Archives For parenting


(Note: I had something else in store today, but plans changed. For the better, I hope).

That’s my son in the photo above. Despite my use of the word “average” in the title, he’s anything but. Whip smart, he is–with a wit to match. He is in every sense, but one, his father’s son. (And truly I am well-pleased).

As I said, he’s possessed of a razor sharp wit, and a keen, analytical mind. His mother and I often have to work hard to keep up with his insightful leaps of logic.

What do I mean?

This morning, for instance, my wife asked him “Son, did you get new towels today? Why can’t you use the towels you had yesterday?”

[Something, something mumbled from the bathroom in reply].

So I chimed in: “Son, answer your mother? Why do you need two towels when you shower?”

“‘Cause I don’t want to get butt on my head.”

“Wait. What?”

“I don’t want to get butt on my head.”

By now, he’s finished in the bathroom, bedecked in two towels, on his way to his room.

“Son, how are you going to do that? You’ve showered–your butt is clean. Dry your head first. Then the rest of you. I’ve gone almost forty-three years now using only one towel. No, not the same one! You can do the same. It will save on laundry.”

“But, dad, what about tomorrow?” (Meaning: the towel is clean today, but if I use it–even drying my head first–it will have “butt” on it in the morning).

Indeed, son, what about tomorrow?

That right there–ladies and gentlemen, friends and neighbors–is the unassailable logic of an (above) average American teen. Or, rather, the inevitable clashing of teen, and parental, logic.

For my wife’s sake, I vow to win this towel “war.” 😉

How about you? If you have kids, what strange rituals do they have?

Wrecked For The Better

randomlychad  —  February 22, 2012 — 4 Comments


Ask my wife–she’ll tell you: I used to sleep like the dead. One of her favorite tales is to recount how, after bringing our son home from the hospital, she couldn’t rouse me that first night when he started crying. I don’t know how long she tried, but she finally gave up, grabbed her healing belly (to hold her innards in), and gingerly rolled herself out of bed.

I have no recollection of this, and only recount what I’ve been told. (To be fair, we’d gone into the hospital in the middle of the night as Wednesday rolled into Thursday, and were there until discharge on Sunday. So, yes: I. Was. Tired).
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My daughter is a dynamo. I don’t know what is about her, but like Rogue (of X-Men fame) she’s able to drain the life force out of me like no one’s business (those of your that are parents will understand).

A quick trip to Costo? “Daddy, can I come with you?”

A trip to the gas station?

A donut run?

“Daddy, can I come with you?”

Mostly, I say yes; sometimes, “No.”

Those “no’s” lead to much more more drama than I have energy for. So I usually relent. (But sometimes I do get my “revenge;” like today, when she asked what Girl Scout Cookies taste like. I said “Like rainbows and unicorn tears”).

Honestly, I’m thinking she’s just gonna be bored, but thankfully I have my wife, who reminds me that no matter how mundane the errand, our little sweetling just wants one thing from me: my time. (And my money, because as she let me know this morning, “Daddies are for paying”).

Candidly, this is an area where I fell far short when my son was her age. I didn’t get it. I would tell him that he could help me by doing what I asked him to–rather than helping me: unload the dishwasher, fold the clothes, whatever. “No, you go get your pajamas on. Let daddy finish.”

I would give him things–instead of myself. Which is just about the polar opposite of God.

I’m sorry, son. I know I’ve let you down.

Can we start again?

Which leads me to: how often do we treat God this way? Get our noses all out of joint when He offer us Himself–instead of the things we want?

Unlike me, Father does indeed always know best, and never has to apologize for giving what we need (and not what we want).

What do you think?

Can you think of a time when you were upset with God when He offered only Himself and you wanted something other)?

Despite how it may seem at times, life is not meaningless and full of pain. Oh, there are seasons of pain. Plenty of those, but there is joy in the journey.

Of the joys granted to me, the ones that bring me up short with the realization that I did nothing to deserve them, are:

My wife:


My daughter:


And my son:


I did nothing to deserve having these wonderful people in my wife, and in fact have failed them more times than I care to admit.

Yet they love me anyway.


Last night my wife and I were privileged to share a Valentine’s dinner with some close friends, and tonight I have the honor of escorting my little sweetie to a daddy/daughter dinner & dance.

I am a blessed man. A man in awe of a God who could do all this.

How about you? Who are the joys you are privileged to share life with?

By now, you’ve likely seen the viral Internet sensation Facebook Parenting for the Troubled Teen put up by frustrated parent, Tommy Jordan, on his daughter Hannah’s Facebook wall. (If not, open YouTube in another tab, search for ‘Facebook Parenting…’ I’ll wait).

You’re back? Awesome. What did you think?

On the one hand, I gotta give it to the guy–he’s got huge stones. I mean big brass ones. I get the fact that his daughter publicly shamed him, and “every adult in her life,” by slandering him on Facebook.

But what’s not so cool is the tit-for-tat, I’ll shame you back thing he does for the whole world to see. I mean good parenting is all about shaming your kids into submission, right? Right?

I think you know what I’m saying: there’s more to shepherding your kid’s heart than mere compliance. Heck, we can lay the smack down all we want, but does it produce a changed heart? I submit to you that Mr. Jordan may indeed see an outward compliance from his daughter, which merely masks a seething inner rebellion.

What he fails to understand is that her attitude has its genesis in him. The parents set the tone of the home. If he wants change, it starts with him.

Not with nine hollow point rounds shot into a laptop.

You know, I’ve seen the video a few times now, and each time the word, “stepmother,” stands out to me. Not that all stepmothers are bad, mind you, just that this implies a divorce occurred at some point. And that, friends and neighbors, is a whole ‘nother level.

Having been a child of divorce, I can attest to the simple fact that anger is indeed a common reaction to a parent’s divorce. Especially from a teen. Teens have enough going on in feeling their way(s) through this awkward time of life that adding a divorce into the mix… Well, you get my point.

I was 13, 14, when my parents went through their divorce. My dad dropped the bomb on my brother and I after taking us to see Return of the Jedi. Yeah, rebel triumph to the agony of defeat in about, oh, 0.002 seconds.

I hated my dad. His paramour–later wife–hated my brother and me. I’m not saying this is necessarily the dynamic that’s going on with Hannah, but… I’ll betcha dollars to donuts she’s a little angry with her old man. <--based on her Facebook post, understatement of the year, I know.Like I was with mine. And, boy did I have a boulder-sized chip on my shoulder. All I did was demand things from him, and subsequently resent him at those times when I had to go see him. Truly, though, he chose to leave, and wasn't what you would call an involved dad (we saw him twice a year; he called even less).Unlike Mr. Jordan, who at least seems to care about his daughter's behavior.It just seems to me--and take this with a boulder-sized grain of salt--that with the divorce, and remarriage, there's an unresolved element here.Which brings me to Valentine's Day: I think Mr. Jordan should, in the interests of relational harmony, take his video down, humble himself before his daughter--confessing his part in his divorce--and then simply listen to her. There's something there he needs to hear. And I think the best way to do that is to make his daughter his Valentine this year, taking her out on a daddy/daughter date.I would suggest some family counseling as well.Yeah, I get that he feels unappreciated, but he's a man, and can take the hit. He needs to set the tone for communication in his home.God abases the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Moms, and dads, in your home this starts with you. Sure, you can make your kids tow the line, but does even God do this? Yes, he disciplines, but he doesn't force compliance.What do you think? I'm I off in my assessment? How would you have handled a similar situation?