My name is Jessi, I blog over at Notes of Life and Love.
I'm a 22 year old mama of two boys (Nolan, born April 23rd 2009 and Archer, born October 5, 2011) and married to a devilishly handsome man named Matt who stole my heart basically four years ago. We started dating February 25th, 2008, and had a really fast, whirlwind romance that The Notebook would be jealous of. Just kidding. Our love story involved a little bit more irresponsibility, we partied a lot and basically spent every waking (and most sleeping) moment together. I got pregnant early on in our relationship, at basically 6 months in. It wasn't planned but from the moment we both read the results on that pee stick, it was meant to be. Things haven't always been easy but, if they were, they probably wouldn't be worth it.
When Allie told Twitter she needed some guest posters, I was all over that like a fat kid on cake. (Who am I kidding, I was all over it like I am on cake. Heh). I've been reading Allie's blog since I was in the late stages of my pregnancy with Archer and since she was in the earlier stages of her pregnancy with Jude. I just adore Allie, and her blog! She makes parenting two look way easier than I find it, and she's basically a domestic goddess. Plus, any day now she'll be having baby number 3 and I bet she'll still kick ass at everything she does!
Allie; please sprinkle some domestic goddess magic my way, because I'm seriously lacking! I've never been a Suzy Homemaker, my attempts at baking things from scratch have always been disastrous. I can cook, but I'm no pro. My specialties are oven baked things, pasta, and crock pot meals. Anyways...I can't wait to see pictures of baby Jude, and I can't wait to hear about Allie's birth experience! I hope he comes soon! February 25th would be a swell day to have a baby, since that's the day my husband asked me out ;)
Anyways, I asked Allie what she wanted me to write about and she said anything your heart desires, which sort of overwhelms me because I write like I speak - stuff just flies out of my head, through my finger tips and onto the computer screen without my control or interference. So, I apologize ahead of time if this post is all over the place and doesn't make any sense. Since Allie knows all about adding a newborn to the mix, I'm not going to write out any tips or whatever. She rocks this parenting gig better than I do and I'm the one who goes to her for advice SO instead, I'm going to blog about teenagers.
Yup, you read that right, teenagers. The teenage years. The time that I fear more so than having a newborn, and not just because teenagers are capable of making newborns (GASP! I'm scaring the crap out of myself), but mainly because of that dad that shot his daughter's laptop as a punishment and how it got me thinking about actually having to parent my boys as teens one day. I'm noticing a trend with the younger generation.
I can only count on one hand the people a mere 3 years younger than me that have actually graduated high school. I can only count on one hand the people 3 years younger than me who know what they want to do with their lives, who have at least a part time job and know how to be responsible and accountable. Most of the people 3 years younger than I am are still living at home, still working on getting their high school diploma and don't have a job.
They still get their parents (or parent) to pay for everything they want, and they want a lot. The sense of entitlement makes me totally sick.
The sense of "I want it, give it to me now" is just...barf.
These kids don't work, don't make their own money, and yet spend like it's going out of style.
They have the latest gadgets and do whatever they want whenever they want. And that's why I totally agree with that dad. I would post a video response to a Facebook slander post at me. I would shot a laptop. But...I'm hoping it never gets to that point. When my boys are older, if they want a cell phone they can get a job and earn the money to buy one. Screw data plans, screw the latest iPhone...if they want any of that they can damn well pay for it themselves.
Everyone says that it's necessary to have cell phones in this day and age, but I disagree. We survived before, didn't we? We will have an xBox, but my kids will have an hour a day during the school week after homework is finished to play it. After that hour, they save the game and turn it off - or I take the cord. If they abuse this privilege, they lose the xBox. Weekends will be two hours a day. I want my kids to find other ways of entertaining themselves - with books, with outdoor activities. And you can bet my kids will have to do chores. We all will. If they don't do the chores, they'll loose things again. And if I have to shoot a laptop to make a point? Well, I'll do it. But I'm really hoping my kids won't be that dependable on technology.
And I know, I can say all this stuff now and of course it sounds easy enough but I'll probably have my struggles but I don't care, I don't care if it's the hardest thing ever to keep my kids from being that self entitled and goal-less. I will do it, because parenting isn't easy and I don't want a 25 year old living in my basement on my dime without a high school education.
What is with kids now?? High school wasn't all that hard! You basically passed if you went every day and did the homework to the best of your ability. In my final year, I was told that I didn't have enough credits to graduate (due to missing too much school because of my health problems). So what did I do? I took a four period co-op and did extra hours to equal out to the two missing credits. I did everything I possibly could to ensure that I would graduate when I was supposed to.
Now? Kids get discouraged and slack even more, then spend years getting their high school because of all the alternative schools out there that let kids do it at their leisure. And the whole job thing. Well...I think we know who's to blame for that. Of course kids aren't going to want to work if they get everything they want when they want it. Why work? I wouldn't want to either. That's why I'm going to put my foot down. You want cool things? Get a job and pay for them yourself. Or go without. Save for the things you want. I'll pay for clothes and shoes but I won't be buying the latest DCs every other month or whatever. Extras will be on their dime. I don't think that will make me a bad parent, even if my sons' will probably disagree with that.
I'm going to work hard on those two because I love them. I want them to have a strong work ethic, a strong sense of self. I want them to know how to save and manage money. I don't want them making the same mistakes I did. I will be strict with them, because I want them to be able to provide for their families one day. I want them to thrive as adults, not just barely get by and be unhappy.
So, I tip my hat to the father who had the balls to parent the good old fashion way in this day in age. And I laugh at every single person who thinks that it's "abuse" to take away a material object as a punishment. Shooting it was just awesome. Telling her to pay him back for the software upgrades was ingenious, and so was telling her she could buy her own again when she gets a job. MINT.
Seriously; he's got some great posts up over at his blog, I particularly enjoyed the Dr. Phil response.
And Allie; good luck girl! I hope I didn't frighten you (or the rest of y'all) too much with talk of parenting TEENAGERS on day. We'll have to form a support group, or something ;)