Monday, July 20, 2009

Parental Rights (and wrongs)

I grew up the youngest of five children. Each of my four older siblings had two kids before I had my first child. (I finished up with two.) I babysat my nieces and nephews many times when I was in high school and college. I was comfortable being responsible for kids of all ages even down to infants. The one thing I always noticed (or thought I noticed) was that my nieces and nephews all listened better to me than they did their parents.

Based on all my experience parenting was going to be a piece of cake. I mean, if my nieces and nephews listened to me when I was just their uncle then it was a "given" that my kids would always listen to me when I was their Dad. Right?

When my oldest son was born I was the happiest guy in the world and there is no better feeling in the world when you hold your kid and they fall asleep on your lap. No one tells you how difficult it can be when your kid isn't perfect or the challenges start to come... and they definitely do.

My oldest was diagnosed with ADHD when he was 6 and has had problems adapting to school. He has difficulty with authority and loses his temper often. There was a time when I was afraid to answer the phone because I was certain it would be someone (school, teacher, neighbor, etc.) telling me how rotten my child was and therefore implying what a terrible parent I was. It happened so often that I started thinking perhaps they were right.

What I finally decided was that he was my child and no matter what he is awesome. He has faults and he is brilliant in his own way and he is a gift from God. Although I may not like what he does and how he behaves and I question often whether or not he can control his behaviour - I think the answer varies depending - he is my child and I will always love him. NO MATTER WHAT!

Parenting is the toughest job in the world. Parenting is also the best job in the world. Bottom line is that we must all take responsibility for our kids whatever they are like and Make it Apparent We're a Parent!

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to add a comment. I got a phone call just today telling me my son was no longer welcome at a friend's house because he was disrespectful to that friend's mother. What a tough call to have to take. I certainly don't condone what my son did but he does have challenges and a disability.

    I had to Make It Apparent I was the parent and have a talk with him about the fact that he made the wrong choice and the consequences are sometimes out of my control. Even though I don't agree with banishment from a friend's home or yard I must go along with that decision. It's not the first time it's happened and my hope is that it will be the last. Like I told my son today. I certainly don't like what he chose to do but I will always love him NO MATTER WHAT!


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