Thursday, May 10, 2007

on parenting

Kudos to wil and his latest article for the Suicide Girls.

Parenting is something that has not come naturally for me. In fact, I'm a little leery of people who make it look so easy. For me parenting is a daily struggle. I must admit I am not the most patient of people. My children often feel the brunt of this when I get frustrated.

My short fuse puts me into situations where I get more and more angry with little to no outlet. I honestly do my best not to yell and when I do, I just feel so bad. I know 99% of the time it is my shortcoming which puts me into confrontations with my children. BUT I JUST WANT THEM TO DO WHAT I ASK THEM TO DO!!!

It's an impossible dream I know, and one I strive to reconcile myself with on a daily basis, since each day brings a new challenge, and a new opportunity to effectively communicate.

I can admit that I am not dad of the year or anything, but I also know that I love those kids more than anything, and I battle my own self importance in an attempt to to the best I can do for them. Sometimes rationality wins, sometimes my emotions take over...

When it comes to style I lean on the strict side of the spectrum. I enforce rules for TV, games, bedtime, and table manners. Those of you with children know this is a daily responsibility requiring consistency, firmness, and creativity.

As parents, you can't be Hitler and Stalin, just as you can't be Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock. In my opinion you have to strike a balance between totalitarianism and overindulgence. No simple task indeed, and there is no substitute for firm yet intelligent parenting.

The over saturation of media has really taken hold over the last 20-30 years. I grew up in front of the television soaking in consumerism and dull humor. It certainly affected my personality. In the past I believed I was "due" or owed the un-reality of the eternally happy Family Ties type life.

Having children caused me to wake up a bit, and I've been learning to be a grown up for 10 years now. I hope that it is starting to stick, because I want to be so much more than my parents ever could have been for me.

The desire to provide the antithesis of my upbringing keeps me on my toes, and I probably over-compensate for it. Proper motivation? I dunno, but it seems to be working for me so far.

The one thing I and I think a lot of parents struggle with is consistency, and there is no formula for it. You have to stick to your guns, you have to make stands, and you can not give in when children are in the wrong. You also have to be able to atone for mistakes that you WILL make, and let them know that part of growing up is being able to make mistakes and learn from them.

Ok...sorry for the tangent. Back to Technology and Parenting. Just like all vices, there has to be limitations. There has to be a happy place between placating the children and your laziness and what is right and good for you all.

As Wil's article points out, if you're going on Vacation, then do it for the right reasons. Don't take your freaking living room with you! Strip off all the crap your life makes you wear and engage.

If you can't do that then what's the point? Stop being a robot and remember what it means to be a human, move out of your comfy little shell and experience the people you are supposedly doing this for. You may be pleasantly surprised!

Have a good day everyone.

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