Oh, my dear invisible blog reading friends, it’s been awhile. My apologies. But, nevertheless, I am back. And again, I find myself pondering which topic to write about. I’ve had a lot on my mind lately so I figured it best to let the creative juices flow via my keyboard. I’m not sure where this is going so, pour a little more coffee, put the phone on vibrate and enjoy the ride.
Isn’t it amazing how life can be going along just as decent as you please, then all of the sudden you are side swiped by an event you never saw coming? It happens to all of us. Life is full of brick walls that must be torn down or climbed. Being a parent is not a requirement, but in times like these, you better buckle your seat belt because it will rock your world in unfathomable ways.
Not just my daughter, but one of son’s has given cause to buckle said belt lately. I don’t want to go into specifics, but let’s just say we don’t wish these things on anyone. It’s easy to shower a child with love and even easier to make excuses; it’s when the parenting becomes a job that many fail or fall short. You cannot love them out of their predicaments, and unfortunately, they cannot always learn by example: they have to experience it themselves. Sadly enough, sometimes in witnessing these choices we are reminded of our own poor decisions in youth and we discover a new appreciation for our own parents…something that for me has occurred quite frequently throughout my ‘adulthood’.
We can fall prey to becoming the enabler – which is the worse thing for them and everyone involved. No one wants to watch someone fall, especially a parent, but sometimes we must. If we continue to throw in the proverbial life preservers we are only preserving the action that got them there in the first place. If they never experience consequence for their actions, the lesson is never learned. Life is a series of tests that we will take over and over again until we learn them. And even then, we will have surprise pop quizes to ensure we have retained what we’ve learned. (Ain’t life grand?) We can repeatedly instill in them basic morals and concepts but it’s up to them to ‘get it’. Some will get it when they are children, others well into adulthood…some never. But that’s not up to us. We are responsible only for our own actions. In being role models in living out our philosophies.
We have now what we call a generation of entitlement: “I want it. I get it.” They don’t deserve or earn these privledges or materials but they get them anyway. And who is to blame? Parents? Society? The percentage of children with phones, games, and name brands is expotential compared to any generation before. I get it that we want to spoil our children, but come on! Some things need to be earned. If ‘Johnny’ is failing at school, the last thing he needs is a vehicle to puruse the streets as he wishes.
And what happen to discipline? The metal locker hallways amplifying the echo of a paddling was terrifying to me as a student. Sure. I had “Attention Deficit” but that paddle was much more effective than any form of medication. Not to mention the price I would pay when I got home if I had gotten into any trouble. That paddle was nothing compared to what my father was capable of. What do we have now? Oh. That’s right. Detention. Oooh. I’m scared. Whatever.
I’m not saying we have to be hard asses to our kids, but what I am saying is: we have to demand respect as parents FIRST. I could care less if my child considers me their friend if I don’t have their respect as their mother FIRST. No. I’m not perfect. Some of my choices flat sucked but I’ve done and am doing the best I can with the knowledge I have. So did my folks. They did things I didn’t agree with and I have resolved to never be like that. But that’s how it works. We are supposed to take that knowledge from our childhood and use it to improve ourselves when it is our time to be the parent. That’s the natural cycle.
I guess I’m just trying to encourage other parents like myself to resist the path of least resistance. Yeah. The easy road feels much less stressful at the time, but I’m telling you, if you travel down this path thinking it’s going to be all pavement and straightaways, you are only kidding yourself and as a result inevitably hurting those you love the most. That road ahead is full of potholes that take much more effort to repair and bridges that once burned, can be near impossible to rebuild. Anything worth having is worth working for and that includes parenthood. Buckle your seatbelts and enjoy the ride.