Parents And The Children We Created
Inspire The Youth
How many times have you heard,"When I was a child?"
To this day I laugh when I think of my mother or step-father saying that exact thing, “When I young.” Now, I find myself saying the equivalent to both my teenage boys. Wanting, needing to be different, I never expected those, "not so unique” words to come out of my mouth. Time after time my boys just roll their eyes and laugh as they tease me about the things I had to grow up without.
No cellphones, ipads, or modern day video games, and you had to “actually” walk up the street sometimes to get a hold of a friend. But, what we did have was out-side games, baseball, football, and just playing Frisbee. We did have to do chores, water the dog, cut the grass before we went off to play.
Young, thinking my parents discipline rules were a bit far fetched, I was going to be different as a parent. Give my children more freedom, less work, and get them some of the fun stuff I never had as a child. “Have your whole life to work, why work so much when you're young?” I always thought to myself, until, yes indeed, I became a father. Now a single parent to boot, with two “now” spoiled teenage boys living with me.
Coloring during a time out.
Discipline and Children
How did you do disciplining your children?
Discipline as a Toddler.
New dad, what a feeling, until, discipline! Early on I knew there was going to have to be rules, consequences, and a way to enforce them. My favorite, sitting on the couch, and not allowed to talk. My wife “then” always felt terrible for both of our children, because, I was rather strict on the time frame, they weren’t getting off the couch early. In the beginning, she had to coax them to color, but, before long, my oldest was doing so without any issue. My youngest, however, decided he was not going to give in. Screaming at the top of his lungs every time. Driving both of us nuts, alternative measures,”a toy that made a little noise” seemed to work.
When at work, the children always were “sort of” threatened with, “Want me to call your dad at work?” I will have to say, at a young age it was a lot easier.
What to do during teenage years
As our children became older and older, my strict ways became less and less. Giving, buying, and smothering them with the wonderful things in life that I never had. Find my self curious “now” whether or not that was something for them or me? Didn’t become a problem , until, they were at that age where the stuff they wanted, expected, was so expensive, giving them everything had to change. So that struggle began and continued for several years. As a learning parent, I was surely learning the hard way. Heavens, should I listen to those “Oh so smart parents of mine.”
How many have caught yourself saying exactly what your parents said to you? How about laughing at something you said, just to think to yourself,"Oh my goodness I sound like my parents?"
Some Tips For New Parents
Take it from someone who had to learn it the hard way, use some of the advice your own parents give you. Don’t be afraid if you are not perfect. Here are a few more things that may just help:
- Being a new parent means you WILL learn as you go.
- Communicate with your spouse. Be on the same wavelength when it comes to discipline.
- Be consistent, when disciplining your children.
- I found it a lot easier giving a child a choice of two things. Food, chores, etc. When they are able to make a choice, it seems you have less trouble and a lot less complaining, after all, they did make the choice.
- Start at an early age. A lot of parents make the mistake of waiting until our children are 10-12 or even young teens, save yourself the trouble and start earlier.
Teens With Attitude
Interesting Teen Years
Parenting skills are different for each individual, their own experiences, and things they have learned from family. For me, my children now in their teens, being a single parent, and a father at that, tends to be a challenge. Women are much better than men when it comes to multi-tasking, so I struggle there.
Not enforcing small chores, a work ethic, and other responsibilities, at an early age, has now haunted me as these two boys begin their mid-teens. Try now to get them to help out is a ridiculous task. Excuses, complaining, and the lack of respect, has been a tedious task to fix.
Others in my family have had similar experiences. Being one of five boys in my family, we lean on one another when issues arise. Similar to my situation, another family member had his son come to him and say, “Why didn’t you make me do more?” What he meant by that, he had to learn not only a work ethic, but, responsibility, and all of the normal household tasks, after he was on his own. This particular incident has me teaching my two teenagers how to cook, wash clothes, and some other normal routine things like grocery shop, manage bills, etc. Hopefully, when they are on their own, many of these skills will make it easier on them.
What age group do you think is the worst to discipline?
5 year old Gus, so cute!
Teenagers and Your Feelings
I found a fantastic article and had to read after seeing this,” If you ever sense teenagers are not taking your feelings into account, it is probably because they are just incapable of doing so.” A recent study posted at Livescience. "Thinking strategies change with age," said Sarah-Jayne Blakemore of the University College London Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. She also writes, "We think that a teenager's judgment of what they would do in a given situation is driven by the simple question: 'What would I do?'" Blakemore said. "Adults, on the other hand, ask: 'What would I do, given how I would feel and given how the people around me would feel as a result of my actions?'" Anyone can read the whole article at Study: Why Teens Don’t Care.
Teenagers, with their "I know it all" attitudes, their " I can do it myself" ego's, will push any parents patients to the limits. That's what teenagers do, push boundaries, push buttons, and see just how much they can get away with. It's up to us parents to set it straight.
Live and Learn
Parenting, whether a single parent or a couple can be extremely trying at times. The style, your own skills, and advice you decide to listen to, can make all the difference. You learn as you go, fixing what you may not of had perfect, and enjoying the decisions that went well. Think about the memories you make when “someday” your children will be saying, “When I was young” or “My parents taught me” to their own children. Remember you never fail, you just keep learning! As parents, we just simply try to do our best. One of my personal saying is, “ Your not living if your not learning something new” a statement I will live by daily. When parenting is all said and done, it is then we see just how "truly" great we actually did. Our children when fully becoming adults, then look back at our actions with praise, a new found respect, and love us as parents, more than ever!