Looking back on my family life growing up I now can see how society and families were starting to change. I fortunately grew up and still have a mother and father who are married – over 33 years now. I admire them greatly. But I can look back and see the start of changing almost right along with technology and the help with marketing/advertising. I see with many more modes or communication at our finger tips we are having a harder time communicating. With these modes or communicating it’s also easier to communicate with others in a way that could compromise a relationship partly for the fact that it is so easy. I also see with advertising companies marketing toward a very selfish society. Everything is “upgrading”. I strongly believe this spills onto our outlook with relationships. Example: “I’m getting bored with him/her so I think I’ll “upgrade to someone better.” Hence the grass is greener on the other side. But is it? It’s the whole “new car” syndrome. You can have your dream car but after a year the newness wears off. You start seeing other cars and you want to see what it’s like to drive them or have them. With technology at our disposal, this could be easy to obtain.
With the reasons stated I believe this is why so many marriages and relationships don’t work out and why divorce is so prevalent these days. That newness feeling is literally at our finger tips. Another reason is the whole economic situations due to divorces and having kids with broken families. i.e. child support and spousal support. A lot of males don’t make the money to support a significant other at the end of the week. This can be a turn off to women. The roles in relationships almost is reversing! The woman is the bread winner and the man still works but can’t contribute as much as he’d like. I find a lot of men who aren’t handy around the house and play hours of video games. They don’t practice chivalry. shame on those men. I also find fewer women cook and clean as in the past which is discouraging to men. That sounds like a sexist male statement but take it as you want. So often do I see young moms our partying and living it up while their kids are at home with grandma and grandpa. On the other hand there are many fathers who pay nothing, do nothing and are dead beats as well.
I feel another vessel that breaks families apart is the whole equal rights fight. If you look at nature; males and females are a part of a bigger picture. Physically, mentally and socially we are different over all. Some things women are better at then men. Some men then women. Hunters and nurturers. I feel this attitude between men and women and a fight for who should do what these days coincided with the system of financial checks and balances with broken homes. So when relationships end the state steps in and essentially the state/government becomes the mothers babies daddy. “I don’t need you! When we break up you’re going to pay me!” I’ve heard that many times. So as it goes break ups happen, marriages end. The father pays and the mother gets money from the FOC and a lot of times money for food and health care from the state. Sssheeeesh. I guess who needs a man when the state can provide for you right? This is wrong and it’s sending a message to women that they don’t need a man in their life.
There is a war on men and a war on women in this world today. Women are being brainwashed to think they don’t need a man. Men are being emasculated and looked at as if we are all irrelevant- incapable. You can see it in ads and commercials. One example is a ‘consumes energy’ radio ad having the man or dad say he can’t handle putting something together with a hammer and a screw driver.
The truth is men need women just as much as women need men. It’s nature!! children need a mother and a father. Both have very very important roles in raising a child. So many lessons are not taught when one or the other is absent. When the ways of nature the creator made it to be starts getting out of balance, its not good for anyone. If you are a women and want to go be a fireman, pass the test and do it! More power to you. If you are a man and want to be a stay at home parent, great, do it. But lets not forget the balance of nature that is intended of our human race.
I don’t know of or if there is any solution to this growing problem. But realizing what is happening is the start. So let’s continue manners on both sides. Let’s respect both sides of our similarities and differences and embrace them. Let’s be realists. Let’s work as a team whether we can stay together or not. Do it for the sake of your children then each other.
I appropriately titled this blog “What do you do?” for good reason. One reason. Because I don’t know what to do about a struggle I am going through with my relationship with my girlfriend. I’m positive this is a struggle that not just I am faced with. But many guys who are fortunate to be able to take care of their kids and responsibilities. It truly is a blessing and a curse which is how I see it and how I feel day to day. Yes, I am talking about money, child support, supporting your kids. Now some are probably thinking, ‘damn right you should pay’ or ‘how can you complain about helping out financially with your kids?’. Well to them I say read my previous blog “How Much is Too Much”.
I will again state for the record that I have no problem at all helping out or giving my kids mothers money to help gain what they need. On perspective I’m all in and happy to do so! But what do you do when your child’s mother has been from job to job, lives at home, and takes any assistance she can get; then rolls up to your house just months after your support goes up with a almost brand new car? How should you feel then? Especially after you have sold your newer car to get rid of your car payment that you could no longer afford. Well I am the father and I should have to make the sacrifices right? I actually don’t have too much of a problem with that for the most part. I mean I am the one who has had the same job for over seven years now with insurance on the kids neither mother has to worry about. And a very moderate roof over our child’s heads when they’re with dad going on six years. I truly don’t judge them or look down on them. We all make life decisions that affect our futures. And I can’t help but feel because they haven’t made good enough decisions I have two money hungry moms sucking on my paycheck. i.e.. If I take a vacation from work rest assure I will be getting two text messages like clock work that week asking if they took out support.
Enough with that. The real question for this blog is how do you afford a girlfriend? I mean, I have very good friends that help me out so I may keep what I have and so the lights stay on. I have a great support system in which I am very very thankful for. I am also very thankful for my girlfriend who is a part of that support system. But that’s where it gets tricky.
We were both raised “old school” where the father was the provider and the mother chose to work if she wished. In this scenario its just not so cut and dry along with many other things these days. I work, she works. I pay support, she gets some support. I have my own house, she lives with parents. There’s nothing wrong with that but since we don’t live together it’s tough to have joint finances. And when we try to have joint finances I suck up a lot of pride and so does she when her man can’t take her out or have extra money to pay for something once in a while with out neglecting an owed bill. Many times it becomes an issue with us. I can see where it makes her unhappy I can’t take care of her and our kids when we have our separate kids together. Frankly most of me doesn’t blame her for feeling that way. So I don’t know if we should keep trying to have somewhat joint moneys or just keep everything separate and shrug my shoulders when it comes to seeing a movie or going out to eat? Or if there is another solution out there I haven’t though of.
So feel free to comment, give advice, or yell at me for being dumb.
Jim Bob is trying to light the stove. Every time he tries to light the stove he burns himself by the method he is using to light it. After he burns himself he complains about hurting himself. As a witness to this you eventually get enough of the madness (trying something the same way over and over and expecting a different result) and tell Bob he is doing it wrong and he should do it a certain different way.
Well its the same way when you witness and hear complaints of a child not listening to a parent. They are using the same parenting antics or lack there of and are complaining their kids aren’t listening to them or doing what they are asking of them. Structure, discipline, and consistency is a great guideline for parents raising kids. If you want your kid to take a nap, or get dressed; its not, “Do you want to?” It’s “You’re going to.” Obviously in a tactful way can you let them know they will do what you want them to. It shouldn’t be up to the child when they take a nap or when they want to get dressed. Just sticking to those examples as they are simple. Leeway can be an option. But when you as a parent want them to do something its up to the parent to put their foot down and make it happen. The child will learn eventually it’s going to happen thus stop fighting the process. It is this way because the parent SHOULD know what’s best for the child more so than the child. That’s our job as parents. Our job is to teach our kids responsibility, safety, and structure for their future selves. (amongst many other things) So that when they become older or an adult they are ready to be a positive influence on society and the world they will live in. It is then if we did our job correct they will know what’s best for them and we might not anymore with certain things.
I’ve heard so many times from other mothers when talking about discipline of a child that males are better. Or that children listen to male figures better than female figures. In my opinion THIS IS CRAP! I feel this is a cop-out on the woman’s part. One fact is my own mother. She was the disciplinarian growing up. And I listened. Now call me a jerk, but I feel that many mothers (not all) these days from what I’ve seen are lazy parents. Not saying they don’t love their kids and want what’s best. They just try to appease their kids and make them happy all day! This is going to create a spoiled brat hell raising monster who will have little respect for them. I feel children will respect and love you more if you don’t give them everything they want; even if you could.
In closing, either I have naturally well behaved kids or I’ve done something right when it comes to discipline structure and consistency. Probably a measure of both if I had to be honest. I say “no” most often and maybe turn that “no” into a “yes”. I feel its easier to turn a no into a yes rather than turning a yes into a no. Also that way they get used to hearing “no” and will not be so disappointed in life when someone does say no. Also I haven’t let my kids dictate when and where for the most part what I want them to do. Maybe part of it is me being selfish with the little time I have. So I manage them so I have time for a nap myself or to get things done with out them in the way. All I know for sure is I love my kids and my kids love me and they listen to me. But you also have to listen to them.
With the summer months coming to a close and everyone getting in their last vacations. Autumn is also on its way which means football, leaves falling, Halloween, and school! All summer most parents have had their kids at home 24/7 for the most part. I’ve seen many Facebook posts saying the quiet around the house is pleasure. All though its nice having your kids in your presence during the summer parents do need a break. That’s where school is a good thing. I myself this year will be having my son (who is four years old) every morning and I will be taking him to preschool. With me being a second shifter this works out well since his mom got a job near my house during the day. It keeps me out of trouble at night after work and I’m looking forward to being a part of my sons day to day school activities. I have even filled out a form so I can be a volunteer.
One thought I have about this whole deal is that my daughter (who’s almost nine) from another mother than my son, is now in 3rd grade in a different school system. Now, I used to have her during the week before I worked. I also brought her to school when she attended a private school near my house part time. Then came the child support for my son and that ended. She’s still in a good school, just further away and full time where the bus picks her up and drops her off at her grandparents house where her and her mom stay mostly. To get to the point, my concern is, “I wonder how she feels that I have her brother during the week and not her.” My daughter is a very bright girl who gets “it” a lot more than she leads on. I’d like to think she takes after me in that aspect of just knowing and being curious how things work. ie, street smarts. It’s also cool because we have this not verbal communication with each other with eye contact. We can communicate to a point with just facial expressions and get points across. But I wonder is she feels left out. Or if she gets jealous of the time I get to spend with my son now as I did her.
On another note. It’s mind boggling to me that my son is starting school in the first place. I mean I remember a little bit when I was that age starting school. NOW, I’m the dad and have a little “me” doing the same thing! I think its awesome and weird all at the same time. Way more awesome though. My teachers name fails right now but I could go back and go right to that room that was down the hallway at the very end to the right. No lockers, just hooks at the time to hang your stuff on. I wonder now if my son will remember himself when he gets to my age Lord willing. And if he’ll have memories of me bringing him and bring a part of it.
To end I’ll just say this. To moms and dads. Don’t take these times for granted. Through the hustle, early mornings, and traffic; soak up the experience. Experience is life’s best teacher. Try to see things through their eyes.
As technology improves and life gets faster, we has people get less and less patient with….well everything. This also leaks into our parenting. When it leaks into our parenting our children are learning to be impatient as well. Kids are learning how to use smart phones, computers and other devices at an astonishing early age. Can you imagine yourself at their age using the technology they know how to you? I know I can’t. I remember huge floppy disks in oh I don’t know…4th grade? It was pretty simple then. Are our kids going to look back when they’re are age with their kids and think the same thing? That’s almost unfathomable to think about how technology with have to increase for that. That can be a whole other topic but I think it effects my point.
With everything getting faster, smaller, and so we think better-really think about how that is effecting our minds. Do you sit at a traffic light for more then 10 seconds and start to get impatient? I know I’m guilty at times. Our kids see this too and they also will behave how they see us behave. How often do us as parents throw on a YouTube video of “monster trucks for kids” to make them happy?(my son loves that) Or turn the TV on to their favorite cartoon show channel? Because it’s easy right? Easy for us and it keeps them quiet right? Again I’m guilty. BUT I have been thinking about this lately and comparing it to my childhood. Always saying yes to kids is creating spoiled brats. I think it spoils us as the parent and the child because we are both taking the easy way out.
With parents saying yes to their kids all the time to appease them we are creating spoiled brats with kids not knowing how to hear “no”. This could be a real big problem as they get older. With life getting tougher and more complex I believe its important for our kids to hear “no” more often. You want a game on your phone? Touch here and here and boom they’ve got a game. By saying “no” it’s more work for us the parent in the now. Well, too bad so sad. If you do the work at the beginning I feel its less work later on. Or more manageable work with our kids. If they get used to hearing “no” then later on in life it won’t be so alien to them and they will not be so disappointed when they don’t get their way. It will build character in my opinion. Too many times parents just say “yes” to appease they kids because they don’t wan to hear them cry or whine. I myself try to have my first answer out of my mouth “no”….then I listen to what they want. Maybe that’s a little extreme but I do give them what they want at times.
It’s not just the convenience of technology that has left us with very little patience but especially with our kids its the chemicals and dyes in our food. Red 40, yellow 5…etc…its all just chemicals put in our foods to make them look more appetizing. Oh and it works! But there are many links to these man made chemicals to ADD or ADHD or whatever else acronym you want to insert. It’s not natural and its affecting behavior. But watching what our kids eat and keeping up on structure, discipline and consistency; we can combat the spoiled actions and learned behaviors our kids have been learning from us.
You don’t always have to say yes to giving your kids food when and how they want it. Giving them a drink when and how they want it. Putting cartoons on, watching You Tube videos, or simply any other spontaneous want or desire. We as parents need to be in control of when they eat, drink or get anything else they want. Our kids should not run us, we need to run them for we should know what’s best for them until they get old enough to know how to start taking care of themselves. They will have more respect, patience, character and overall be better parents when they become moms and dads. Good habits can be created the same way bad habits are created. But once you start that bad lazy habit its harder to correct. But it is possible.