We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
For years, the blogger mom who uses the pseudonym Bookwormroom (to protect her family from liberals in her very blue neighborhood) and I have exchanged emails. The topic is usually about our children, near the same ages. Our private conversations are reflected in her new e-book, "Easy Ways To Teach Kids Hard Things: The fun way to teach your children important life principles." It is only $1.99 on Amazon, so order yours here.
From Bookie's introduction to the e-book:
[I]t will share a life philosophy that I’ve applied to my parenting, one that has resulted in my having children who respect me and who frequently tell me that their friends think I’m the coolest parent around (and that’s not because I’m a pushover)....
After struggling for too many years to be the perfect parent, I gave up and settled for being a pretty darn good parent. My philosophy is that, whether I am sharing my values with my children, helping them with their school work, or generally giving them tips about navigating their way through the world, if I hew to a few basic principles, rather than following dozens, or even hundreds, of modern parenting rules, parenting is less work and more fun. Happily, once I stopped trying so hard to control every aspect of my children’s lives, and started focusing more attention on overarching principles, not only did parenting get easier, my children also became nicer people....
They will also be more self-sufficient and, with luck, have a strong moral compass and analytical abilities that enable them to deal with many of the difficult situations life places in their paths....
They’re not perfect – far from it – but I can honestly say that they are good people in the areas that count. On any issue, even if their judgment is immature, their moral instincts are spot on. My kids are also good students, which is a testament not only to their discipline and intelligence but (as they will freely concede) to the practical tips and insights I’ve given them over the years.
The foundation I’ve put in place is what informs my children’s decision-making, both practical and moral. I’ve actually put my theories into practice and seen them work.
Bookie sees the results with her kids, and I see them with mine. This works for moms and dads.
I thought, when my children were younger, that we were doing a pretty-good job of raising them. Certainly better than either of our parents had done for us. We were involved, but not helicopters. They did their homework every night and went to church every Sunday. We had long conversations w/ them. We read to them, and bought them lots of books. Etc.
And then they hit their teens and twenties and we discovered a great truth: you cannot prevent your children from doing stupid things. They have to learn the lessons of life the hard way. And this is true of everybody I know whose kids are that age. And guess what, most of them were darn good parents.
When I read things like this, I smile, and say to myself, "just wait..." Life has a way of smacking pride about being a good parent right in the face.
All human beings grow up to be a combination of good and bad. The best-parented child in the world will do some awful things, and go through some very hard times. i guess that's why the church talks about "original sin." I think of it as "intrinsic sin."
the really hard lesson for parents to learn is that you cannot convey your own hard-earned wisdom. Kids have to go through some hell to develop their own wisdom.
You're correct Pubby. We all have our good and bad side. Character building and experience is aimed at teaching to choose the good side. Doesn't always work, but beats the alternative of going along with whatever fad the kids lean towards or example of kids who get in most or serious trouble.