I made the right one. My responsibility is not only to my pets but to everyone else around me.

That is also something my kids need to learn. You have to make decisions for the good of the whole, not just yourself

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Many parents from Steubenville should be ashamed of their offspring.

I have been following, with a broken heart, the trial coverage of the Steubenville rape case. I am shocked that these 2 young men are being portrayed as victims. They repeatedly raped and humiliated a young woman. laughed about it online and then the media cries foul when they become registered sex offenders.

WTF I don't think I even want to live in this world anymore.

 This article gives a good summary of what the boys did and the media reaction to their sentencing for anyone who is unfamiliar with the case. 

I would like to think  Steubenville is a cesspool of moral degradation but I have a strange feeling it is much like any other town. What these boys did is sick enough but the fact that their (and the victims) peers took pictures and encouraged this behavior is where my mind truly boggles. The fact that some of their parents are trying to save them nearly makes my brain explode.

I have 2 boys whom I love with all my heart. I am very anti corporal punishment. I think children deserve to be treated with respect.

But if I EVER  EVER  EVER!!!  found out they took pictures of something like this for any reason other than to text them immediately to a police officer you can bet your ass I would not be begging the courts to go easy on them. In fact if my kids had a lick of sense (which by this point they would have obviously proved they did not and that I was a horrid failure as a parent) they would be BEGGING the judge for the maximum sentence just so I could not get my hand on them.

We are responsible to teach our children right from wrong. We are responsible to teach them that the right thing and the easy thing are rarely the same. We have a responsibility to all of society not to unleash self absorbed, heartless, assholes on the Jane (and John) Doe's of this world. If despite our best efforts our kids turn out to be predators or soulless deviants we have a responsibility to hold them out and allow justice to be served. If you are not prepared to do so you should not have children.

 Having children is a huge responsibility. Not just in terms of having to care for them but because how you raise them will affect EVERY living being they come in contact with their entire lives

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Give your kids a bullshit detector

I was watching the the Joe Rogan Experience and Neil DeGrasse Tyson was his guest. I will admit that I did not watch the entire thing but the little bit I did watch got me thinking.  They were discussing Conspiracy theories and how people tend to believe what others tell them. I see evidence of this in my own life. If you state a fact with complete and utter confidence people tend to believe you.

This is how I convinced my 19 year old brother that eating neon birthday candles would give him brightly colored poop, like an Easter egg.

The more we hear different voices saying the same thing the more likely we are to believe it. Take the whole moon landing conspiracy theory. It has been repeated so loudly for so long that to many it sounds like facts. When you ask people to explain why they think the way they do they just repeat the garbage others have filled their heads with.

So bringing this back to parenting, because this is a parenting blog, we do the same to our children. We tell them the way the world works. A millions whys follow and we try to answer them all. Usually arriving at the destined conclusion of :it just is"

Instead try asking them why, what they think. Sure they will probably be wrong a lot but that is ok. Let them be wrong and make mistakes. The important thing is teaching them to question and to use their own deductive reasoning.

Children are the masters at scientific method. For example they may think that feeding the dogs pop rocks would be funny. So they test their hypothesis by finding some pop rocks and the family pet. Or maybe they want to see how high they can make waves go by sliding back and forth in the bath tub. So they immediately start an experiment to find the answer. At this point mom or dad generally ruins the experiment by demanding they stop splashing and making a mess.

k- why
p - because you are getting my floor all wet
k - No I'm not
p -Yes you are. Just stop or you are getting out of the tub

Yeah we have had that exchange in my home and in most other homes that have small children. It is easy to demand our kids just shut up and listen for once in their lives. Just once believe what I tell you and trust me that I have a good reason for saying and doing what I do. Someday that will  happen, and that day is always sad. The day they start taking knowledge at face value is the day their curiosity starts to atrophy. It is the day the weakening of their bullshit detectors begins.

Take heart when you kids demand answers, and want to know why. When they test your answers against  the laws of physics. The goal of parenting is not well behaved children, it is self sufficient adults. I want my kids to question everything, even mom. After all I am still human and I do screw up

Friday, December 14, 2012

No guarantees

Events in Colorado today reminds us all there are no guarantees. Enjoy everything while you can.

I am probably more aware of my childrens mortality than most parents having lost a son. Tragedies like today's shooting remind us all that each moment we get with our kids is precious. The problem is too many people will forget today's lesson in a week or 2.

Today I learned about the shootings just as I was heading out to the dollar store. While I was there I saw a parent yelling at her 3 or 4 yr old son for trying to say hi to a cashier at the next register over. While some parents were waiting to hear if their kid was alive and others were trying to continue living while their babies were dead this person was yelling at their kid for being friendly.

I don't know the lady personally. Chances are she is not a bad parent. She, like most of us, just assumes there will be time later to make up for being cranky, short tempered or just not having time.

We can't make it up though. Each moment lost can never be recovered. No angry words can ever be taken back.

we only get one chance, one childhood. Make sure if the worst happens you have good memories to hold. No one ever sits at their childs funeral saying "I wish I had kept up on the dishes better" or "I am so glad I never let them ruin their new jeans by puddle jumping"

Seize the moment and squeeze out every smile you can.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Childhood is a time for magic

My children slay dragons.  That is the joy of childhood. To a child dragons are real. So are faries, witches, mermaids and Santa Claus.

Lately though I see more and more parents opting to teach their kids from the get go that Santa is not real. I know these people in real life and cyber space. Generally I see it as a parents prerogative to raise their children as they see fit as long as they are care for. However this is my blog so I am gonna rant.

There are lots of reasons parents choose not tell tell their kids Santa is real. I am going to talk about the most common ones I hear.

I don't lie to my kid.

Yes you do we all do. We tell them if they smoke they will get lung cancer when in reality it just puts them at risk for it. We tell then that everything will be ok when they are sad or afraid and we all know that is the biggest lie ever. If you have an ugly kid I bet you don't tell them that. If your kid gets cancer I bet you don't say "you are probably going to die" even if it is true.

Yeah Santa is technically a lie. It is called a white lie, kinda like the one you told when your wife asked if she looked fat in her new skinny jeans.

I don't want some imaginary person getting credit for the presents I buy.

Credit! seriously? wow if you are worried about getting the credit for making your kid happy you REALLY miss the point of Christmas and kindness in general. You should not be teaching your kid that getting credit is important but that kindness is its own reward.

It is traumatic when they learn the truth.

really? for who? I don't remember being traumatized and neither do any of my friends.

Here is the thing, by opting out of Santa, the Tooth Fairy, Gnomes, and all sorts of magic you are taking your child's only opportunity to believe. This is not something that mentally stable adults can do.

A large part of a child's innocence is their ability to believe there is so much more to this world than what we see. To know with a certainty that only the young have, that tomorrow will be better. Why would anyone intentionally put a lid on that?


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Letter to Santa 2012

Dear Santa;

I have been a pretty good girl this year. I only drank till I puked once. That is one day out of 365 or 0.0027% of the time. That is pretty impressive considering 100% of the time I am have a hankering to get puke your guts up and black out drunk.

Ok that last bit was a bit of an exaggeration. That urge goes away when all the kids and sleeping and I am watching Big Bang Theory.

I also have not laid the smack down on anyone all year long. Not my dogs when they ate my couch. Not my toddler when he made soup in a pillow case. BTW did you know soup required eggs? Not my husband when he taught the kids a colorful new word when they team wiped on WOW. See Santa I AM good.

I would like some new K-cups for my Keurieg machine. Specifically I would like for it to make vodka valium mocha lattes in which I don't have to add my own vodka or Valium. That Santa is a gift that would keep on giving. I guarantee my family would like it as I would not get as worked up over dog poop on the floor, crayons on the wall or dirty socks in the couch.

The second thing on my list is a soundproof bedroom. Now don't get all perverted an think I am worried about waking my kids having wild monkey sex, those boys sleep like rocks, I just want to sleep without ANYONE waking me up. Oh the pure bliss that would be 8 hours of sleep where I don't wake because the dog is chewing something upstairs, or because something fell off a shelf in my 10 year olds room, or because the baby is making whimpering noises in his sleep.  Imagine how much longer my K cups will last if I don't wake up exhausted every day.

Thanks for what I know is going to be the best Christmas ever

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Be the person you want your kids to be

So gram has been here almost 2 weeks now.  My house is a write off, I hurt in places I didn't know I had muscles and I think I need a good stiff drink.

Don't get me wrong I am glad she is here and that I don't have to worry about the things I did before but I think the adjustment period will be longer than expected. I spend an hour a day helping her get to and from the bathroom. Getting her showered is almost another hour. That is not including the meal prep, cleaning, laundry, and general small needs.

Still in spite of the relentless charlie horse in me legs, the sore hands, and the bruises from catching her when she falls I am glad we decide to bring her here. It gives me peace of mind, it gives her time with family and it teaches my kids something about family and responsibility.

Sometimes it is necessary to institutionalize the elderly. Sometimes they need more than we can offer or need 24 hr a day medical care. I don't want to raise kids who view that as a first resort. I want my kids to value the elderly for what they contribute to our society.

The monster in in grade 5 this year and doing a term of french immersion. My grandmother is Acadian and french is her first language. She will be able to help him in ways I never could even though I am proficient in french.

Galactus is the most wild 2 year old I have ever met. He is learning that he HAS to tone it down and he can't be rough with her.

Someday I hope to be 78. If I still have my wits I would rather be with family than anywhere else. The best way to ensure that is to model that behavior for my kids and offer the same to gram.

9 times out of 10 kids become what they see rather than what we tell them to be. Make sure you are being the person you want your kids to be