Friday, February 24, 2012

Growing Up Now a Days

 This post is a bit off topic as it has nothing, really, to do with Ayden Jane.  I know it is often a topic of conversation how kids these days are exposed to so much...  We have had some definite personal experiences with this lately.

Kayla and Noah are good kids.  They are not perfect, although Noah would tell you that Kayla is a near impossible standard to live up to.  (some day he will believe us when we tell him we just want him to be the Noah God created him to be)  Sometimes I need to remind myself how hard it is for them to stay that way and give them some credit.

Kayla has basically made it through the teen years and is making all the right choices at college.  It is so cool to hear her talk about life and plans and know that the whole world is open to her.  Remember how that felt??

Noah is still in the thick of things.  He is a nearly 17 year old boy who has never really loved liked school.  He feels such pressure to get good grades, but does not really have the desire to do the work...  He did fine the first couple of quarters but, well, he, uh, needs to refocus.  He was late getting out the door yesterday (again) and Gary had had it.  We already could tell something was up and it was the straw that pushed Gary out the door to the school to check in with his teachers.

After the morning "discussion" about the importance of school and getting there on time, Gary discovered from teacher 1 and 2 that Noah was missing a lot of work.  Of course, Noah told us that he had no homework... Gary's blood pressure skyrocketed and luckily for Noah he was not within reach.  Then a bit later when Gary was able to sit down with another one of his teachers, he was told this by the teacher (paraphrased of course), "First of all, I want you to know that in my 14 years of teaching I have only had maybe 3 students I would say this about.  (Gary is expecting the worst)   I hope my boys grow up to be like Noah.  (jaw drops now)  You have raised a fine young man and I hope I can do as well as a father."  At this point Gary's head is spinning and he is at a complete loss for words because just a couple hours earlier he was as angry with Noah as he has been in a long time.

On the social scene, our kids live in a world where drugs and alcohol are readily available.  This may shock some of you, but parents even supply these things under the notion that, "they're going to do it anyway so I'd rather they do it at home with their friends than...."  This in turn creates a culture that rules don't apply or that when laws get in the way, just find a way around them...

My kids have seen childhood friends that were lively, awesome kids fall into the pit of such things.  Some will not make it through high school and a few are dealing with legal issues.  I stinks.  It is painful for me to watch and I know it must be hard on them.  They know so much more about drugs, alcohol, divorce, violence... then I ever had to deal with.

I am really proud of them.  They know God, love Him and do their best.  No they are not perfect, but their hearts are good.  We couldn't be more proud of them.


  1. Hello,
    To continue about the drugs, tobacco and so on topic.
    My best example was not my father (he smokes like a chimney, he can also drunk drive), nor my mother (she was a heavy smoker until 15 years ago), but it was... my GP !
    I know that being a GP of someone and being a mother are such different matters, but...

    I am not a parent myself, but someone living with a chronic condition and a sensory impairment.
    But the most important is having one and one priority : health and safety. On these two points, we have to be intransigent.
    I strongly believe that as soon as we have this bottom line, making a decision becomes much, much simpler.

    To give an example, GP never lets go when it deals with smoking, drinking, over or under eat, no hygiene at all, not taking the medicines to care a chronic condition... We can work on simplifying a medication regimen, we can make the medicine more pleasant at taste, we can... but we have to find a way to take them.
    She sticks about it so much that at the end, you don't have negotiating space.
    Setting this priority and nothing else makes easily to teach what I call "the rest", like being polite and respectful, helping at home and such.
    I don't say that this rest comes effortlessly, but if a child is unhealthy and unsafe, you absolutely can't teach him courtesy, chores.... He can't learn at school, etc etc...
    So, if my 7 yo brother comes with a mismatched pants and tee-shirt while we are preparing something to eat with daddy and I, it's something I let go : there is no immediate danger for himself and for the others, and we are not planning a fancy social outing.
    I would be more concerned and so strict that he would remember if he listens to music with an ipod in the street, because he can't hear where do the cars come from while crossing.
    And for some stuff, I use an intermediate technique: I stick about part of the matter (like : "you have to help for preparing the party because everyone does"), but I give him a choice ("Do you want to set the table or help me mashing the potatoes ?").
    Or if he absolutely wants to keep his mismatched socks while we are in a hurry to leave, I put inside my bag a matched pair of socks : if needed, we still can go to the bathroom and change them.

    I am strongly convinced that we absolutely have to set up priorities, and that the most important priority is health and safety.
    After that, we can teach all the spiritual values we want to teach.
    But spiritual values don't exist without health and safety.

    1. I am not looking to get into a parenting style discussion. Really just telling our story as it happens. We parent from the perspective that God is first in all things. Without that first, the rest has no purpose. Our kids know God, know Gods love in the good and bad and love Him. All else falls in line after that.