Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A Parents Dilemma

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.


  1. Good Stuff, you hit the nail on the head with this one! Hopefully some of what we say as parents - sinks in!

    1. Wishful thinking Lori. As children, we had to deal with not only our parents, but our friends parents as well...which sometimes was scarier than dealing with your own!

  2. See here's the thing - I think you DO have the right to judge other people's parenting when it directly impacts your own children. To me, it's not judging them so much as it is making a judgement call on whether to knowingly allow your child to be exposed to illegal and dangerous behavior. Because remember, even if he is not engaging in the behavior, if/when the cops show up, they aren't going to care, he's going to be taken in with the rest of them to be sorted out. My kids are little, but even with their little kid problems the hardest thing to do is to sit back and let them make mistakes. But the hardest parts of parenting turn out to be the most rewarding as we begin to see that it was those moments that we let them fall down that we realize taught them how to get back up again. Every generation of parenting is a little bit different, but many threads remain the same throughout time. And when our children grow up to become parents, those consistent threads are the ones that pull the bond between parent and child tighter. So, hold your head up, you aren't alone in the storms of parenthood. We're all in it together;)