I have been a parent for 17 years. Although I have not always been there for the kids because of work, I tried to manage my time to make up for it. I have always tried to raise my man cubs, as I call my kids, to live their lives independently and peacefully. I discussed with them the values my mother and father passed on to me and almost all of the learnings I picked up along the way – almost on a daily basis. My wife also shares the same passion as I do and sees that her experiences from her parents are also passed on. We take pride in our raising our kids. However, much like driving, no matter how good you think you are, there will always be an idiot or drunk on the road at the same time as you are.
With schooling comes my children’s exposure to other kids. Other children means that my kids have to mix it up with the products of different forms of upbringing. The tough thing here is that I am not sure whether the other parents were as hands-on as I was or not. I do not know if they were better or worse. In today’s society, I do not know if the other parents even bother to talk to their children. The strangest feeling that I get is that other parents may choose to manage their children strictly by providing JUST their material needs and hope they turn out fine. Although I do believe that reinforcing attitudes with the proper rewards can help, I do not think that substituting the latest toy for a good talk will ever get a parent anywhere. That is the reason why I try to involve my kids in more discussions. I encourage them to debate and prove their points. I believe that they are getting good at it, too – sometimes too good.
Although I am not the king of material possessions right now, I do believe that my kids have grown to appreciate what is there in front of them and not long for what is not there. I believe that to achieve balance, parents should plant the seeds in kids, the seeds that will drive them to succeed.
I also taught them to choose the battles they fight…and I think this is where my problem is. I taught them honor above all. Do not hurt. Do not lie. If you choose to bend these rules, they all have to be of the utmost necessity.
Call me a pacifist but I simply do not want to rely on use of force to resolve anything. And I am pissed off that someone bullied one of my boys. As much as I want to punch the kid who bullied my little man cub/ angel the other day, I cannot. As much as I want to tell the parent of that child that she/he raised their child wrong, I cannot. This enrages me. How come these parents get away with letting their kids grow up to be little devils? I do not want to assume that just because they think they bought their little boy the newest toy, he’ll naturally assume better behavior. I will have them to blame for raising their child in an environment that encourages insecurity rather than creativity and in an environment that fears the unique. I pity the bully. I think it is more the fault of the parents for allowing kids to grow up in this manner. I could be wrong but I cannot accept that children are born ill-mannered.
Right now, as I have calmed down, I will pursue the course that is right. This is what my mother taught me. I will deal with this the best way I know how. Admittedly, seeing my boy hurt hit my parental instincts. The protective bear in me wants to exact what is wanted, but I will correct the situation in the best manner possible – civilized.
I will do what my school taught me – protest. Unacceptable behavior met its match.