Tag Archives: Parenting

Home Parenting

“Just get the milk from your sister, it’s 500 degrees out here and you’re letting the air out!” “Give me the lotion. You can’t do it, you’re wasting it!” No, I’ll pour the cereal, you’ll spill it.” Give me the paint, you’re making a mess!”

These, and many more memories echo in the minds of most parents. It’s so much easier to do so many things by yourself, but is that a sound long term tactic? Would we be better of, or more importantly, would our children be better off if we spread the pain and anxiety over 18 years?

With age comes patience, and patience wisdom. We’re so far past the stereotypical “first child parent” it’s almost difficulty talking to folks who are first child or only child parents without sounding callous or irresponsible. We probably sound and look as crazy to them as they appear naive to us.

We work with wood for a living. We do this partly so we can enjoy the wonderfully unbearable time we spend with our kids. We feel time is most important. It would certainly be easier to cart them off to daycare and go to a job for 8-12 hours and hopefully eat dinner together at a time that wouldn’t choke us in our sleep. However, we made the choice to be poor and together, for our situation it works.

I have three grown children from another marriage and we are raising three together. The two boys are 7 and 9, the youngest is 2 1/2. These are demanding and dynamic phases. The oldest compares his chest hair to his younger brothers. The younger brother decides wether or not every situation in the house is fair. The youngest thinks the kitchen and all of its contents are her playground. We can’t wait till there all a little more human.

The kids are around whenever we’re working. The boys have largely gotten bored with the excitement if power tools and constantly try to sneak outta the heat to watch some TV. The youngest though, she’s in her prime for tool time. Knives, saws, chisels and blocks seem amazing. So again, we safely go through the process of stopping what we’re doing every now and then to demonstrate, and supervise, our 2 1/2 year old sawing a block of wood.

On a recent trip to the grocery store in our 100 degree weather “little girl” decided she would put her sandals on because she wanted to walk into the grocery store where she could shop for us. She remembered the last time she got down from bring carried and the pavement was too hot. So we’re good now with grocery day. She remembers to bring her sandals she doesn’t want to wear because she can’t shop and has to ride in the cart when she doesn’t have shoes. This is pretty much the rubric for learning at this age.

Returning home everyone grabs as many bags as possible and takes them to the kitchen, which “little girl” has made an extension of her playroom. Standing at the steps to the door waiting on “Little Girl” to try and carry bread and milk up the three steps was amusing. Not to mention dangerous because we have lost a couple gallons in this process. All this made even more enjoyable by the unbearable heat.

What I know, and subsequently confirmed is; raising children isn’t easy. I could go to the grocery store by myself and hop outta the truck and be home in 25 minutes. I could go to work and only have to worry about the extra 30 minutes on either side it takes to drop the kids off and pick them up. I could cut and screw wood uninterrupted for hours at a time had we chose daycare. I could also send the kids inside to turn the TV on instead of enduring dropped groceries and 100 degree heat, but we experience many authentic moments being “home parents” that had we chose to work outside the house we would have missed.

We don’t “home school. We don’t feel it necessary. We send our kids to school for social reasons. We already knew their success in school was going to depend on us anyway. We drop them off and pick them off. Usually listening to their expectations in the morning and their successes or failures on the way home.

Being a “home parent” is very rewarding. We’re not wealthy and understand that has nothing to do with happiness or intelligence. We understand that it’s our choice and others make theirs for what they feel is good. What motivates us is we know each phase is the last and we’d better enjoy it while it’s here.

So for now we are hopefully allowing our kids to just be kids as long as they can and as fully as they can so when they’re adults that how they’ll feel. We don’t care what they become as much as that they become happy with who they are.

The freedom to explore and express theirselves now is important to us. We respect that not everyone agrees with this process. This is why we keep our 2 1/2 year old home mostly till she’s around 3, it’s safer for everyone involved.

We understand some folks seek academic success. Some chase actors curricular stardom. Some believe it takes a village. Some folks believe that insulating their child is the responsible thing to do. We respect other folks decisions, as we hope others do ours. We enjoy the difficult process of home parenting and including our children in our endeavors. It’s ugly for sure, but we all learn so much it’s impossible to see how limits are good if the actions are supervised, no matter how much harder it is than doing it ourselves.

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Govt Bullies our Children

It always amazes me how narrow sighted, or minded, folks are when it comes to “issues” surrounding government. Folks get in an uproar and regurgitate sound bites with vehement conviction without giving the issues a single thought. One given I don’t hear much, a government is only as smart as it’s citizens, reveals a lot about America today.

I’m go to skip over the fact government has created scenarios to send our young Americans to go to war for financial gain. I won’t comment on the marriage wars or the Confederate witch hunt. These are all superficial when compared to the rubric used to implement changes without consent, popular voting consent. Our government is attacking us and we’re like the battered spouse afraid to speak out.

This last effort is the straw that broke the camels back. This LGBT farce the President is forcing down our throats because he knows it wouldn’t make it to a vote is unconscionable. He’s taking a fringe issue and forcing it on our children and nobody is reacting. He didn’t threaten corporate America with tax penalties , he didn’t force the military to issue dresses to every Infantryman, he didn’t integrate the restrooms in government buildings. He went right for our children , the most developmentally vulnerable part of our cultures, not to mention the most impressionable. He’s usurped our parentage and is trying to define our children’s future through policy.

We are, families, under attack by the liberal agenda and we are defenseless with a liberal president. These folks seek to define the world our children live in through legislative Bullying. When they pursue these societal and cultural objectives they are telling us they know better and that parenting has limits that are subordinate to state.

I’m not for or against any lifestyle, that’s shallow. Jesus tells me to love humans, regardless, love is the greatest. He also teaches me that I must acknowledge right and wrong, good or bad, moral or immoral. Jesus does not teach about hate.

Science, biology, and psychology help me understand that the human species has a normal when it comes to many issues, including sexuality. A man and a woman are normal sexuality for humans. This does not mean I hate folks who don’t express theirselves sexually in a normal fashion. Many of us don’t express part of our humanness in a normal manner, that doesn’t mean we’re evil. Kick it to “the curve” and let it go. As long as no one is trying to force their exceptionality on anyone else we eliminate some of the hate going around on both sides.

Within “the curve” there are a spectrum of differences emanating outward. Wether it’s IQ, physical capability, or psychological condition there has to be a normal. We may not feel good about where one part of our humanness falls within the spectrum, but we don’t all grab banners and slogans to make everyone change their perception. We just understand better that we have differences that some should accept or ignore when addressing us as a person. Don’t define a human by a characteristic.

Our government is doing this now. They’re attempting to define our world, and more important our children’s world through misguided social pressures that have silenced the academic, scientific, and anthropological communities across our nation. We fund billions of dollars to these geniuses with weak intellects afraid to weigh in on every facet out our lives. Food, medicine, pharmacology, agriculture, you name it and there are hundreds of thousands of academics afraid to speak up and lose a dollar within their research departments. Government has them by the throat after they castrated them.

We should have learnt something from the civil rights era. There will always be groups that hold onto hate. There are still white and black folks out there keeping the “race balloon” afloat while most of us enjoy diversity within our families. Those racist whites and blacks can be put in the same basket now, we don’t have to acknowledge them.

It ain’t about America at this point that’s a definition in transition for sure. As parents and people we should strive to teach our children the “old school” values of respect and standing up for what is right. These values are universal and will be instrumental in protecting family and American values in the future. There is an enemy, we voted them into office, and now they’re attacking our children. Make a statement this voting season, eliminate incumbents

This may sound extremist, but if you have confidence in the end “The American will rise to the challenge as he/she always has. Yeah, some good folks will get the ax, but there are other good folks out there who will get the message. When you stoop to the level you’re messing with our children, or not protecting them, we’ll use the sharp edge of the ballot to cut you off. I believe everyone sees there’s a need to send a message, but then again they say ignorance is bliss.

Gun Control

Guns are a proud part of American history. From the early wars where farmers answered the call to “take up arms”, to the early Settlers who hunted for their meat; firearms were instrumental tools in the development of our nation.

Hold on if you think I’m sold on everyone owning a firearm, that’s not necessarily true. Those spineless bastards who put music to military raids for entertainment have skewed the minds of our youth just a much as those rappers who sit around with shiny pistols as extensions of their manhood.

We have a generation of children who grew up watching movies like the Rambo series or Terminator, and a host of other B rated movies with awesome special effects and terrible actors. These “kids” minds were twisted with the idea of firearms as weapons. Name a movie from this era with a pastoral scene and a father and son walking a trail with shotguns at the safe rest during this period. I know right!!!

Now these couch warriors gave birth to brats who play Halo or Assassins creed to the point that they are consumed with a plastic power that can extend into real life. So we do need to educate our youth about firearms as weapons as well as firearms as tools, if that’s not too late.

Guns as weapons come with responsibility. Soldiers, Police, and certain persons protecting the interest of others are examples of individuals carrying a firearm as a weapon. These individual carry weapons to protect the interest of society.

Firearms as tools are another reason folks have guns. Hunting and protecting livestock are situations where guns are tools. This is a timeless part of the heritage of many Americans. The primary function of a firearm for these folks is work, protection is secondary and seldom used against humans, contrary to the abundance of Hollywood drama.

These two groups pose no threat to other humans. However there are groups that do pose a threat hiding behind the 2nd Amendment. I support the 2nd Amendment as currently viewed by conservatives, but I can’t support extremism from gangsters or fanatics, they should be policed.

Extremist and criminals are the enemy, and they are diametrically opposed to each other, but are the same in their ignorance. They use guns as an extension of their manhood.

Extremist aren’t just the stereotypical white supremacist holed up in the mountains behind barbed wire. It’s never that simple. We know who those folks are, and they’re not the roaches that crawl out of the woodwork and wreak havoc every once in a while.

Those folks out there glorifying the power of weapons as some safety net for their own insecurities are dangerous. Guns don’t make you superior or cool, and buying them for the purpose of using them against humans out of exaggerated fears is very dangerous, that’s the Zimmerman effect to a tee.

There is also a group of folks who treat firearms as a criminal tool. Guns are glorified as a statement of manhood through music videos and games. Rap videos, crime video games, and documentaries about gangs portrayed firearms as a statement of toughness setting the bar for youth wanting to be a “Gangsta”, even if you weren’t in a gang. This goes for “Bloods and “Warlocks”.

“Wannabes” gangsta’s hanging around their hood with dope dreams and a sack are just as dangerous as the punk with a skinhead wearing chains and black clothing around his bedroom reading The Communist Manifesto cleaning a gun his introvert parents bought him for his 21st birthday.

These are our youth and we need to teach and train them right about many things. Having a pistol or shotgun around the house to “gack” someone or thinking you can buy your kid a gun and leave them be like you just bought them another video game is dangerous as hell. Signals, what signals do we send to these children about firearms and violence.

Soldiers are really the only folks who should be using firearms for violence, everyone else should be shooting targets or animals. Even Police should have a defensive posture such that the weapon they carry is “in case of emergency”!!!

Guns aren’t the problem, background checks are not a solution, parenting is the problem. It always comes back to home training. But if dad was an “OG” or a “Prepper” on the fence; maybe mom never seen a firearm but buys “Little Man” every video game on the shelf as a babysitter so he spends 14 hours a day playing Halo and watching main stream news shows. The possibilities of ignorance are endless.

There are no easy answers for the firearm debate. However; Gun control is about as far from realistic as shutting down fast food joints to halt obesity. Think about it a minute and it all stems from behavior. Behavior is learned, and can be modified.

The problem with this approach is it takes billions of dollars from the government and puts it into the hands of the economy. This threatens many folks and their standard of living.

So I imagine we’ll keep playing the middle ground to prop up the middle class in their imaginary successes with public ills. Millions of folks have retired on this ignorance and silently enjoyed their retirements knowing “the system” is a failure. The “wink and nod” is alive and well.

Till folks start to make sense you gotta fight hard for your rights as an intelligent person in this country who just wants to be left alone. Take for granted that your intelligence will be challenged and let go of the “sex wars” and the “hypocrisy hype”; you better worry more about the ever tightening reign on your freedom, they’ve been choking it more and more for 50 years.

Cops & Robbers

When we discuss fast food and obesity, we talk about the quality and greed of the fast food industry; and the discipline and lifestyle of the obese person. When we talk about addiction we sometimes talk about the greed and quantity of medication marketed by the pharmaceutical industry and the weakness of folks who make the mistake of getting involved with drugs. When we discuss education we discuss how parents aren’t doing enough at home and teachers aren’t producing “test scores” that reflect the education industries goals. When we hear about healthcare we hear about doctors and patient greed. This ignorance of our current “industrial revolution confounds me!

I know I’m not on an island here. Many folks understand this era we are living in is the “real industrial revolution”. We’ve industrialized every facet of life in America. The rubric is so obvious it’s invisible. There is a neat, (safe) structure to our function and dysfunction as citizens, we can generate profit from everything in America from misbehaving children to criminal investing of corporate finances.

The healthcare/medical industries benefit immensely; we’re born in a hospital, return throughout our lives, and eventually we end up in the dirt with a stone over our head. I’ll stop there for brevities sake, but in reality there is a post existence industry developing as we breathe; that’s just who we are.

So observing this I am confounded we don’t put policing, or justice, in the same vein. Crime makes as much money as all these other industries. The shows on TV and the internet depict some wannabe gangster with a bandana over his face cooking the latest version of his pharmaceutical counterparts answer to everyone’s problem. What they don’t depict is the untraceable amount of money the police industry receives to militarize its forces and play cops and robbers. Both sides are part of the industry.

As responsible citizens we failed to step forward and thwart the governments quick answer to fighting rising crime rates; getting bigger guns, cooler vehicles, and military armor was never going to solve the rising crime problem, it just raised the stakes. Some smart folks in California knew this years ago when a couple crooks got their own body armor and walked down the street taking shots like Soldiers in an urban nightmare. The police and the criminals are all part of the game and as citizens we have to “Police” both. No “Player” in the game of crime is exempt from responsible oversight if we want to have a peaceful existence as American citizens.

We are never gonna eliminate crime. It cannot happen. Understanding this as the premise for our approach is fundamental in demilitarizing our police industry. We need law enforcement folks who are trained first. That’s the one one military principal the law enforcement industry must have cut funds. If you want to have a “Para Military” police force, you should protect the Officer and the citizens through training or else folks will end up dead, as we’ve seen. Training could have prevented these latest tragedies.

The shootings resulting in deaths are obvious training shortfalls, and I’m not blaming the officer, it’s the leadership that is responsible for the guy with “boots on the ground”. Firing multiple shots at an unarmed citizen is a sign of fear and unfamiliarity with the weapon you have and it’s capability. Choking someone out is what some young kids watching UFC too much do in their back yard when their bored. Any respectable “trained fighter” knows that it takes less force and effort to incapacitate someone through joint manipulation or pressure points than it does to choke someone out. That officer was untrained in “Martial Arts”, or at best improperly trained. He was acting like a bored teenager who just watched a UFC fight night and applied his favorite “move” on the weakest friend in the crowd.

All the leadership seems to do is hide behind news commentary and social problems. The leadership in the law enforcement industry failed us as citizens, and unfortunately just failed two Officers and their families; and now their hiding behind attacks on controversial figures and news commentary to hide the real fact that they changed the policing philosophy and didn’t understand the dynamics behind their approach; they just sat around in awe of the new budgets and enjoyed the spending at the expense of the Officers on the ground and the citizens they policed.

The reason there’s no clear solution is because the real problem is hiding behind mahogany doors and neatly organized pieces of paper lined with numbers and dollar signs. There are plenty of conversations around water coolers about political figures leading law enforcement as a statement of there strength when the real “Officers” with “Policing” experience are left out of the conversation because the reality of what works in policing isn’t popular and won’t further the cause of the careers of many political figures. If we “De-politicize” the nature of American police forces we would see a “De-militarization” of the way our criminals are going about their business, because the “Officers” who’ve been dealing with criminals for years know that “sticking your chest out” to folks who ain’t thinking straight to begin with ain’t gonna result in nothing but a fight, we have to be the bigger man sometimes and that’s what “Cops” do.

Why on earth would they need to prove some masculine principal to some dude who has been suffering from a twisted view of “being tough” cause he never had a male figure in his life that taught him how to be a man, and the woman around him taught him he was the “Man of the House” while he was telling an adult what to do. Just an example, we don’t have time for that conversation!

If your writing about any of these latest incidents and you claim the title of “Writer”. “Commentator”, “Journalist”, etc.. “Man Up”! Those titles indicate your a thinker. If you’re out there looking for a headline to further your status, go for it! Just know we who do think see right through you and your false sentiment about the folks involved. Or you can criticize my style and grammar as a reason to not write the truth, that’s another popular approach. That’s cool though, I don’t aspire to be part of your group anyway, I’m a criminal, patriot, American, leader, etc… Most of all I’m human and pissed at the deceit surrounding these incidents.

Everyone has to “Protect and Serve” bitch. This whole ongoing “Fiasco” is proof of how a responsible free press can help or hinder “American Citizens”. So maybe cops, robbers, politicians, and writers should all spend a few minutes with their “Hands Up”, at least no one would hurt or killed for a few minutes!

Little Johnny

So I’m listening to the local news last night waiting to catch the weather report for the week and heard some crazy stuff from the education folks talking about raising expectations, standards, and test scores. Now I know about this hustle, I taught for six years and fell for that game for a minute. These bureaucrats justifying their positions on the backs of six year olds stressing through a bubbling nightmare. They have to keep re-inventing that wheel or they would be in that line downtown where all the classes have to mingle.

What caught my attention was this lady dressed in her best business suit. It wasn’t her looks per se, it was her title and statement. She was an executive with the state board of education and the “sound bite” she chose to run with was, “We need an educated workforce and students who are educated to fill those positions.” Wow!!! This said a lot about the industrialization of education and the blatant manner in which the bureaucrats unknowingly give their true intentions away. Our children are not students, their means to an industrial ends and education is not for personal growth or community cohesion. It’s not to increase the social awareness of the world around us and the folks in it, the intention is to have smart folks to make things that the wealthy can benefit from financially. Some folks say it like “feed the Machine!”.

So I’m looking around at the parents in the audience nodding their heads in
agreement and solemnly viewing the current test scores for the previous year. They skeptically look at the goals for 2020, which none of them will have children in school by then, and the idiot who thinks he is going to get a 97% ave in the state will be retired and talking about “back in the day” by then. But they all appease themselves and pat each other on the back with unknowing smiles. They justify this hyperbole by saying, “Well we can’t sit around doing nothing!”. When in reality they are doing nothing but taking long range planning out to the stratosphere where no one will ever see it but the few interested researchers who are sitting around wondering how some bureaucrat came up with that plan out of what they’ve concluded.

So “low and behold”, I think that’s the saying; I’m reading my boys student handbook a couple days later out of boredom waiting for “Momma” to come out of the pre-k class and what do I read, what I can’t do with my child! I do a “double take”. Then I quiz my “old lady” about vacation time during school just to hear her response. She tells me we can’t take a vacation during school because the kids can only miss so many days. So I ask about getting the work they would miss and we could have them do it while on vacation; knowing I’d never do that anyway. She says they aren’t allowed to miss more than so many days and they wouldn’t let us.

Well damn, excuse me for thinking they were our children and we determined what was best for them. Looking further into this usurping of power I find they have to have notes from other adults to excuse certain types of absences. This is ridiculous to me that someone would have control over my children above me. What really gets me is folks buy into this as normal. If you asked folks about it they just shrug and say “Yeah, they can cause you trouble if you don’t send them to school. Wait, I graduated, a couple of times, I can’t get in school trouble anymore.

So I start digging deeper, like a lost coonhound trying to dig a gravedigger out of a river bed! Ok, that may have went over the deep end with metaphors, but I’m pissed and trying to stay “country”. They have these list of things to do when a child gets home. I did 11 pages of homework with “Little Johnny hyper boy” one afternoon. He’s six, in first grade is what it says on his paperwork. Now I told you I been a teacher; so I know this work I’m “helping” this six year old with ain’t getting graded by no means. Impossible!!! There are 23 kids times 11 for just Monday, not including what they did in class, if they did anything I’m guessing at this point, but I drive on for my boy.

I read, write, and think a lot, possibly too much! I really don’t care what my children decide to become as long as it’s happy. My worst nightmare would be that they chose some career path or position out of prestige or financial gain, rather than happiness and fulfillment. We seem to be taking this “control”thing a little further every minute. There is no way that some educator focusing on test scores and which Island in the Caribbean is most popular is going to usurp parental responsibility from me. I have to protect my children from the bureaucratic pitfall that I thought was realized back in the 50’s.

There are many folks out there interested in your child. The sports maniac, the corporate monopolized, the usurping educator, even the non profit scrounger. Balance is the key, as always. “Little Johnny does need to know how to get along is his world. So I guess i’ll have to teach him at home that folks don’t really care about your wellbeing and if they do it’s probably because they have a stake in it somehow. So guard your freedoms from the folks who are saying they are here to protect it, because they are the same folks who want to organize and direct it. Chance are that “Little Johnny” won’t be happy living someone else’s version of happiness, he’ll just be another Poseur lost in the latest trend!

The Couch

The Couch
My Dad always told me “You’re never gonna get anything done lying around.” He would tell me this often on Saturday mornings when I was planning on sleeping in. Of course my dad was ready to work on a car or do something in the yard. I would groan, and get up, then think to myself, “What’s wrong with a little Saturday morning Siesta.

He Also told me “Boy, it’s no wonder you never get nothin done, you’re always running your mouth.” You know how kids are. We never really leave the “Why” stage. We just keep asking questions and guessing at things until our Dad turns around and give us that, “Did I really father that boy.” look.

And when I made a mistake building the dog house he said, “Boy, if you stopped runnin your mouth for a minute you might learn something!” This was his saying for me when I was at that phase where I couldn’t work and talk at the same time. We could be working on the car and I would think about my bike. Then I would start talking about the newest “Sissy Bar ” that was on sale. Unbeknownst to me I would stop working in all my excitement, and then the “Did I father him.” look again!”

Well I have found later in life that Dad wasn’t exactly right about that. I followed his 20th century advice into the 21st century and imploded. I found myself in therapy breaking all my Dad’s rules about laying around and running my mouth, and learning more about myself and how to be successful everyday.

So now I lay on my therapist couch and run my mouth for an hour straight thinking, “If Dad could see me now.” I don’t really listen to my therapist, it’s her job to listen. So I just go on and on about every injustice in my life. And all the while she tells me I’m making progress, I love her. Then I think to myself, “Man, where was she twenty years ago when I needed her!” She could have helped with our paternity issues!