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Posts Tagged ‘raising children’

So, in approximately four hours, if all goes well, I will be infertile.  You might think that I am nervous, but I am not.  I am looking forward to never reproducing again.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my kids, I just wish I didn’t have so many of them.  It’s a subtle difference.  I love them, but they can drive me crazy.  There are three kids in the house, and I think it’s too much.  I think about my sister who has three kids and how she raised them by herself.  It is a wonder that she is still standing right now.  I have a friend with five kids.  You read that correctly, FIVE!  She seems happy too.  Go figure.  My sister-in-law has four kids and they all have allergies.  I am pretty sure I could take out their whole family with a peanut and a slice of bread.

I tell my students that it is a good thing that babies and kids are cute; otherwise their parents would have killed them a long time ago. 

At an early age my daughter was safe. So cute!

This may sound cruel, but is true.  If you are reading this and have kids, you know it to be true.  Kids are messy.  They do stupid things.  My son, Isaac has literally fallen down the steps head over heels three times.  He is so fast pace, he simply does not think before acting.  I am convinced he will have several broken bones before high school.  Kids are super needy.  They can’t feed themselves.  They don’t clean up after themselves and they are constantly asking for things.  Some of the young ones even poop and pee on themselves.  It is like having homeless people live in my house, except I am legally obligated to take care of them.  In four hours, I am done, and I figure I have about five more years before my daughter is independent.  Kids are independent around five or six, right?

Another fascinating aspect of my impending vasectomy is the reaction of my male friends.  It seems that every male of procreation age has at least thought about the procedure of a vasectomy.  It ranges from paralyzing fear to extreme misconceptions.  For example, I am confident that some people think my balls are going to be cut off.  Others think that the doctor is going to stick a big needle into my scrotum or worse, my penis.  Basically, the procedure is simple. 

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I actually described the procedure in detail, but decided most of you would not care about it as much as I do.  If you do care about the anatomy of the male reproductive system, but do not want to do a google search on ‘testicle’ or ‘penis’; trust me, you REALLY REALLY do not want to do a google search with those terms, just google image search ‘vas deferens’.  What you get will be safe.

So, wish me luck and safety.  The procedure is not the issue, it will be the recovery.  I hope I will not add to the horror stories that I have heard about from other members of the ‘firing blanks’ club.  Nonetheless, I couldn’t be happier about losing my only super power, the ability to create life.  Anybody can make babies, it is the raising them job part that is seriously underpaid.

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There is one thing I am nervous about, my 3-year-old son’s height.  He is the worse height for this procedure.  He likes to punch.  I may have to tie his arms behind his back.  I’m just sayin …

My best friend for the next couple of days.

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So, for some bizarre reason I have had several conversations in the last few days regarding opinions on how to raise children.  I got into one “argument” with a woman at church because I said I did not think that allowing my son to watch a movie with violence was going to turn him into a serial killer.  This is also a hot topic between Leah and I as she is very very anti-violence.  She would argue that she is not over the top, and perhaps she isn’t, but she and I are definitely at different ends of the spectrum.  Now, don’t get me wrong, my son is 10 years old and he does have restrictions.  For example, he is not allowed to watch  Batman: The Dark Knight, which is probably a good indicator movie for where I draw the line for him.  On the other hand, I have no problem with him watching Iron Man 1 or 2, any of the X-Men movies, although after watching X-Men 3 he said “I think that was a little too violent.”  Which means he is probably able to discern among levels of violence (more of an influence of Leah, than me).  And isn’t that the ultimate goal?  Is our goal as parents to shield our children from “evil” or teach them how to discern and make intelligent choices?  I do NOT want to raise our children in a bubble.

I know parents that do not allow guns of any kind/type in their house.  The kids make guns from sticks found in the yard.  I know parents that do not allow their kids to watch movies or TV with any kind of violence.  The kids see these movies at their friend’s house and can’t wait to see more, and the more violent the better.  I know parents that do not allow their kids to watch TV or movies (except parent selected) at all.  You should see these kids when they are someplace with a television.  They are mesmerized.  They literally look like someone gave them crack cocaine.  I am not saying that their should not be rules or boundaries, quite the contrary, but I do believe that the tighter the box, the wilder they will be when released from parental chains, like a chained animal released for the first time.  The most important question in my mind is how to raise a child that when confronted with bad, will make the right choice?

Practice.  Kids need choices.  I have no idea who you are as a parent, but if your children do not have choices, then when they are released on their own, they will have no idea what to choose when confronted with horrible options, or they will be so depended on your guidance that they will never leave the house.

Kids need to be allowed to make mistakes.  How else do we learn?  Think of your biggest lessons in your life.  I almost guarantee they are from your past mistakes.  This is a tough one for me, because I want him to NOT make the same mistakes I made.  Don’t we all want this?  But why?  If our past mistakes made us who we are today, if we learned valuable lessons from our own mistakes, why would we want to deny this for our children?  With choices comes mistakes, from mistakes come learning and from learning comes independence.

Kids need to be parented.  I have worked with youth for a long time now, and this is the biggest problem I see with kids today, absentee parents.  Absentee parenting occurs regardless whether the one parent or two parents are in the picture.  As a matter fact, I see it more common in homes in which both parents are working.  The nice thing about raising your kids in a bubble is it releases you from parenting.  If you are not around, the bubble is a requirement.  Of course, if you are not around, then the bubble walls are easy to break.  The bottom line, I think it is more important to talk to your kids about the things they see and experience in the world: Parenting.  Talking to my son about his experiences is an area I wish to improve the most in my own life.

Finally, I want to share a parenting issue that I have found to be amazingly true and annoying.  And even if you do not have children, but hope one day to have children, consider this a warning.  The issues that your children face, the issues that will bother you the most, and the issues that will make you the angriest and the most frustrated, are the issues you face yourself.  Nothing will make you more angry than when your child does or experiences something that is a direct reflection of your own flaws.  I hate this and I am actively working to improve this aspect of my parenting life.

So, strive to raise independent children.  You want them to be OK without you.  And remember, they are NOT you.  Let them make mistakes, and their mistakes are not always yours even though it may feel like it sometimes.  Besides, if they don’t may make mistakes, they won’t learn nuthin’.

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All babies are cute.  You look at any animal and you will find that babies are cute.  I teach my students this fact of nature.  It is important that babies are cute because they often do things that make you want to kill them, but you see their sweet smile and it steadies your hand.  And just like in the animal kingdom, by the time babies stop being cute, they are too big to kill.  I’m just sayin …

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I walked into a store and I saw a couple and their very cute daughter.  The daughter could not have been more than two.  As I walked in the door, she said “Hi.”  I waved and gave her a smile.  The family of three were sitting at a table eating lunch.  While I walked around the store, I noticed, that every so often, the little girl would see something that caught her eye and wander off a little.  The mom, would run over, yank at her and yell “Will you STOP that and SIT DOWN!”  This happened more than once.

This event reminded me of eating lunch in Milwaukee with my friend Corey a few weeks ago.  Next to us was a mother and her child.  The child was a little squirrely.  The mom proclaimed, loud enough for Corey to hear, “and that is why I hate eating out with you.”  The little girls looked about a year and a half.

I often wonder why these people had kids in the first place.  Did they not remember what it was like to be a kid?  Did they think their life was going to be exactly the same, but with a little boy or girl to play dress up with?  While visiting with my family, my nephew stated that he never wanted to have kids.  He has seen the lives of his brother and others and how kids have effected their lives and these observations have led him to the conclusion that kids are not for him.  Good for him!  But here is the problem.  The families that I so often see, especially the ones yelling at their kids as if they ruined their lives, probably thought the exact same thing.

So, as I told my nephew, and I wish I could tell the world, if you don’t want to have kids, or you think your lifestyle is so important that you would never want to see it changed, then live your life accordingly.  If you don’t want kids, live your life according to this desire?  Confused?  My nephew was too?  Yes, you guessed it, this is a sex talk.

There is no guarantee that if you have sex you won’t have a kid.  I actually know people with kids because of a broken condom, a missed pill, a little too much to drink, or it just being late at night and they were in the mood.  It happens.  Am I preaching abstinence?  Maybe, but it really depends on the situation that you are in.  Bottom line, if you are not prepared to do the time, then don’t do the crime.  And if you think abortion is a viable , trust me, no one feels good after an abortion, NO ONE.  You can’t unring that bell.  So, be smart and live your life according to the desires you wish to come true.  Because at the end of the day, these kids deserve better.

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The truth of the matter is this, if I quit my job and devoted most of my time to golf, I truly believe I could make money on the PGA tour.  How sick am I?  I’m just sayin…

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