Wow. Pretty smug, huh? I find myself at home, after a long and interesting weekend, with a head full of thoughts. Who am I to offer parenting advice? Nobody, really. I just had some thoughts about the way I’ve chosen to raise my own kids and thought maybe I’d write them down. Follow them? Only if you want to. This is just one man’s rant.
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Not Ghandi
“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting their own battles.” -Lots of people
“Why do you want to blow stuff up? Do you want to bring your kid by an empty lot someday and say, ‘there used to be something there, but I destroyed it’?” – Dennis Whitehouse, my Dad.
One day when I was a kid, riding around with Dad, I explained why I wanted to be a demolitions expert. What 13 year old boy doesn’t want to blow stuff up? Dad is in construction. There are things all over this state that he’s had a hand in building. He impressed upon me that day that destruction is easy, but creation is more important. That Dad is a pretty smart guy. In our family, we try to be part of positive things; things that edify, not indemnify. Be part of the solution, not just a critic on the sidelines.
“You can’t teach a crab to walk straight” -Aristophanes
This is a motto I try to live by. Sometimes it saves a lot of personal angst and frustration to realize that people are who they are, and cannot/will not change to meet your needs. This rings true with Jake and his autism. I COULD spend my life frustrated with who Jake isn’t, but it’s so much more rewarding to enjoy and cherish who Jake is.
When I began this post, I had no idea where it would lead, but I hoped that a destination would present itself as I went along. Sadly, this isn’t the case. I’m not sure how to wrap up. I’m sorry if it all sounds a little sanctimonious. I in no way wish to come across as a master of parenting. I’ve only been at it eleven years. I guess I’ll leave you with a few points:
- let kids make mistakes, and take responsibility for those mistakes/choices
- let kids be kids. there’s such a short time in life reserved for carefree innocence
- there’s a time to be clean, and a time to get dirty
- Sunday school is important
- use your manners
- the most important thing a man can do for his kids is to show them he loves their mother
I guess that’s all for now. Go hug your kids.