There are lessons I want to teach my children. There are lessons for being human and teaching moments that I look for and to. We talk about questions of dignity and I am careful to make sure they know your personal wealth has little to no correlation to a person’s IQ.
I have a very clear understanding of my responsibilities as a father. It is not only because I am a better father than you are but because I have spent hours thinking about what it means. Go through this page and you will find a ton of links in which I share thoughts, feelings and ideas about being a father.
That is because I could be a better father. I want to be better. I don’t write all this crap because I want to be the greatest dad blogger ever. That is not what my kids will remember me for.
They won’t care how many pageviews I get or any of the other social media metric crap we all sometimes worry about. They don’t care if I am the keynote speaker at BlogHer or Blogworld. They just care about my time and how much I give to them.
Private Versus Public School
I pulled my children out of private school and enrolled them in public school. I have no regrets about the money I have spent on their education but I can’t keep it up. I took a beating for them that had to stop.
I knew months ago that this would be the case and began preparing them for the change, but I also knew that it would make them a bit nervous.
Change is often frightening. They have heard other parents speak very poorly about public school but they never heard it from their mother or I. We are public school grads and we haven’t ever seen it in black and white terms. Some are good, some are bad, some are in between.
Earlier today my son and I had a long talk about what is going to happen tomorrow when they go back to school.
“I won’t make you the bubble boy. I won’t stop you from failing or getting hurt. I won’t prevent you from falling down and skinning your knee. But I will always be there to help you back up and support you.”
He didn’t flinch when I said any of these things because he has heard it before. He knows that I think many parents are crippling their children.He knows that I don’t believe that everyone gets a reward for just showing up and that I think failure teaches you how to deal with adversity.
But he doesn’t know that I am nervous.
It Will Be Ok
My heart and my head are on the same page. This
was/is the right decision but it feels a bit awkward to me. That is because change isn’t just frightening for kids, it is for parents too.
My daughter is still in grade school so I feel pretty good about that. She is a force of nature and the dark haired beauty is a freight train like me. She’ll figure it out and within a couple of days all will be easy for her.
Her older brother is a force of nature too, but he isn’t as cognizant of his strengths as she is. That is ok, he’ll get there.
But I would be lying if I said that his being in middle school didn’t throw me a bit. I remember it as having been a crazy time. I got into a four or five fistfights in middle school.
It wasn’t because I was a bad or tough kid, it was just part of being a boy. They weren’t the first fights I had been in. My guy hasn’t really been in a fight. That is ok too.
Several years ago he was bullied for a few days. I called the father of the other boy and we fixed the situation. I like that he hasn’t been in any serious scraps, but I worry because this school will be a little bit rougher than the old one. They were sheltered there, but sooner or later you have to learn how to walk on your own.
We Have To Stop Crippling Our Children
Technically it is not my place to tell others how to raise their children but I wonder what is going to happen to the boy/girl whose parents never let them get hurt. I wonder what will happen when they finally fail and no one is there to catch them.
It concerns me, but the only place I have any “control” is in my home and even that is limited.
School starts tomorrow. I wish my children well and hope like hell they come home and tell me that it is amazing. And in between all this I’ll probably get lost trying to figure out how the boy who was born yesterday is old enough to be in middle school. Won’t be long before the “monster” is truly big enough to be one.
This is part of Just Write #48.