Raising Kids


Parenting-Plan-For-FathersLife itself is never easy. It is filled with flashes or moments of joy. There are days when the world you’re living in seems to be at peace. We start out young and full of hope and dreams. We think the fruits of the trees are ours for the picking. But as you get older you struggle through more days than you slip through. The friction gets more and more coarse. We find ourselves zigging and zagging through the obstacles instead of hitting them head on.

We wake up one day in jobs we never really planned for. In relationships that were nothing like what we had imagined. When your young your desires are simple. A fast car, a place to crash, money, a hot girlfriend or boyfriend. As the years fly by those desires change. Now all we want is a car that runs, a roof that doesn’t leak, a boyfriend or girlfriend who can contribute, and enough money left over after all the bills are paid to buy a cold beer at the end of a long work week.

Kids add something entirely different to the mix. In a way they give that friction purpose. The struggles seem to be more meaningful. But they also bring on an entirely new set of bumps and grinds to the road.

I think as parents, we all try our best to do what’s right. We put their needs first and go without ourselves more times that not. They have X-Boxes, Kindle fires, laptops, clothes, guitars, iPods. I have a flip phone, ripped jeans and a cassette player. I drive them around, I clean up after them, wash their clothes and make sure there is food in the house for them to eat. Still they complain that it’s too hot, or too cold, or too boring. Huh, kids. I am thinking Summer camp in Yemen might give them some kind of perspective.

parentingBut we do our best to do right by them. As they get older and reach adulthood, they are going to make their own mistakes just as we did. They are going to find their own roads to travel down. They will test themselves and challenge themselves, (we hope so anyway).

I think if we look back at our own lives we all would have a few of those bumps we would like to avoid. We have all done things that feel right at the time but that doesn’t seem right to others. Everyone has their own way of doing things. If you find out that your son sneaks out of the house at night to go hang out with his friends, that’s a bump. When my dad caught me sneaking out after they went to bed I got whooped pretty good. My dad didn’t mess around when it came to handing down punishment. I couldn’t sit down for two weeks. But it didn’t stop me from doing it again. I knew the consequences and I did it anyway. So you can go that route, or you can just tell him not to do it again, put him on restriction and maybe take away his t.v. Or you could simply tell him that you understand what it’s like to be 17 and to just keep his phone on and to call if he needs you. Is any three of those the right answer? probably not. There is no right answer. There’s just hope that everything will turn out alright. But at least you’ll know where he is. I am sure there are parents that have no idea where the hell their children are sometimes.

thFlaws and characteristics are not always passed down by the parents even though they are identical. Sometimes the child finds them totally on their own. It’s like if you drink coffee and you tell your kids that coffee is a bad habit to get into and that they should stick to orange juice. Even though you drink coffee, you try to have your cup before they get up so not to influence them. Then one day you see your kid drinking coffee. They say that they had it at a friend’s house and liked it. They knew you drank it so they didn’t feel bad telling you. Was it you that influenced them to start a life long caffeine habit? I doubt it. My parents never drank, never smoked, did drugs, never took any real risk of any kind. So if a parents influence works so well than how would you explain me?

I know this probably doesn’t make any sense, but it does in my head. I think sometimes writing things out adds clarity to a situation. But I think I’m making myself more confused. Damn kids have made me sleep deprived, broke, tired, and very disoriented. Kind of like how I was at the peak of my party days.

tumblr_m6km4oTxgE1qzj39co1_500But if anyone has it all figured out, please let me know. I would like to hear it. I always thought that being there for them and working hard and letting them know you loved them was enough. And if you can instill some sort of morality and value along the way, bonus.

If I can just figure out in all this mess just where I put my own morality and value I’ll be all set.

I guess I am just trying to say that we all make mistakes, we must be able to see those mistakes within ourselves if we are going to teach our children how to see theirs.

Make sense? Just as our children are trying to be adults, we the adults are acting more like children. I sure wish babies came with instructions. And adults came with guides, and teenagers came with remotes. So God, please let me know just where the entrance to the garden went. It’s cold and dark out here and I think I’d like to go home now.
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The kids are on their own…

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About paulsdahlman

Born in Southern California, raised on the road and now growing roots in New England. I am on the journey of my lifetime. May the footprints I leave behind form the words to my story.
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