There are days that I wish I was oblivious to what goes on in my kids’ lives. As a parent who knows what is going on, it creates headaches, sleepless nights and more often than not fighting. Wouldn't it be nice to just be the parent that is blind to their kids trials? Honestly, I don't think so.
As the baby of five kids, I could get away with anything. By the time they got to me, nothing mattered. Yes, my parents loved me, but sometimes it seemed like they didn't care. I could go out drinking in high school, get in a car and drive, and I didn't have to report in to anyone. I never really needed to sneak out, I just left. I never had to sneak in, my parents were asleep by the time I got home. My parents had seen it all by the time I came around. The next youngest child in my family is seven years older than me. He was probably the worst of all of us; partying all the time, trying to grow weed in his bedroom, flunking out of classes, getting his girlfriend pregnant in high school (in his defense, he later married his son's mom and had a daughter to boot).
A friend reached out today about a dilemma she’s facing. It relates to another parent that allows not only drinking, but smoking pot, in their house, not only in front of their kids, but with their kids and their kids friends. When did it become OK to drink or smoke with your kids? What kind of example is this parent setting? I guess I shouldn't judge, right? I don’t know the full circumstances. I’m not saying it’s ok to do it with your kids, but it’s not my business. I am, however, saying that you should NEVER do it with kids that aren't your own.
Back to my brother; my parents knew what was going on, but I can’t say they condoned it. When he was caught smoking cigarettes under age, my dad made him smoke an entire pack in one sitting in front of him. Get through that, and they wouldn't care if he smoked. He never made it through the whole pack, but that didn't stop him from sneaking it.
I like to think that we raised our kids’ right, to make good choices, and to realize the consequences of their actions. I won’t say that our kids are perfect; I don’t think any kid is perfect. They have to make choices, and as a parent you have to hope they will solicit your feedback. It’s hard to sit back and watch your kids make mistakes. You have to think they will learn from it and move forward, and then hopefully you can sit back and when they are 25 they will apologize for every sleepless night, headache, stomachache and mortification they caused over those previous 24 years.