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Sep 302010

Before I had children I never really cared to hear too much about what “kids” were doing on any given day. Then when The Boss and I were trying to conceive (all 4 years!) I really didn’t want to hear about other kids because we were there struggling just to have our own. Today? I’m a Dad and more importantly I’m a Parent. Why is that important? Well, we all share the same common bond, the love for our children.

It occurred to me today how much a part of the “Parenting” Community I’m really in. Well yes, I read all the magazines, search the web, heck I’m writing a Daddy Blog. What really made me realize though was a simple thought that passed through my head. I was at work feeling a bit down and without even thinking about it, picked up my phone and tweeted this message:

“Hey Guys and Gals! Tell me something cute or funny about your kids today! I need something to lift me up! #DadsTalking

Without hesitation the first thing I thought of was kids! I didn’t see my babies today because I left for work before they got up. Considering Jake is 13 months and O is 29 months I wasn’t getting any texts from them either. Although, I will say, O is terribly close! So, I thought I’d at least get to feed off of some of the love out there that other parents have. To be honest I really didn’t think anyone would respond. Boy, was I wrong! Below are the responses I got from everyone to my Tweet. These are all great parents that I actually talk (okay tweet with) on a regular basis. I encourage you to go follow them on Twitter if you’re not already and to especially read their blogs. After all, we’re all parents, we all love our children and what better thing to talk about than the ones we cherish the most??

My son is 18 months old. He knows where his penis is. Y’all sure do learn that early. #DadsTalking
D2 just started giggling.Still perfecting the facial expressions/noises that make her laugh but it’s the best thing#DadsTalking
We’ve been teaching my son to roar like a dragon (his Halloween costume) and it is the darn cutest thing ever.
Just cuz you asked – maybe my last blog post will make you chuckle a little. Here: http://tinyurl.com/28tytyr
Mine told that she was funny today. Then she told me I was a good girl.
as I was talking to Max (7months) earlier, I got a “frog” in my throat and cleared it. Max has been grunting ever since.
My little boy told me no singing in the car this morning because I was cramping his solo. LOL
when my son was pottytraining he asked me to hold his hand to go #2 in the Potty. He said “Hold my hand Mommy, its a big one. It scares me!”
Everly now says ‘mama mama’ which is cute and awesome….until she’s crying it lol. Then it’s still cute, but less awesome.
don’t need to tell, I can show you.http://yfrog.com/2tni6j http://yfrog.com/mz4rfnuj it’s his first time with face painted.
Caleb loves to sing songs. He sings the Blue’s Clues & Goodbye songs. He tries to do all the movements too.
Subbed @ preschool. Kid home center put hands on hips & yells “WHY DON’T YOU EVER CLEAN THIS?” Bet he heard that someplace… ;)

If anyone subsequently tweeted me a response after I posted this, I apologize, and really appreciate your friendship online.

Sep 282010

I recently befriended someone who I thought could turn into a great friend. He had all the qualities of a great friend. What was interesting; however, was that I had a funny gut feeling about him. Funny in the sense that something just seemed off about him. It was a gut feeling that I couldn’t quite put my finger on. I kept a little more distance as a result of my gut feeling but that was about it. Not long after I came to realize that my gut was right all along. I realized he was not the kind of friend I thought he was. In fact, quite the opposite and fortunately there was no negative repercussions as a result of our friendship at the time.

What’s interesting here was that my gut was telling me to be careful but my mind was trying to rationalize everything. I didn’t want to believe that something was off with this guy even though my intuition said there was. I guess this is what you would call instinct. We’re all born with some level of it, I suppose. However, I also believe that trust or at least the characteristics in which we can choose to trust can be taught.

I often find myself in situations with O and Jake where I want them to be able to trust but more importantly to know when to trust. Take for example, O who loves people and is quick to reach out her hand or give a hug. Right now it seems awfully cute as she’s just 29 months old. However, I worry as there will be a time in the not too distant future where we might not be watching her 100%, 24/7. Those times when she’s going to have to make a decision on her own to trust a stranger, or not.

At what point do we try and instill these traits in our children? Is 29 months too young? How do I help her (and eventually Jake) understand the difference between a person who might “look” shady vs someone else? You can get into all kinds of problems with that. Obviously, I can’t and won’t use race or ethnicity as a qualifier. Do I teach them that nobody is approachable? Only people that are in the presence of us or another care taker? These are all questions I’ve been thinking about lately.

How do I teach my children to protect themselves?

Again, I do believe a lot of this is instinct and over time that will develop and they will learn as they get older. However, I can’t help but think there’s things I can do now to help train their eyes, to help hone in on their senses. Maybe it involves me being vocal when we’re out about what’s appropriate and what’s not. For example, when Mommy and Daddy are around it’s appropriate to “play” with another child. However, it’s not appropriate to walk up to a strange dog and kiss it on the face (which she’s done!). I’m also very concerned about other adults. Children, O and Jake’s age, are incredibly vulnerable and can easily be preyed upon. Right now their only protection is that of their parents. So I’ve been thinking of ways to help develop their own senses so it’ll be that much less likely for anything to happen.

My children mean the world to me. THE WORLD TO ME! I often find myself wondering if I’m doing enough. Could I be doing more? We live in a world of reaction. We react to life around us. We let life happen to us. I want to give them the opportunity to happen to life. I want them to learn to be proactive and make that decision about what road their driving on. Many of us are on the road we’re on because that’s the direction handed to us. I don’t want to fail as a parent by not giving them all the tools they can have. I don’t want to fail as a parent by “allowing” anything bad to happen to them.

Is this about protecting my children or myself? Am I scared for them or am I scared to fail? Maybe it’s a little bit of both. Maybe what I seek for them is really the same thing I seek for myself. Love, Understanding, Guidance, Acceptance, Trust, and Faith.

One thing I am learning about parenting is it’s as much about fostering positive growth in our children as it is in ourselves.

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