Completing an inadvertent challenge, plus time for a breather


I am just successfully finishing off an unplanned challenge, and that makes me feel good. Spring break week for the kids, plus 2 3 day weekends for me means a chance to really catch my breath. Pondering parenting choices in an interesting way.

I get my books from the library, both electronic and paper. I made that choice a long time ago in the interests of finances, if I paid for every book I read I would be broke. Which means that often I put things on hold. Well a week or so ago I had not one, not two, but three books all come available at the same time. And none of these books had the option to renew if I did not get them done on time. And while I do agree with a great line I saw the other day: ‘A library fine is a badge of honor’, I do try not to keep things too long, because I know other people are waiting for them like I did. That meant I had to crank through these books. Well I can proudly announce a week later, 2 books down, and decent progress on the third! This wasn’t a planned challenge, but I took it on, and am stomping it!

Today is the last day of school for a week (or Wednesday in Jimmy’s case as he has some kind of stomach issue.) And I had set things up so I have Monday and Friday off to bracket the week with 2 3 day weekends (couldn’t do the whole week.) But we all get to catch our breath for a week. I will only have to get up early for work 3 days. And while Kim doesn’t have any days off she does get a break from Scouting for a week. And on the days I do work I don’t have to worry about getting the kids up, getting them fed, clothed, lunches made and dropped off. I don’t have to worry as much about bed times, or things like that. So it is a break in many ways for me (it is nice having a teenager who can act as baby sitter when we are at work.)

(What comes next is a rant on parenting, some people might disagree, but these are my thoughts and opinions)

**********(The thoughts below are mine and might be offensive to some, just a warning)**********

I had an interesting exchange on FB yesterday about parenting choices. We were discussing what kind of music we deem acceptable for our kids. This is a topic I find interesting because I am very laissez faire about what the kids listen to. And to be honest I am looking forward to the first time one of them tries to shock me with their music, and then pulling out some of my older favorites to show them that there is nothing new under the sun and that nothing they listen to can shock me. Kim doesn’t necessarily feel the same way about it but she lets me lead the way as music isn’t as important to her.

My feeling is that media is media, this stuff is out there, and in the age of the internet there really are no secrets any more. The days of breaking the lock on my brothers dresser so I can steal his Penthouses (sorry Dan) or sneaking the family copy of Joy of Sex have been rendered moot. The best thing I can do as a parent is explain that what they will see, hear, watch (maybe even read!) is fantasy, art, acting, and has very little if any bearing on reality. I treat it all as make believe, staged etc. and try to teach them to see it the same way (and I think I have been relatively successful so far.)

And most importantly lead by example. I personally rarely curse. I treat everyone the same, with courtesy. And I think that if I do that, provide a constant reminder of how I would want them to act, I am taking care of that issue. When I run my D & D game with the teenage boys I don’t pay much attention to their language (unless it is racially or gender demeaning.) I don’t talk like them, and I think that if I provide that example they will gradually get the point.

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