Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Secret Life of a Four Year Old Boy

I love action packed spy movies!  If it involves mystery, the FBI, CIA, rogue agents and several chase scenes then I'm going to watch it.  I've seen plenty to know that there is always a scene where the main character holes up in a motel somewhere and neatly organizes their artillery on the bed.

So yesterday I walked into my 4-year-old's room and there on his bed he had neatly displayed a line of 6 toy guns, 6 used cellphones, 3 police badges, a toy samaria sword, a pair of sunglasses, a pair of handcuffs, a toy cordless drill, a reusable grocery bag (that's my boy) and a camoflauged teddy bear.  It was so cute I really should've taken a picture but this mom's not that smart!!  I could just picture him in his room nealty arranging all of the supplies he feels are necessary to be an undercover cop.  That IS what he want's to be when he grows up.  But he doesn't want to be just ANY undercover cop, he wants to be a NFL football playing undercover cop!!!

He has his 'cop shirts' that he wears and he hides behind furniture and acts like he is following bad guys.  Oh to be a kid again and use your imagination to do fun stuff.  That's the great thing about being a parent though I guess.  I can sneak around the house with a toy gun and a police badge and act like I'm an undercover agent while playing with my son and no one will think that's weird.  But if I was pretending to be an undercover agent home alone while my kids were at school some people might find that strange! 

On a side note I'm struggling with the same child to get him to wipe his own butt. He is 4 and I have to force him to do it himself.  Last night he was trying to show me what a struggle it is for him to wipe and his hand slipped off the toilet paper into the poop and all over his butt and he said, "Nice, now my poops going to smell like butt!" Too funny.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Life's Not Fair

I recently read an article in a magazine about a mother who believes that children who don't try shouldn't get the same benefits as those who do.  I happen to agree with her.  I am noticing more and more parents who want equal treatment of children who are not equally putting forth the effort.  I've even told a coach before that if my child is not trying don't play them.  They aren't learning anything from putting forth no effort yet getting the same playing time as the children who are working their butts off.  When I was in sports if you half-assed it at practice or didn't do your job in a game you were benched.  Our coach didn't continue to allow you to play because he or she felt that all kids deserved equal playing time.  You don't go to a job and get a promotion because you showed up late to work every day, didn't practice good hygiene and sat on Face book all day just because your boss felt that all his employees deserved equal promotions.  That's not the real world and we are supposed to be grooming our children for the great stuff in life as well as the disappointments.

I see parents upset at games because their kids, who have terrible attitudes and don't have respect for the other players or the coaches, benched.  Again, I feel I'm entitled to my opinion because I am a parent of children who have not tried hard and who have had terrible attitudes and I've asked for them to be benched.  Other parents think I'm too harsh.  Too harsh?   I'm doing the best thing I can as a parent and teach them that if you truly want something in life then you have to work for it.  If you don't want to be out for a sport you have to finish because I don't believe in quitting something you've started, unless of course you've become a person who is now bringing the whole team down, but then you don't go out the next year.  I can see the kids that hate sports but their parents force them to go out.  Team sports are great for children to learn about respect, team work, hard work and dedication and I think every child should try something if they can, but if it's truly not something they enjoy or want to work at then don't be upset when they don't get to play. Talent is great but a person who has little talent but works hard can far exceed a person with a ton of talent who puts forth little effort.

We aren't just raising children we are raising adults so think about what kind of adult you want your child to be someday.  I for one would like my children to be functioning members of society, I'd like for them to work hard to achieve their dreams but realize that in life there are setbacks.  I want them to understand that if they fail it's okay because they can try and try again. 

Our children need to understand that we will love them no matter what but we do need to challenge them to excel.  In life we need to be able to handle criticism and handle setbacks and that's what we need to teach our children.  People who work hard to achieve, even if they fail at first, will be rewarded more than those who don't.  Practicing self-discipline, self-reliance and self-control will get them farther in life than being taught that unequal effort warrants equal reward.  The real world is full of competition and only the hungry survive.

"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather in a lack of will." Vincent T. Lombardi

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Summer Vacation

Ahh summer vacation time, it's my favorite.  I will admit now that when my kids were younger vacations were not very fun for me.  As a mom of toddlers it's like you are dealing with the same old crap just in a different place.  It's not fun or relaxing to be away from home for a long period of time, the kids' schedules get out of whack and you end up stuck in doors with fussy kids while everyone else is having fun.  Now that my children are older, 11, 9 and 4, I really enjoy our family vacations.  We have so much fun that it's difficult to come back home.

I grew up going to the same cabin on the water one week each summer and I loved it.  My husband grew up staying in cabins near water in the summer as well and we both wanted that for our children.  We were fortunate enough to be able to go to my in-laws resort for three summers and my family's cabin on the water for several summers.  Now that both the resort and the cabin are no longer in the family my husband and I decided we needed to find a place that we could take our kids for many summers to come and boy did we find a great place!  We stay in a cabin on the water and the kids love to swim, fish, boat and play on the playground with other kids that stay at the same resort.  We go for evening boat rides, roast marshmallows over the campfire and just have fun.  The resort we stay in is about a 10 minute drive from a large town that offers many activities so we take in a ball game, race go-karts, play minigolf and check out some of the neat stores.  One of my favorite things to do is to go out on our dock in the early morning when my husband and son go fishing and just sit out there in the cool breeze and read.  It's my quiet time and I LOVE it!!

Family vacations don't have to be long or expensive but in my opinion they are important.  Any sort of  'vacation' you take with your kids will be memorable.  Family vacations don't always go as planned but usually those are the ones that produce the memories to provide laughs for years to come.

"It isn't how much time you spend somewhere that makes it memorable: it's how you spend the time."

Author: David Brenner