I Am My Child’s Advocate

It is almost thirty years since this song came out but I remember when I first heard it. A bunch of us were hanging out together at a mutual friend’s house and someone put it on the record player.

We were a bunch of middle class kids who rode our bikes, skateboarded and had pretty good lives or so I remember. When I think harder about that time I remember the kids whose parents kept them in line with a belt and how some of them changed when their folks got divorced.

But most of us really didn’t have a reason to be all that angry, other than hormones. And let’s face it when you are 13-14 years old your hormones send you in a dozen different directions. Sometimes you don’t know what the hell to think or do.

So we would collect after school at the homes of those kids whose parents weren’t around and we’d screw around. Sometimes I would hear these other kids talk about how bad their parents were and wonder if they were being honest or if they were exaggerating.

My parents were always around and always involved in our lives. The idea that they wouldn’t be was quite foreign to me. I want it to be foreign to my children too.

I Have Your Back

It is important to me that my children know that I have their back. They need to know that I am always here. It is something that I have worked on since they were born. One day they’ll hit that time and place where they won’t want to talk to me but it doesn’t mean that they won’t want to or need to.

That is why I started building the foundation when they were really little. I wanted it to be seared upon their consciousness. I want them to know instinctively that dad is always around and will always help pick them up. It is all tied into why I have tried to teach them how to lose gracefully and what to do when they fail.

I want them to be able to deal with adversity without my help and with it.

Part of that process comes from them seeing that I won’t let people mess with them. Part of that comes from seeing what I do when something unreasonable, unfair and intolerable happens.

Problem Solving

I mention this because it happened today. There was an incident with my son in one of his classes that made me want to go ballistic. I told him that I was upset about this but I didn’t tell him that I think the teacher FUCKED UP. I didn’t because if he would have seen that it would have made it much worse.

So I explained to him that we were going to send an email to his teacher in which we addressed the issue and we did. It was a very polite note in which I explained what happened and why her response was wrong. I made sure that he saw that I didn’t yell or cry. It was straight and to the point.

But what he also didn’t see was that I emailed the administration too. The school knows that I am not one of the crazy parents. I don’t claim to have perfect children and I don’t complain unless it is serious. And when it is serious I come hard.

This is serious and I really am exceptionally angry. I am my child’s advocate and always will be. One day he’ll take on the responsibility of being his own advocate and I’ll be a sounding board he can bounce ideas off of.

For now it is a job I don’t mind doing, but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t want to scream at this woman. She should know better. Teachers have so much influence on our children and when they screw up….

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