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  1. #1
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    CB rants - Parenting isn't for sissies.

    /rant on
    Parenting is not for Sissies – from one cop's perspective
    Part I of II

    There are many things that life grants us second chances on; parenting just isn't one of them. Although kids as a rule are flexible and there is a wide variance in child-rearing disciplines, raising a kid has to be done right the first time. I firmly believe that this by design, and it is for a reason; that we should never take the importance of how we raise a child for granted. Kids do not have a reset button. In my career, I've dealt with the products of those who did not regard child-rearing as of the highest priority, and believe me, it shows. It shows in the purely selfish, irresponsible, deviant, and frequently violent ways that those I frequently deal with live and die. It shows in the expansion of the victim base, and the profound ways that more and more are both victimizing others, and being victimized themselves. Becoming a parent is easy, as it is the product of a behavior that is natural to any animal on Earth. It is simply instinctive for a species to procreate. But effective parenting is hard. It is perhaps the most difficult task that we take upon ourselves as adults. Plainly stated; being a good parent is not for sissies.


    I think we have to face it, we aren't in Kansas anymore, Dorothy. What we used to regard as “the simple life”, is over. Our kids are now exposed to far more life, death, good, bad, and ugly than we ever were. If you have cable or satellite television, and you don't control the content of it accessible to your kids, don't be surprised when you find out your ten year old has been watching movie channel porn while you sleep, (and perhaps even acting it out with friends). What the pro's call desensitization is taking place at younger and younger ages, especially since there is more information openly available at kids' fingertips than ever before. Net-nannies and content filters are frequently flawed and can be circumvented. Warnings and precautions before entering sites with adult content are laughable. Do we really think anyone is going to check the “I am under 18, get me out of here” box? Many well-intended parents might be amazed if they take the time to allow their kids to open up about what they actually have been exposed to, and the knowledge they have obtained from it. Even to the most attentive of parents, simply getting a kid to be that open with you about their thoughts and feelings is a monumental challenge. We must remember that through present-day technology, kids can interact with others at will, across miles of space, and outside of a parent's supervision. Through the internet and cellular phones, kids are capable of being contacted by every form of human being, and unless parents and guardians take definitive action to safeguard them, such contact is often made with a degree of boldness which can only come from the impersonal and generally anonymous nature of such communication. Social networks are a hotbed of predatory and oppressive peer behavior, as kids seem to have a driving desire to publish their lives, thoughts, and emotions in cyberspace as if a means of making some mark in the world. Restrict all computer use to a common area of the home. Do not allow computers or net-enabled phones in bedrooms or even bathrooms. Privacy be damned, you are a responsible parent. Have all devices checked in at a certain hour, and monitor closely everything that comes across them. If you don't know how to delve into these devices to monitor their activity, either learn to, or get them one you can operate with that kind of proficiency. Use the tracking options available to you on phone plans. For AT&T, they call it Family Map. For other carriers I am unfamiliar with, check on what they offer along the same lines. There is too much said about privacy. Don't be a sissy.


    I could not care less what statistics show; illicit drugs are as prevalent in our society as they ever were. Prescription drug abuse is on the upswing like I've never before seen it. We, as a society, are buying into the concept of better living through chemistry. We have pills now that pep you, put you to sleep, wake you up, make you skinny, make you stronger, grow hair, get it up, keep it up, calm you down, and put smiles on your face. Over the counter in every convenience store, we can buy potions that mimic many of the same effects. Meanwhile, drug use itself is even becoming more condoned and progressively being viewed as acceptable. I will intentionally avoid the legalization debate here, just use the premise that the matter is even in debate as a perfect example in itself. Our kids' heroes are current (or former) drug users by open admission, so to the immature mind, where is the danger in it? The stigma of drug use is eroding to the point of disappearing. You want to trust your kids. It is natural to want to believe them, however I must say that in my opinion, any parent who is not taking advantage of the readily available means by which you can now perform in-home drug screening is being irresponsible. Its not enough just to hand them a cup, either. I said earlier that parenting is not for sissies, did I not? Make your testing truly random, unexpected, and observe the process beginning to end. You are a parent, take that position seriously. It is easier to apologize to your kids for being cautious and responsible than it is to stand over their casket and blame yourself for not knowing. Don't be a sissy.


    Speaking of blame, if you blame everyone but the child themselves for what they do, you are irresponsible and foolish. It is not the teacher's fault that you child doesn't test well, doesn't act well, doesn't adjust well, or doesn't socialize well. It isn't the police's fault that they do not drive or behave well, either. If it is not their own fault, then it is yours. I have read that the core personality traits of a child are set by the age 6. To me that means one simple thing; that you (as a parent) are wholly responsible for molding that child into what they will become later in life in a very short time frame. If you delegate that authority to others, it is much better to keep it in the family whenever possible. Do not take chances or roll the dice with your kids. If you hire childcare, investigate the provider thoroughly. Check references and backgrounds. You are trusting these people to supervise your child. There is no greater trust in all the world. Don't be a sissy.


    Never, under any circumstances use authority figures to threaten children into behaving. Statements like, “You better be good or that cop will arrest you...” create unnecessary animosity in the child's mind; such that in the unfortunate case where the child might actually need help, he or she will avoid seeking it from the very ones who's job it is to provide it to them. I've had more than one parent ask me to “put the fear of God” in their child. My reply is always the same: No, that's your job, not mine. If you are a responsible and capable parent, your child should fear you, not me. Yes, I said fear, and I meant it. If the only thing standing between your kid and the choice to take drugs, drive drunk, play with a weapon, or steal is their fear of their parent's retribution, be thankful for the deterrent factor. Now that I've seen what I have in life, I can tell you that I never feared law enforcement, I feared my Dad. It was that fear that led me to make positive choices and avoid the risk of his wrath. If you make the mistake of providing an environment where authority is never trusted or respected, then it can easily be construed that your kids won't trust or respect it, either. You aren't a sissy, remember? You are a responsible parent.


    Here's where I might get into some trouble, but remember that these opinions are mine, and mine alone. Take them as you read them, as coming from someone who has seen parenting cause and effect over the course of years, and approaches life with common sense, rather than academic understanding. There is absolutely no law on any book which says that you cannot discipline your child, within reason. I see parents who feel absolutely powerless against their children, all because they fear what they do not understand. Parenting is about control of your child: Care, custody, and control. Whatever means necessary to accomplish those tasks, (and are not given to create injury or unreasonable suffering) are acceptable. Study and familiarize yourself with the applicable laws in your area. You will find that in most every case, unless you are doing something outrageous like bludgeoning your kids with blunt objects, waterboarding them, locking them in closets, burning them with irons, thrashing them with bullwhips, punching them in the face, starving them, or chaining them to furniture, you are probably good to go. There's no way on Earth my parents would have ever called the police to make me go to school, but then again, they didn't have to. If my body stayed in a bed beyond a “get your ass in gear” from my parents, you can bet I'd be feeling their displeasure before the clock ticked much more. If you, as a parent cannot control your kids' behavior when they are young and formative, then seek out resources available before bigger trouble starts. You as a parent are far more capable of raising your kids by right, than I am as a cop. You are entitled and empowered by your relationship as their parent to exert your rights to raise them. In fact, you are required by the laws in most areas to do so, not me. Failure to maintain control of your kids subjects you to penalties, as well. Remember, you took the responsibility to be a parent, don't be a sissy.


    Single parenting is tough. From the personal experience I gained as one, I can tell you this. When one parent is out of the picture for whatever reason, you cannot fall into the despair of believing that you cannot make it on your own; you can, and you have to, for your kids' sake. It is a huge mistake to choose another partner purely for the purposes of support or dependence. Teaching children a lifestyle lesson in dependence upon others is setting them up to fail as well. It is also an often tragic mistake to fall into the belief that because you are a parent and single, you have to settle for anyone who would have you. Having such a mindset is a recipe for failure. Remember that your responsibility is that of a parent first. You must be honest with yourself, and ask yourself when choosing a mate, “Do I want my kids to be just like that person when they grow up?” If there is a single doubt in your mind, remember that its better to be alone and raise a kid than to hand them over to a predator or an abuser. If you don't get along well with your family, mend those fences, rebuild that bridge, humble yourself and get help from them. It isn't for you, its for the child. Children of divorce can never be used as weapons against your ex-spouse. Custody of a child is determined by what is best for them, not you. If your lifestyle is one of risk, you don't have any right exposing children to your foolishness. Little eyes seem to take the biggest pictures. If your bedroom has a revolving door, if you frequently drink to excess, if you use illicit drugs, or if you lack self-control to the point of being irresponsible, you have absolutely no right subjecting a child to the penalties of your behavior. In order to be a responsible parent, you must first, last, and always work diligently to be a good example to them. Being a good example is not easy, and it is certainly not for sissies.

    (continued in Part II)

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  2. #2
    countybear's Avatar
    countybear is offline BDRT - Baby Daddy Removal Team
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    CB Rant
    Parenting is not for sissies - from one cop's perspective.
    Part II

    Time is ticking, and its a priceless commodity. The time that you spend with your kids is irreplaceable. Good parenting transcends any racial or ethnic stereotypes. It has everything to do with the choices you make as a parent, both personally and for your children. What you must understand is that every choice you make personally will impact and effect your children. If you are of a secure socioeconomic status, that means that you cannot buy your kids off with video games or give them a credit card and let them prowl the mall as a means of keeping them busy while you work (or play). Just as if you are of a lower socioeconomic status, being absent while your kids prowl the streets is just as damaging, not to mention more dangerous. Yes, you have your own interests, but if your time with your children is compromised, then you are doing nothing more than sacrificing your children on the altar of your own pursuits. When I say “time”, I am not meaning the time spent staring off into a television screen, either. My meaning of “time” is raising, teaching, and communicating with your children; finding out who they are patterning themselves to be, and being the present, capable example and mentor they need you to be. You see, your kids are going to be raised, whether you like it or not. If you don't take the time to do it, they will do it themselves, (and enlist help of their own choosing). If your priorities do not include making time to raise kids yourself, then you are neglectful and your kids will pay for it for the rest of their lives. Taking time with your kids isn't easy, I know, but being a good parent isn't for sissies.


    All that said, I'll retreat to the pulpit for just a moment and let you know how important it is (once again, in my opinion), for children to be raised in a home with a faith. I am not going to attempt to preach here, nor am I trying to tout a specific religion, but I will say that a home which regards much more than just the collection of humans living in it gives kids a head start on one of the most valuable lessons in life; that the world does not revolve around them. Maturity has a great deal to do with the realization that we, as individuals are but a small, insignificant part of a much bigger world. The niche we carve in our world – and the mark we leave behind – is only a product of what we do with the talents and knowledge that we gain as we travel in it. For most of us, we cannot personally say that there will ever be a street named for us, or a building or monument erected to our achievements, our legacy will only be found in the lives we affect. As a parent, we are given a profound opportunity to affect another life; that is to actually mold it. Unless we ourselves teach our children to value life itself, and respect the lives of others, we have shirked our highest responsibility and perhaps irreversibly hindered them in achieving higher successes than we ourselves even dreamed possible. Giving kids a foundation of faith provides for them a resource of answers for questions, a moral compass, and a belief that there is some semblance of order in life, especially when that faith is tested. So many of those we regard as “heroes” were simply those who, rooted in their faith, adhered to a duty; they held to a belief in a higher calling in life and a greater reward beyond it. You see, faith isn't for sissies, either.


    Kids didn't ask for you to have them. They cannot pick parents. You took on the responsibility of raising them to the best of your ability when you chose to make them. Granted, no one is perfect, and no one (especially a child) expects you to be, but if you have children you owe them your best, and being your very best requires a constant diligence, good judgment, common sense, and most of all, love. And real love, my friend, is not for sissies.


    /rant off.

    "The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
    - Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

    Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
    That from the nunnery
    Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
    To war and arms I fly.
    - Lovelace

    The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.

  3. #3
    DeputyDuc's Avatar
    DeputyDuc is offline On a wheel
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    Wow that appears quite a rant, and well beyond my three-sentence interwebs forum reading tolerance. Pursuant to that tolerance I read your closing, and you're right on.

  4. #4
    Jenna's Avatar
    Jenna is offline sheep
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    Great rant! I can tell you're not a sissy!

  5. #5
    lewisipso's Avatar
    lewisipso is offline Injustice/Indifference/In God we trust
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    Belts, love, hugs and kisses are a given at my house. Always have been always will be. We now have grandkids. My son with the children knows the belt will prevail at the this residence if Grandma or Grandpa says so. It worked for them so there will be no change for the next generation. Life is far from roses and cotton candy at Lew's but we do try and get the job done.
    Privacy of children is non existent, as are doors to bedrooms, if I deem necessary. My wife and I refuse to give control of children up to outside social environments and peer pressure. I remember when mom's, dad's, grandma's and grandpa's were the hero's of children. Now it's sweet and innocent people like Hannah Montana. Well excuse me if I see the writing on the wall that she's really Miley Cyrus who is in need of some parenting control herself. Well said CB.
    Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me

    We are who we choose to be.

    R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012


  6. #6
    Buttercup's Avatar
    Buttercup is offline Thrives in sunshine
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    Excellent as always.




  7. #7
    IMGreat101's Avatar
    IMGreat101 is offline The Butcher
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    Awesome rant CB

    It reflects some of what I tell my co-workers. We see/hear many horrific families at my store.

    "Little Jimmy just got out of jail!

    "Hey, I just got out of jail!"

    "Little Jimmy's in jail again!"

    "My baby's havin' a baby!"

    We have more teenage mother/father working at the store than I can recall in the sixteen years I have been there. At least 6 that I can think of. Some have had 2 children by their 18th birthday. Three of the fathers are "ghandi".

    Just because you are capable of propagating the species does not mean you should.

    We live across from a middle school. What a train wreck that is. Condoms litter the alleys and the vacated houses nearby. There is a police car at the school at least three times a week. Just last Wednesday there were 5 units in the parking lot.
    To Live Is To Eat

    IMG could turn a conversation about the weather into a mouthwatering food story. - Cidp24

    And always add bacon! - Shad Kirton, Co-owner/Chef Smokey D's

    There are no stupid questions, just stupid people asking questions.

    Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. - Solomon

    We were all born wild. It was up to our parents to domesticate us.

  8. #8
    pharmer's Avatar
    pharmer is offline Legal Dealer
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    Quote Originally Posted by countybear View Post
    /rant on
    If you are a responsible and capable parent, your child should fear you, not me. Yes, I said fear, and I meant it.
    (continued in Part II)
    While not yet a parent myself, I couldn't agree more. When I was growing up, I did fear my parents. BOTH of them. There was never "wait until you dad gets home" nonsense. I got more whippings from mom than dad and I knew without a doubt that would be the penalty for straying. I went to private school, where corporal punishment was used, and that if I ever got it at school, there would be an encore when my parents got a hold of me. I was also taught to respect law enforcement and to pray to God that if I ever wound up in a situation where I was on the wrong side of the law, that the law enforcement get to me first, before either parent did... because there would be Hell to pay.
    In regards to the privacy issue: there was a point that my younger sister still had a door to her bedroom, but the door handle was turned around, not to lock her in, but so they could not be locked out. My parents were not sissies and I am thankful!

 

 

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