Observations from a stay at home Dad in Dallas Texas
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Mutiny on the Bounty
I hope to get back to my regular postings now that the events of June are distancing themselves from my rear-view mirror. The oppressive summer continues to drag on. We're back in the low 100's and my desire to go outside continues to shrink.
Camps and vacation bible school came to our rescue. For 2-3 hours each day last week, my kids got to be around other kids. They had fun playing with them, running around, making stuff and more importantly, they got out of the house. My sanity appreciated the respite as I know did theirs.
Today, they were couped up in the house while I mowed the yard, watered the plants and basically sweated off 5 gallons of liquid. Before I went outside I told them to keep the television off. When I came back inside, they were playing a very cool game of make-believe. They were submarine commanders looking for the invisible bad guys. They were using the Outburst card readers as their communication devices which were part walkie-talkie and part laptop. I guess they were kind of like i-phones, but without the glitches.
As I walked around I did notice stuff all over the house. The Outburst cards, Pick-up Stix and pillows were all over the floor. I won't even try to describe their rooms (think tsunami). But hey, they were having the time of their lives playing submarine commanders. They were enjoying each other's company and using their imagination. Sure it may be a little harder for me as a parent because I have to pick up the house a little? If parenting were easy though, then... well I don't know. Nobody has ever thought about that. Why? Because it just isn't easy.
Have you ever read a book entitled, "Nothing new in parenting" or "Parents have it easy"? Of course not, because it's not easy. But we've all heard books like "What to do when your kids misbehave" or "How to parent when all else has failed". Yep, parenting is pretty much the hardest job around. Okay, maybe air-traffic controllers have a hard job too.
Well, with the passing of my mom, I've been thinking a lot more about my parenting. And I think I've been trying to parent my kids through talking and not by actions. For example, I would tell them to pick up their rooms, but my room wasn't exactly tidy. I'd tell them to read a book, but I wasn't reading any. Too many times, our actions do speak louder than our words.
So what are your kids seeing when they look at you? They are perceptive little buggers aren't they? They take their cues from us. What are they taking from you? I hope my kids see me as someone who is willing to pitch in and help them with whatever they need, like the captain of a ship. Whether that be help swabbin' the deck or navigating around icebergs. I know I don't want to be someone who tells them what to do, but then isn't willing to play by the same rules myself. I think that causes them to want a new captain.
Okay then, next week, parental job descriptions and maybe a kids job description too. You'll have to tell me if you agree with what I put in them.