Tonight my son, Taylor, was telling me about one of the new friends he’s made at school. My son is a freshman and has never really hung out with a group of “guys” until just recently. Anyway, he was telling me how humbly this young man and his father live due to his father not making a lot of money. This young man had to grow up fast because his mother abandoned him and his father. They are Hispanic, and it sounds like the father works a crazy amount of hours 6 days a week to provide for his son. Taylor was telling me that they had some deep conversations a few nights ago. One of them caught my ear. He said his friend LOVES to cook, and would make a whole chicken and cornbread every night if he could.
I found this to be an EXCELLENT opportunity to teach my son about human conectivity….seeing a need and helping if possible. I got on Facebook, placed a wanted ad for a free or small fee rotisserie for this young man and his father. In about 10 minutes we got a response from a lady that had one she was willing to donate. Taylor was FLOORED that I cared enough to help his friend. But I know what it’s like to be that kid. I grew up very poor with a single mom who worked whatever hours she could get. It was hard.
I am NOT writing this post to get kudos for doing a good deed. I am writing it because I am hoping to inspire other parents to teach their children about kindness. We are living in a world that’s so “all about me” anymore and it’s sad. We should be helping one another where we can. I use EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY I can get to teach my kids a lesson in something. Every conversation can lead to a moment of opportunity to TEACH.
This conversation turned into me telling Taylor how many times I used to overdraft my checking account when I was a young adult because no one ever taught me what a budget was. This turned into giving him examples of several ways banks work.
I feel fortunate that I am so incredibly close with my children. When I talk, they listen. It’s important to build this foundation of trust from an early age.
I am also learning how to give them a LOT more freedom than I ever thought I would be giving them at their ages. They have earned these privileges. But that’s exactly what they are PRIVILEGES; because as fast as they earn them, if they mess up, they can be taken away. Lack of consistency in your discipline will cause your child to question whether you will stick to what you say. Let your YES be YES and your NO mean NO….PERIOD. DO NOT GIVE IN! Let them cry, throw fits, whatever, but do not give in because the second you do, they just learned that they can manipulate you to get what they want if their persistent long enough.
Every single moment is a learning opportunity; it’s your job to spot them and work the conversation into that opportunity without making it sound like a lecture. I’m a total softie when it comes to my kids when they are doing well, but I am a total hard-ass when they are screwing up. It’s a fine balance. It’s not easy and sometimes I stop to question if I am doing it right. But I know that I am doing the best I know how. My goal is to teach my kids all the lessons that I didn’t learn as growing up. Isn’t that the point? To break the cycle of dysfunction and help our children achieve their lives dreams?
So commit….if you are a mom or a dad it is your DUTY to commit to your child everyday. I know I am not perfect but I do give a lot of good advice I’m told. If you have a parenting question that you would like to ask please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your question might be something someone else if wondering as well. We are a community, let’s help one another! If I don’t know the answer to your question, I will simply tell you. I won’t make you THINK I know what I’m talking about. I will write more on this later but I am really tired and gonna head to bed.