Sunday, July 29, 2012

It ian't easy being small

Kids have it made right? No work, minimal responsibility, lots of time to play with friends, and until the age of two they can watch tv and shit their pants without anyone judging. Kinda make you wonder why they complain so damn much?

It drives me nuts when my kids complain about how hard life is. I have yet to meet a parent who it doesn't drive crazy. However before you dismiss their concerns or belittle their problems by comparing them with your own grown up and therefor much more important problems, you should take a moment and look at it from their perspective.

Adults get to pick their own jobs.
 Kids are stuck in school 5 days a week because they are told to. If they don't like it they can't  look for a better school with more pay and more free play time. 

Adults eat what they choose to cook.
Kids get food plunked in front of them often with little or no input as to their preferences

Adults go to bed when they are tired
Kids go when we say so

Adults always pick out their own clothes
Kids do sometimes as long as we approve

Adults don't have people in their house they don't like
Children are stuck with your friends kids 

Adults expect to be listened to when they have a problem
Kids can't always articulate their problems even when they are not being trivialized

 This list could go on for a very long time but you get the idea.

 Being a kid looks like it is all fun and games from where we stand but do we like it when other people tell us how we have to live our lives?  Obviously we have to make decisions for our kids. That is what being a parent means but that does not mean we need to act like dictators. Empowering our kids doesn't take a lot of effort on our part and it makes it easier for them to handle things they really have no choice about (like going to school).

When you are making a grocery list have your kids go through the weekly fliers with you. Not only does this allow them to have some input into the menu it also teaches them how to watch sales, budget, make a meal plan, and gives you some quality time together.

Let them leave the house dressed in weather appropriate clashing colours and prints. Who is it going to hurt? There are obvious exceptions like weddings and funerals but day care or the corner store? What is the worst that will happen? someone will judge you for letting your kid be happy.

There are lots of small decisions that kids can make for themselves. If they have slight negative consequences all the better as you get a teaching moment as well.

They only get one childhood.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

This shit is not ok

Today I saw a PSA about domestic violence. I didn't need it, I lived the reality as a child. I know the fear and helplessness that comes with it. That is something my kids will never experience. My boys are very unlikely to be the victims of domestic violence. But they need to know about it. They need to see. They need to understand. Because if they don't, and I turn them loose on the female population, I am part of the problem. 


Here is the video that sparked this post.  This is the reality that many women live with. I have watched women cover the busies and stop smiling so no one would see their broken teeth. Sometimes the men who did this to them come from violent homes. Others have mothers who would be shocked. 

As parents we want to assume the best of our kids. We want to believe there is no need to tell them not to do things that are obviously bad. after all we have taught them through example right? 

Many of us have. Many of us also skip past what could be a great learning experience and teaching moment. When our kids read or watch Twilight do we take the time to explain why Edwards behaviors should have sent up red flags for Bella.

When Chris Brown and Rhianna make headlines do we stop and use that opportunity to discuss with our daughters why they should NEVER accept being treated that way. To explain to our sons exactly what is wrong with Chris Brown and how she didn't deserve what happened.

The thing is everything around us is a teaching opportunity. Yeah Eminem sometimes talks about beating women like in the song Kim 

And yes it is wrong but I was actually GLAD peoepl were bitching about the song because it meant they were talking about abuse. Knowing teen sons listened to Eminem made many parents actually TALK about the contents of the song and share their feelings with their kids.

We need to talk to our sons and have ongoing conversations about abuse. It is too late when they are men.