#230 (teenagers)

I woke up an hour earlier Wednesday morning than I normally do and well before the time my alarm would have sounded. I’m not sure why, but I was wide awake. “Hmmm,” I thought and wondered what was I dreaming about to wake me up so suddenly. 

My morning routine is to check my phone for messages, make my coffee, and make a quick breakfast that consists usually of a slice of toast and maybe some fruit. The latter is only if I have it. 

I must have slept hard…

I think I now understand the reason I awoke so suddenly. I believe there are messages in an alternate reality or universe that we are all connected to and if we’re tuned in to that world, we could receive certain information subconsciously when we’re asleep and even at times while we’re awake. My dreams must have been telling me about something that required me to awaken before my normal time. 

On my phone was a missed call from S and a voicemail, “I need you…call me please.” It wasn’t the typical message and it sounded like she was crying. With no response from me to her voicemail, S sent a series of texts as well, with her final text received around 2:30AM. I read her text messages and immediately called. 

Teenagers trouble…

Her oldest child was was out with a friend parked on country gravel road doing something they shouldn’t have been doing and subsequently got pulled over for a broken taillight. It turned out, he and his friend were smoking marijuana with the evidence bellowing out of the vehicle. When S was describing what happened, I pictured the scene from the Cheech and Chong movie “Up in Smoke” where the car was filled with smoke. Hilarious in movies but not in real life. 

Recreational pot is legal in the state of Oregon but like alcohol you must not be under the influence while driving. 

She has had the “drug” talk with her kids, and she did learn several months prior to the early morning incident that he had previously smoked marijuana with his friends. However, he had told her that he had never been behind the wheel after he was lit. 

I was not there for that pre-incident talk, but got the gist that as long as he was being safe and not driving, it was okay. Hmmm…

Different parenting style…

I would have never said it was okay for either of my sons to smoke or do drugs while they lived in my house. As I’ve mentioned in my prior posts, I’m not into any mind altering medicine let alone drugs (whether the drugs are legal or not). The reason is I have to be in control and having medicine or drugs that gives up that control would not enter my body on my own volition. That’s just how I’m built.

Loving your kids never means condoling any compromise to their safety especially allowing them to partake in recreational drug use. Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean your kids who reside under your care should be doing it. 

My point of view is drugs, legal or not, puts my kids in harms way. I’m not saying that prescribed medicines that help illnesses such as diabetes, or a thyroid issue, or cancer should be avoided. I’m only referencing recreational drug use, which includes alcohol. Now when they stopped living with me, then they were on their own and no longer subjected to my house rules, and can do whatever they want to do regardless of my approval. 

Suffer the consequences…

Part of my parenting view is that if you do the crime, you pay the time. Consequences are great parenting tools and I used them in raising my kids. I think my kids are better off as I’ve allowed them to experience the appropriate pain levels. Moreover and more importantly, they’ve learned to cleanup and find ways to resolve their own messes – no government (parent) bailout. 

Her oldest son now has a record and would most likely lose his drivers license for up to a year, could lose his job, definitely would incur court fees, and would also result in an increase to their automotive insurance premiums. All for a moment of not thinking (or allowing your child to do something they shouldn’t be doing). 

The enabling parent…

Now S doesn’t subscribe to this point of view. She doesn’t want to take away all their “fun” things in life. So I guess her consequence would be that she would continue to bail out her kids for the rest of her life…

#parenting #toughlove #life #singleasianmale

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#200 (teacher won’t teach)

I tried to stay away from talking about S’s children as I don’t really want to share their story, but suffice it to say, I just can’t let this one go. Maybe it’s about learning more of S’s character and not her kids. 

Now I have a saying: “where the head goes the body follows”

This is typically my leadership speech when I’m mentoring folks or telling my story of how I’m where I am in my professional life. No I’m not a life coach, but somewhat in a leadership role. 

I strongly believe that people will follow a leader no matter if that leader is strong or if the leader is weak. The stronger the leader, the more synergy in the team. The weaker the leader, the more chaotic the team. 

This translates well into parenting. My boys are about 10 years apart in age. My first wife passed away when my oldest boy was only five. I remarried and my second boy was born 5 years later. 

As a typical parent, I provided instructions and guidance and set some boundaries. I loved watching my two boys grow into their own. Now although they were 10 years apart in age, they were raised with the same rules: “treat and respect people, always try to do the right thing, and own up to what you’ve done wrong”. 

This didn’t mean, the boys did not try to bend those rules and push the boundaries. But I was always fair in their punishment and allowed them to experience the consequences when they did break the rules. 

Sit back and watch…

Now as they grew into their teenage years, it was great seeing them begin to understand the consequences and rewards of what they did. I think most parents dreaded those teenagers years, but I kind of enjoyed them. My parenting style was about teaching them. I learned that from one of my best teachers – my mom. 

Getting to my point…

Now S had an incredible opportunity to teach her younger son about consequences. The short version of the story was he broke a rule his teacher had in class about not being on their cell phone while the class was in session.  The first time he was caught, he had detention. Apparently he didn’t learn the lesson. It happened again and this time the teacher took away his phone (and has kept it). 

This was conveyed to me via text. I texted back, “the is a great opportunity for a lesson in consequences.” S text back was, “sort of.”

Where the head goes the body follows…

I now understand why her boys and at times her daughter, do not respect her or treat her as their mother. She doesn’t act like one. I think she thinks her kids should not suffer that much when they do wrong. But I think she knows her kids like to push those boundaries, especially her younger son. He seems to always be in some sort of trouble, either at home or at school. He’s just being a typical kid. 

Hmmm…she’s a teacher…and she hasn’t figured it out. Perhaps it’s like the lyrics in the song…can’t see the forest for the trees

#singleasianmale #parenting #life #leadership