Fredericksburg Parent

August 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 43 of 47

Dadvice B101.5's "CHRIS & DEE IN THE MORNINGS" CHRIS CENTORE I Seven the Hard Way f you had a day, an afternoon, an hour — heck even 15 minutes — to be totally free of all your parenting duties, plus you could give up all your digital devices, what you do? Being at this "dad" thing for seven years now (yep, Young NC turned seven at the turn of the calendar), I can't remember what that was like. When I do get those afternoons with an empty house I find myself glued to my iPhone, Kindle or laptop. What did I do back in 2005 when my flip phone only let me play Snake and Texas Hold'em? Honestly, I can't ever imagine my life being any different than it is right now. Loaded with chaos! Fortunately, it's the kind of chaos that makes my home a home — the boys chasing each other around, my wife and I exchanging bits of our daily life between yelling "stop it!" and making sure we didn't miss anything on our smart phones. It's the modern American dream: house, kids, jobs, cars, sports, school functions, vacations and just about anything else you can throw on the pile. After seven years of this dad thing, I can tell you I still haven't figured it out, but it sure is fun trying. I will say that even though I'm not an expert at parenting, instinct really seems to be crucial to raising kids. I wonder why we let kids celebrate birthdays before a certain age. Shouldn't parents get a party for not letting anything terrible happen? Yeah, I know it's our job as parents, but I can't be the only one who looks back 10-15 years and says, 44 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • August 2013 "Whoa, how did that guy become a parent?" We all know that kids don't come with a manual and most of our decisions need to be based on gut feelings. Either we think it's good for our kids or it's not. Problem is our kids don't quite understand the rationale sometimes and they want to do the things that are bad. They are kids, though, and everything is still awesome to them. Sometimes we have to scold them and in seven years my wife and I have tried pretty much all of them. As they get older, the consequences need to be age appropriate; a time out just doesn't cut it anymore. Now, it's taking away the Wii or iPad. These are great motivators and the threat of losing one, the other or both usually will squelch a situation. But then there are those times when we need to take them and sometimes in the midst of those punishments, because of life's chaos, I'll need a few minutes to do something and those distractions were perfect for those times. Guess what happens next? I give back the iPad for ten minutes. The punishment is now null and void. Yes, I give in easily sometimes. But my boat is not empty. After talking to other parents, I hear the same things. When and if I find the perfect punishment that's not also a punishment for us parents, I'll be sure to let you know. Until then grab an oar and join me as we paddle up this river of parenthood. It's a fun ride!

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Fredericksburg Parent - August 2013