if it takes a village, sometimes I live in Siberia

At the risk of seeming like I have a split personality, we’ve got some pretty decent kids.  I’ve written more than a few posts ranting about one thing or another so this might sound like a flip flop to you, but the reality is that we’ve invested a great amount of time, effort, and energy into making sure our kids don’t act like a**holes.  I’d say we’re basically winning on that one. 

It’s not like it’s been a cakewalk, though.  As a matter of fact, sometimes it feels like we’re swimming upstream in the quest to produce nonasshole upstanding citizens for society.  Someone cue the world’s tiniest violin: would someone remind me why on earth I have to fight people on this?

when arctic winds blow across the Siberian tundra (aka: parenting without the village)

1.  Adults who enable my kids’ slacker behavior.  Not in a “watch my kids kick over their kids’ sandcastles because mine are too lazy to walk around” sort of way, because nothing rouses a mama bear like watching fat tears roll down their sweet precious’ face.  More like the adult who swoops in to grab my kids’ plates right after I tell them to clear their things.  Or the parent at the next table who smiles at them sympathetically while I’m tearing into them for (insert random punk behavior here).  People.  We are in this together.  Help a girl out…or at least stay out of her way.

2.   People who inadvertently reinforce the idea that yes, things really do get handed to you on a silver platter.  Don’t ask me why but this happens frequently with Bear.  She and BrightSide went to the bakery one Saturday morning, and a lady in line insisted on buying Bear a doughnut.  (Think this was a freak occurrence?  It’s happened twice.)  I took the kids shopping for their lunch supplies.  T-man came up twenty cents over his budget, but when I told him he’d have to put the cookies back the checkout lady waved him on through.  Over my repeated objections.  I’m doing my best here, but strangers seem intent on petting my kids.

3.  Other adults flat out ignoring their kids’ obnoxious behavior.  This isn’t so much a why-are-there-so-many-crappy-parents complaint as a I-see-in-your-eyes-you-know-your-kid’s-being-an-ass-so-why-are-you-looking-the-other-way complaint.  Yes, we all get tired sometimes, but let’s say you’ve entered public space.  Not child friendly restaurant public space.  We’re talking a confined area that’s more necessity than choice – doctors’ waiting rooms, airports, small shops.  Places where your child’s crazy ass yelling/running/grabbing random items is causing a problem.  Don’t fool yourself, it’s not possible for the rest of us to ignore him, and believe me when I say my kids are watching you get played.

4.  Kisses, coddling, and a sympathetic ear.  My kids have plenty of other kids around to tell them how right they are, how much their parents suck, how unfair life is, blah blah blah.  I’m also fully aware of how awesome T-man and Bear look when we’re out and about – they’re terrific (generally speaking) about behaving in public.  But.  There’s always a backstory.  Think about how much of your family’s life happens behind closed doors.  The good, the bad, the ongoing issues you’re addressing – the stuff that’s not plastered all over our public face doesn’t disappear just because we’ve gone to lunch.  So if you see us reaming one of our kids, trust that we know what we’re doing.  Don’t come along afterward with a pat pat, there there, let me give you a hug to make it all better.  Or, put another way…try to bury my parental authority at your own risk.

10 thoughts on “if it takes a village, sometimes I live in Siberia

  1. Great post. Totally agree with you on this. I hate it when other people basically ‘show ME up’ when I’m trying to discipline my kids. It’s really not on. I, not the bad guy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this, to me it’s good parenting that will ultimately change the world.

    As a father of two boys I don’t mind at times being publicly perceived as the “bad guy”

    Like you I think I am raising considerate, thoughtful young people, but it takes work. Great post! 😊 😊 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. We were waiting for Old Faithful to erupt (OLD FAITHFUL!!) & I glanced down to see Bear playing a game on her phone. Took it on the spot & told her to try to focus on the beauty all around her — she moaned, but the guy next to me chimed in with “good job, mom.” We’re out here!

      Liked by 1 person

    • You know, it’s not healthy to feel like I know it all, but this stuff truly perplexes me. Especially coming from other parents who I KNOW are going through the same struggles…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Good for you for raising your kids the right way. Unfortunately the village raising kids isn’t happening anymore. In the sixties kids knew other adults were not going to be tolerant of bad behaviour. Be assured that your training will sink into your kids’ heads in spite of the ‘silly’ adults who try to undermine you.

    Liked by 1 person

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