I am sitting here putting the final touches on this post drinking some Leadslingers whiskey neat.  It’s sweet, smooth and delicious.  Also, it’s a veteran owned company, and I can always support that.

Quick Dad joke for ya:

What kind of tree has five fingers?

A palm tree!

The other day, I took my son to the gun show. It was just the two of us (with a buddy who was in town), spending some quality time together basking in freedom and checking out at some sweet hardware.  Trump signs were everywhere, there was a Gary Johnson booth, and Hillary was nowhere to be found. There were plenty of wannabes there, buying and selling (It is hard to take people seriously sometimes).  Ran into a couple of buddies who work part-time at the gun show, I now know who to go to for any future purchases. The t-shirt lady who sells the wolf and horse shirts had here booth rocking with the latest swag. It is a great place to people watch and receive “expert” information about guns and gear (You don’t need to name drop places you have deployed too for validity, doesn’t make you an expert ).  I didn’t buy a gun that day, just some accessories for the ones I own.  While I was walking through, a lady wearing a Trump shirt stopped me to thank me for raising my son right.  I chuckled, said thank you and went on my way.  This got me thinking, what is the right way to raise your child(ren)? Everyone always has opinions on the matter as well as so-called child experts.  I don’t know if there is a right way, but there is the way my wife and I will raise them.  It will be different from the way She and I were raised, the way my friends raise theirs and so on.  We have become too wrapped up in the judging of how kids are raised. Each set of parents has their personal values they want to instill in their kids. Some believe in letting your kids figure stuff out on their own while others prefer to show them. Some take their kids fishing, while others spend time taking them to museums. Some prefer to go to church while others think it’s unnecessary.  It’s all about how you want to instill the values that are important to you. Some people may not agree with it, but that’s their problem.  One thing parents can agree on is not raising an asshole.  When my wife and I first put our daughter in pre-school, I had a reservation, what if she is a little asshole to the other kids or teacher?  Turned out she was the sweet girl we know and love. Whatever we have done, has worked.  The teacher told us to keep doing what we were doing with our daughter and was impressed with her overall.  That comment gave the wife and me some satisfaction.  We are both still young to parenting, and continue to learn and figure things out.  How we handle her tantrums and sass (and boy does she have sass) has been an experiment.  Some things work, and others don’t. When it comes to activities, we are starting out slow.  We enrolled her into dance class, and she loves it.  Hopefully when we get her enrolled in sports she loves those as well, but we won’t force her to.

Here I am rambling about the little person who can walk, talk , and smart-off and haven’t expounded on the one who makes noises and poops in a diaper.  He mainly rolls around, eats his hands and has learned how to make his chair bounce for his pleasure.  He is a happy baby and I hope he keeps that as he grows.  Who knows how his personality will develop and what adjustments my wife and I will have to make, but it should keep us on our toes.  He will definitely receive a refined approach from us, having learned from our daughter.  People say the first kid is the test child. With that statement, I was a test child for my parents.  There are things I was able to do as a kid that my sister and brother did not have the pleasure of doing.  And there are things they were able to do that I was not. It’s just the way it is.  Each child received different experiences, but the foundation between us remained the same. That foundation was in Christ.  Our parents taught us about having a relationship with him and what it meant. I still talk to my dad about it today and continue to learn from him.

Note: I am going to use the word foundation here as the consistent set values and morals you teach your kids (whether that be through religion or not). Notice I said “you teach.”  Expecting the public school system to groom your kids to not be assholes is the wrong approach.  My mother works in the public school system and each year the kids become more unruly while the teachers are held more accountable and handcuffed in how they discipline kids.  Defend the teachers and don’t let your kid be an asshole to them.  They are providing a service. While they are not all perfect, they are there because they want to be.  Realize when your kid is trying to pull one over on you.

I guess that leads to the point I am trying to make (for the record, I didn’t really know where this was going, ha). As long as you have a foundation, you will provide consistency and accountability.  Everything else is up to the kid.  They will figure out by interacting with other kids, dealing with issues (that really aren’t that serious, like whining because they can’t touch a hot stove) and falling down.  Show them how to get back up and deal with situations. How you approach life will have the greatest impact and lessons. Teach them to be resilient and have fortitude. That will make them successful.

In closing, you can only do your best to not raise an asshole. But if you do, at least they will be your asshole.

Do Work, Be Rad

Ben