Did you know that a Tasmanian Devil gives birth to 20 to 30 babies? AND when they are born, they travel independently to the mom's pouch where feed for 100 days. However, the mother only has four places for the babies to feed, so only four babies survive. To make matters worse, those who do not feed, get eaten by the mother...
I know, pretty gruesome, but this leeds into my rant today.
Are we giving our kids what they need?
I have been thinking on this ubject a lot lately. I have been reading a book called "Queen Bees and Wannabees" and let me tell you it is an EYE OPENER! The book is the basis for the movie Mean Girls. I would highly recommend it to anyone, and am glad that I am reading it now. The book says that the height of all the social crud our girls deal with is in sixth through eighth grade. We haven't quite reached sixth yet, but it is coming faster than I can imagine, and I think that it will take me this next year to mold into the kind of parent that my child will need.
For example, the book says that the best kind of parent our kids need is a "Loving HardA Parent". One who will "own up" to their own mistakes and MODEL that once you make a mistake, you can learn from it and be better from it. You love your child unconditionally, but hold them accountable for decisions and behavior that go against the family's values. They don't BLAME OTHERS for their daughter's misbehavior, and at the same time, never make their daughter feel ashamed of who she is.
OK, so I don't know that we have necessarily ever discussed what our "Family Values" are to our kids. I know, I should be taken out back and shot. But you can bet, this next FHE we will do just that! And I know I need to own up to the mistakes I make more in front of my kids and let them see that there are ways of fixing them and show that I learned from them.
One thing that gets me though is the fact that parents do BLAME OTHERS or give other excuses for their child's misbehavior. It kills me when I hear parents excuse their childs behavior saying "They have ADD (or whatever)." I realize that ADD is a REAL problem, but it is not an excuse. Just because your child has a problem with something doesn't mean that you can just let them misbehave. You have a responsibility as a parent to teach them to overcome all. Right? ADD doesn't just go away, adults deal with it to, so do you see adults in a business meeting acting out and saying "Oh, it's OK I have ADD..." No, they would get there sorry self fired, somewhere you learn to deal with it and behave properly, so why not teach them when they are young?
When I was a teacher, I had the opportunity to deal with two totally different types of parents. The first was one day when a girl in class gave me this note that was supposedly from her parents saying that she needed to be in the office at a certain time because her mom was checking her out for a dentist appointment. So, I let her go at that time. Only to have her be escorted back to class later by the VP saying she was roaming the halls. After class, I talked to the VP and he said that her behavior warrented a Truancy and told me to fill it out. As a teacher I liked to have contact with the parents, so after school, I called her mom and explained what went on and why her daughter was getting a Truancy. The mom's reaction was, "I don't know why you guys have to do that, I'm sure she had good reason for leaving class, maybe your class was boring ever think of that? Maybe I should call the principal and complain about you!" Yeah, whatever, she still gets the Truancy and just deal OK?
The second experience was when a girl came to the school and at the time I was the Junior Class advisor and it was election time. The people running for office were supposed to come up with a skit to make people want to vote for them. The girls skit ended up being inappropriate, so we told her that she was going to have to come up with something else. Her mom happened to be there and her mom's response was, "OK, that's the cards we've been dealt, how are we going to play?" And then her daughter came up with a new skit and things were just fine.
So, what kind of parent are you? Are you making up excuses for your child, or are you teaching them how to deal? Are we letting all of our kids "feed" off of our example in a good way, or are we just letting them fend for themselves? Because just like those Tasmanian Devil moms, if we don't, that is just as good as eating them for lunch. Doncha think? I'm just sayin'.