|Beth:||[age 4] "I think you're trying to trick me."|
|Luke:||[age 8] "Me? Why would I try to trick you?"|
|Beth:||"Because you're Luke."|
|Luke:||"I'm your brother! I would never try to trick you."|
|Beth:||"Oh yes you would."|
|Luke:||"Have I ever tried to trick you before?"|
|Beth:||"Yes. A lot."|
|Luke:||"I can't believe you are telling me this. This really hurts my feelings."|
|Beth:||"I'm just telling the truth."|
|Luke:||"I can't believe you don't trust me. Mom, did your brother ever try to trick you when you were kids?"|
|Mom:||"Yes, all the time."|
|Luke:||"YOU ARE NOT HELPING."|
|Beth:||"You're a tricky one, mister!"|
|Mom:||"I told you before: if you did that again, you were losing your doll for the rest of the day."|
|Beth:||[age 4, with great drama] "Oh, is THAT what you meant? Now I understand! This was all just a big misunderstanding. I am so, so, SO sorry. I promise I will NOT do it again! Never! I had no idea I was doing something wrong!" [pause] "Please let me keep the doll?"|
This article popped up on several sites I follow. In short:
In a survey of 2,000 parents, 30 percent of the couples reportedly ended their marriages because of a crying child.
That’s a bit higher than I would have guessed. But having kids will push you to your limits, and if you’re already near those limits (perhaps due to other problems in your marriage?) then children might push you over the edge.
First, get a goat, and take it shopping in the supermarket, then get a recording of a screaming colicky child and run it for 8 hours overnight, and see how you do. If you are a functional human on the next day, you stand a chance.
That may be the best advice I’ve heard in a long time.
What advice would you give to potential parents?
After imagining what the parents of that girl are feeling — and even wondering what the parents of those boys are feeling — I think there are a couple of parenting lessons here. We teach children primarily with our actions, so I’m asking myself: What are my kids learning by how I treat other people?
First, I need my kids to know that in sex and most other aspects of life, only “yes” means yes. “No” does not mean yes. “Maybe” does not mean yes. Silence does not mean yes. Mental incapacitation does not mean yes. Wearing certain clothing does not mean yes. Acting kinda like you might want something does not mean yes. Only “yes” means yes.
Second, I need my kids to know that nobody has the right to treat another person like a mere thing. If you wouldn’t want someone doing it to you, don’t do it to them. Otherwise you are forgetting they are a person too. You’re treating them like a toy.
As parents, we have authority over our kids. We overrule their opinions on a regular basis because we are more responsible for them than they are. But as children mature and take more responsibility for themselves, they need to understand how to make right decisions.
Not that they will. My life is proof of that. But it’s still worth trying.
And America, stop blaming your victims. WTF.
The vast majority of my posts are stories about my kids, or sometimes by or for my kids, but every once in awhile I dust off the Keyboard of All Seriousness and type something different.
I am linking to an old post of mine because birth control still seems to be a hot topic in the U.S. political and media realms. In March 2012, I wrote:
Recently, CNN published an article titled, “Why don’t men in favor of birth control speak up?” It pointedly asked:
…where in these recent debates are the voices of ordinary men? Why aren’t we hearing publicly even now from husbands who are not ready to have children they would have to support? Or from boyfriends who do not have the means to support a child?
I am one very ordinary man who absolutely, completely supports the birth control coverage requirement. I’m going to continue discussing this below, probably in far too much detail, but if you’re a man who supports birth control, please speak up. Say so on your blog or Tumblr or whatever. Say it on Facebook or Twitter. Write to your local newspaper. Seriously. Birth control is not just an issue for women.
Actually I wrote a helluva lot more than that. If you read the whole thing, you’ll see I talk about religion and Republicans and science and Scripture and all kinds of stuff. I used the letters “sex” at least 24 times.
In any case, I remain amazed at the politicization of this topic. The situation may actually be more acute than it was a year ago. Dads — or any parent, really — what say you?
According to this article…
Stay-at-home dads have gotten a lot of airtime in the last few years, making it easy to assume that when straight women become breadwinners, their male partners pick up the slack at home. But new research shows that at least for working-class couples, that isn’t really the case — even when women make more money, men still leave the majority of housework to them.
That’s not true in my house. I do at least two-thirds of the cooking and laundry, for example. But I wasn’t always all that. We’ve been married more than 15 years and it took me a long time to fully recognize the need for this level of effort from me.
Dads, we can do better.