Tag Archives: parenting

Sweet Success

chocolate chip cookies

Probably one of the best things my parents did they didn’t so much “do” as “allow”. My older brother makes plans work, and around the age of 8 or 9 he figured he and I could make money (I was two years younger than him) by making chocolate chip cookies and selling them from our dad’s desk at his office. And so we did.

It was work, making dozens and dozens of cookies a few times a week, figuring out the perfect recipe and being consistent in making it correctly, purchasing the ingredients from profits we’d made. We sold mostly from our dad’s desk for $.25 per cookie, and we fulfilled a few special orders for large batches that friends took to meetings. And we made enough money to buy a boat. A real, honest to goodness, goes-on-water-and-we-fit-inside boat. Granted, it was only $300, but it was 12′ long and came with two outboard motors and accessories. The sense of accomplishment stays with me.

How many parents today would allow their kids to do that? I’d lay my 7-year-old sense of accomplishment against any degree any day in terms of what it brought me regarding how I view work, the real meaning of success, happiness, and fulfillment, and what it takes to succeed in life.


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Throw The Book At Her!

From last week: I learned I’m not allowed to decide how responsible my children are and the resulting levels of freedom they can then enjoy.

And in the re-running of the classic comic For Better or For Worse, we learn that Ellie is an abusive parent, allowing and even requiring her children, and her friend’s children, to walk to the park.


She ought to have helicoptered as the current social freaks require, driving the boys to the park, catered to their every whim.

And allowed their legs to shrivel up and fall off.

Today I Learned…

…I’m not allowed, as father and parent, to decide when and how my children are allowed to be mature.

I was quite capable, at 10 years old, to go to the grocery store by myself, on my bike, and pick up various thing my mother needed but couldn’t load the whole family into the car for.

But in Illinois, if I allow my children to be unsupervised before they’re 14, I’m negligent and liable.

So the question is:

Do I make myself the target in order to illustrate how ludicrous such nanny-state tactics are in arming do-gooders and busy-bodies the world over with false moral standing in their quest to ruin the world for the rest of us normal people?

Or do I keep my kids in the back yard until they’re fully feral?

What kind of responsibility did you have growing up? And how much responsibility would you give you children today? How similar are you to your parents or how different?

And what about the mother who let her son ride the subway home alone in New York city?

To Kill A Butterfly

Monarchs hatching

Want to know how to kill a butterfly?

Help it.

Yes, it’s that easy.

You see this newly metamorphosized creature, brimming with potential beauty and wondrous mystery, struggling weakly against the tough confines of it’s chrysalis shell. Moved with pity you gently tear the chrysalis further, freeing it’s hostage, the beautiful young butterfly.

And yet, what is this?

The fair creature is still weak. It’s body not energized with the pangs of struggle, and it’s abdomen still engorged with liquid it must now pump into it’s wings. Without the necessary and draining struggle for freedom from it’s chrysalis, the butterflies strength is stunted and it will not have the strength to pump it’s wings full.

It will fall to the ground and become easy prey to the other creatures waiting for food or it will simply die.

It is good to minimize suffering whenever we can. It is our moral responsibility to strive to help and assist others however we are able.

However, all assistance and relief must be provided with an awareness of the necessity of the situation.

Does a parent do their child good by covering for them when they cheat or break the law? Often, it is a parent’s failure to provide the necessary discipline at home that allows the child to grow up to break the law, and the best thing they can do is to allow that authority willing to provide the necessary correction the freedom to mete out the necessary punishment.

Does a parent do their child good by demanding the opening of the school basketball court to where they are skipping classes and failing everywhere except for their “mad skillz” on the court? Wouldn’t it help the child by standing firm beside others who care and require higher standards from children who obviously have drive and intelligence?

The easy solution is often fraught with foreseeable future failure.

An often maligned conservative standard is to expect more from people. It is completely true that this perspective tends to hurt more than the soft tyranny of low expectations held by many of a liberal bent. However, the people who grow through adversity are stronger people, more independent and more positively beneficial to the independently interdependent system our Founding Fathers devised for us.

It has been said the most difficult part of raising children is consistency, and also the most rewarding. Consistantly providing instruction, correction, support, guidance, and parental leadership will take life from me and cause hurt and pain. But it will reap rewards far beyond any mushy permissiveness or laissez-faire Spockian parental philosophy.

Our dear child is to be a butterfly, and I shall not do more nor less than hold his hand as he struggles through the various chrysalis’ life passes him through. I not ease his way only in giving him the tools he needs to accomplish his own way.

I will not kill my butterfly.

Daddy Contemplations

Now that the cat is out of the bag (or the kid out of the, um… yea), I can admit that contemplating fatherhood has me scared stiff.

Well, not really, but in a manner of speaking.

It is one thing to say the words “I’m not ready for fatherhood” in much the same way I said “I’m not ready for marriage” and quite another thing to actually mean it or grasp the idea that there will be a helpless little baby needing my wife and my care for it’s every need. Then growing and growing, becoming more independent and self-willed, maturing and growing older, learning and absorbing, and then leaving.

And God has tasked me with the primary responsibility for the childs spiritual growth and nuturing. My wife and I for teaching the child and loving them and providing stability and security such as we can while allowing freedom and experiences to broaden the childs horizons and abilities.

I haven’t the slightest clue…

If you’re a parent: What is one thing that you are glad you did and one thing you regret or wish you’d not done? And why?

Everybody is a child of someone: What is something you are glad your parents did and one thing you wish they hadn’t? And why?