Thursday, December 30, 2010
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Easy Does it! Let's not Overwhelm the Poor Kid Because, Believe it or not, Doing so Might Start a Lifetime of Ungratefulness.
|This is what we call a PoopSplosion because it rocketed outside of the diaper.|
My son would have been perfectly content with just a few gifts. Hell, he is only ten months old. Christmas didn't have to be complicated this year or expensive. But, no, I couldn't allow it not be. I wanted it to be the best ever, which in my mind meant that there had to be a whole shitload of gifts under the tree, or in our case in his pack and play. As it turns out he didn't want all of that stuff. We didn't need to buy three different train sets or twenty different trains or whatever else he received. He was perfectly happy to sit around and play with us all day and gnaw on the Christmas ham until we all passed out.
With this in mind I began to wonder who I bought all the toys for him or me? You all of course already know the answer to this. I bought the toys for me. Do you really think that he gave a shit if he had any Christmas presents? No of course he didn't. He is only ten months old. He didn't even really know what Christmas is all about. Now, thanks to me, he might believe that Christmas is all about buying stuff and getting a bunch of junk that you didn't need or even really know that you wanted. What a terrible message to send to a child on his first Christmas ever. So, it looks like I will have to work twice as hard next year to show him what it is truly about. It is about being with your family and friends and celebrating each others companionship. It isn't about getting a bunch of presents from people. It isn't about spending a fortune. All that does is display your greed and flaunt your supposed wealth, which cheapens the holiday.
With this kind of attitude it is no small wonder that there are children who grow up being completely selfish and ungrateful. This year I watched a kid throw a fit because some one dared to give them a gift that didn't have the right brand name or logo or whatever. What a joke! As I watched this child act like this I wondered what the hell is he thinking. How does someone as old as him, he might have been 13, act like that and not feel utterly ashamed of himself? Then, I realized something. Without knowing it, I am grooming my son to turn out exactly like that by buying him things he doesn't really need or want and giving them to him constantly. Before too long he will start expecting it from me and then other people as well. This is a problem. Luckily, I noticed it before it went too far.
I am afraid that my wanting to give him everything he looks at is teaching my son the wrong message. I don't want him to feel like he deserves everything in the world while never having to earn anything. I don't want him to expect to be given anything because in the "real" world it doesn't happen like that. You have to bust your ass to get what you want, and, even then you aren't assured of receiving what you expect. I also don't want my boy to become so spoiled that he throws fits well into his teenage years when he doesn't get the right brand of mp3 player or gamestation or television or what have you. I want him to have to work and earn things that he really wants. I truly believe that that is the only way to ensure that my son will be appreciative of other people. Hopefully.
This consumerism mentality is just getting to be ridiculous! Why does the accumulation of junk have to be some sort of "keeping up with the Jones's" type of competition? it just seems like there are so few people that are satisfied with what they have anymore.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
So, that is what I mean when I say that it is ok to take time for yourself. It is great and probably a good idea, but it is by no means an excuse to forget that you are somebody's parent and that somebody still needs you to take care of them.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
P.s. I know that I focused primarily on our sons today, but, believe me, our daughters could benefit from a little more love, compassion, and affection as youngsters too. Let's break this cultural belief right here and now, and let's do it together.
Monday, December 20, 2010
When I was little, the kids that bullied me just made me feel stupid and beat the crap out of me. Yeah I felt all alone in the world, but there was always the idea way in the back in my head that my friends would get my back, which we did for each other, because I thought that that was what friends did for each other. Apparently, that is not the case for girls because most of the time it is their “friends” that bully them, and these girls are using their looks, popularity, sexuality or whatever they can as tools to accomplish it. I don’t completely understand how it all works, but I am sure that it does, which brings me back to this stupid song I listened too.
I have read so many articles and books that show the average amount of time that a family sits in front of the boob-tube and it embarrasses me. It is almost like the television is a member of the family to a lot of people. This is precisely the reason that my wife and I do not pay for cable television. I don’t want my son to be corrupted by it. I want him to be able to talk about other things than last night’s episode of “American Idol” or the season finale of “Lost.” There are just so many other things that should be more important. I know that I am setting him up to be an odd ball when he does finally go to school, but I am hoping that if he doesn’t get exposed to the crap on TV non-stop for hours a day that he may be a better person for it. I don’t want him growing up thinking that certain aspects of life that the t.v. portrays are socially acceptable or even positive cultural mores.
The simple truth is that most of these messages aren’t and we all know it. Take sex as an example. If you take what a lot of the TV programs show to heart, then you would believe that sex is no big deal and there is never any sense of commitment to the person that you’re banging at the time. Therefore, it Is perfectly fine to have sex with someone other than your partner because it is meaningless. Bullshit! It is bad enough that as a society we all have to confront this as adults and young adults, either directly or indirectly, we don’t need to see it as children too on the afternoon sitcoms our parents subject us to do we? No. We don’t. We need to learn that it is not ok to hurt the people we supposedly love like that. Anyway, I digress.
What I am firmly convinced of and what really peeves me is that it seems like we have all become too lackadaisical as parents and as people. No, I am not blaming television for this. After all, television only plays what is popular. If we as a whole didn’t want to watch a television program then it wouldn’t play. Therefore, we have no one to blame but us when it does. Probably the turn that society has taken in regards to the entertainment that we all seem to enjoy hasn’t made the bullying of our children and of each other any worse, but it surely hasn’t made it any better either. I honestly don’t think that the way bullies bully others has changed all that much for centuries, but what has changed is what we continue to expose ourselves and our children too.
To tell the truth, I take a certain amount in solace in this because it means that my son will more than likely go through something similar to what I went through as a kid, and since we won’t pay for TV he won’t really be exposed to a lot of the crap that I abhor so much too. So, his bullying problem is going to be relatively easy to deal with or perhaps easier to deal with than what the alternatives are for girls. I’ll just advise him to fight back like I did. Sure he’ll get a few bumps and bruises but that is a small price to pay for being left alone right? I don’t know what I would do if my son was a daughter. I guess I would just have to rely on my wife to help get her through school. I know that I would be virtually useless. I can’t even help the five year old little girl I watch when she is having problems with other kids at school. She just won’t talk to me about it, and I don’t know if she even talks to her mom or dad about it either. We all know that something is wrong. I can see the other kids laughing and pushing her when she gets off the bus, but I am helpless to do anything about it. The poor little kid used to be so happy when she first started school. Now she just looks so miserable. It is terrible.
So, I do what I know best. I teach her to defend herself physically. Nothing serious just a few tosses and submission holds, but that won’t work and I know it. It seems like her self-confidence is totally shot. I don’t know what else to do. Like I said, I am useless in this kind of situation. I automatically turn to violence as an answer, which doesn’t work for girls. As boys we are taught from a really young age to confront our problems face to face and getting physical just seems so normal to us or to me anyway, that it is almost comforting. I guess girls aren’t taught to be like that, and, anyway, how do you confront a psychological attack or ostracism? You can’t beat it up, so what else do you do? I for one don’t know. I guess she'll just have to wait it out or learn that she can talk to some about it and hopefully that will make things better for her.
Friday, December 17, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Whether she knows it or not the fact that she didn’t stand up to the other jerk-ass teachers taught me one of the most valuable lessons she could have ever taught me knowingly or not. That lesson was, “If you let people treat you like shit, they will continue to do so forever.” If you want people to respect you, you have to demand it or earn it somehow. So, I decided at a young age that I will not put up with the kind of shenanigans my ma put up with, not from anybody. I will not be anyone’s stepping stool, lackey, or punching bag. I probably would have turned out the same if my ma was the confrontational sort, but somehow this lesson is more poignant when you observe someone you love being shat on repeatedly by people who would be lost without their little books with all the answers in them. It would be inhumane to expect them to learn the material before they taught it I guess. It isn't like it changes all that much from year to year. Please don’t get me wrong here. I am not judging my ma on not standing up for herself. I know that she probably really couldn’t at the time. What I am really trying to say, is that I am grateful that she was able to guide me into being the man I became while using that experience as a teacher/librarian as a pivot point gently nudging me in the right direction.