Parenting: First Day of School

Yesterday was Munch’s first day back at school. It was an exhausting day because our flight was delayed by 3 hours and we didn’t get in the house until 12:15 a.m. the next morning. Ugh! But, we took it in stride and were thankful that we arrived even after all those hours.

I felt so unprepared. I didn’t get a chance to pack his backpack with all the school supplies before heading out of town. That was a bummer. I grabbed some notebook paper and pencils and shoved them in his bag and thought we’ll do it this evening.

Munch woke up in a bad mood. Can you blame him? He was explaining to me that he didn’t want to go back to the same school because the kids were mean to him. I stopped. I breathed and replied “Munch, we are in a new school year with a new teacher and new classmates. No one can make you feel less than you are. Only you have the power to do so. I want you to have an amazing day because you are blessed. We woke up this morning. You have new clothes and shoes and supplies. You are ready to learn.” He sighed.

We drove to school and he said to me “Mommy, I’m sorry about earlier. I was in a bad mood. I’m going to have a good day.” I smiled and replied “Yep, you are and I can’t wait to hear all about it.” We walked into the building.

He saw a couple of children from his old school. Remember that I told you that there are only two French Immersion schools in the county? That was comforting. They spoke in the hallways. His smile was huge.

We met his teacher who is another male (Yay!) this year. I introduced myself and Munch and told him that I will see him at back to school night next week. I left.

This year there was no huge good-bye and lingering around. I felt better. I felt comforted. We weren’t in a foreign territory anymore. I know some parents, the principal and administrators. I made the school smaller by volunteering and I’ll do the same this year.

Here’s to my awesome and amazingly talented fourth grader. He’s ornery, brilliant and changing every day to look like his mommy. He will have a wonderful time in the 4th grade this year and I’ll be right there to make sure that he does.

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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Temporary

She was temporary. She knew it. He never committed to spending time with her until the last minute. He was always so busy.

It was either work, family or parenting responsibilities that consumed his time. He wanted her to understand. She understood. She understood that she was temporary.

He was a successful business man. Never talked about his past and always lived in the present. He had no time for deep discussions on the state of the union, climate or world issues. Too busy to travel for pleasure. Too many work commitments. Can’t make a charity gala with her sorority. He had to take his son to practice.

She was supposed to understand that she had landed a good one. He was smart, funny and wealthy. He treated her fine, but fine wasn’t good enough. She wanted sparks. She wanted chemistry. She wanted more.

She wanted a man that seemed interested in what she had going on. She didn’t want to make temporary plans or be temporary in anyone’s life. She wanted permanency. She needed it.

His kisses said he desired. His touch was warm and inviting. But, that wasn’t enough. His heart was cold. He wanted no long term plans with her. He couldn’t even lie to her to make her believe that they had a future, but she knew. She sighed.

She sealed her good bye letter with a kiss from her red lips. She loved the gifts. She loved the man she met that night.

But she knew she was a temporary reprieve from his chaotic life. Being a mistress was always temporary. There could be no future from someone else’s husband.

Today’s post is inspired by the Daily Post. The word prompt of the day was temporary

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Parenting Truth: Kids are Mean

Here’s a parenting truth…kids are mean.

I’ve shared my struggles with his school, teachers and his adjustment to being in a new environment and I have to tell you that I am so tired. I now see why many people may choose to home school their children. Heck, I’ve thought about. But, I’m just not there yet.

I know that it will only get worse as he progresses through school. Kids will continue to be mean and he has to learn how to navigate it. I have to give him the skills to in essence be mean in order to survive. I struggle with doing that.

Last night we were talking about his Heart for Hoops program and I asked him how did it go? He said, “Fine, I made two baskets.” I told him how wonderful that was. He then said, “Mommy, the kids are so mean to me. They don’t ever pick me in gym class and they never want to be my partner.” He then tells me that the gym teacher will pair him with other students regardless of whether or not they pick him and then the kids are mean to him.

I sighed and tried to not let my anxiety take control. I told him “Munch, please tell your gym teacher. She only sees you for a limited time throughout the week and may not know.” He said “Okay.” I didn’t know what to tell him. I was mad. Seething actually.

Damn kids.

Why the heck are kids so dang mean? Munch told me a couple of months ago that the kids are calling him fat. He said that they told him that his dad and I are fat too. I told him to ignore them. I told him that one of the hardest learned lessons in life is to stop caring what others think about you.

I’ve told him to tell the kids “My mommy says that opinions are like butt holes. Everyone has one, but waste comes out of my butt so that’s what I think of your opinion.” Not sure how effective that advice was. But, I was determined to not take it to the streets. He’s only 8.

My sister says to tell him to say “Your momma.” To any and every mean comment. Respond to any mean comment with ‘your momma’. Ugh!

I started to try and practice mindfulness with raising my son. I ask him frequently is he a nice young man. He will say yes. I will probe further. What makes you nice? What nice things have you done for others. When did you show God’s love to someone at school.

Sometimes there is an answer. Other times not. I want to instill in him to be a good person. Always.

But, hell kids are so dang mean.

parenting-truth

Parental Privilege: Spanking or Not

I’ve read many posts on whether or not you should spank children. Not just in light of the Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings player), whose case unfolded last week, but in general. My opinion is simple….YOUR CHOICE. I can’t tell a parent how to raise their child or how discipline should be handled in their home. The reason is that I am not in your shoes and I know for a fact that you have to find what works for you and your child. Now, before you start thinking I’m an advocate for child abuse. Let me be clear….I’m not. I don’t condone violence of any kind and especially towards children.

There is a difference and in my opinion, a big difference between child abuse and spanking. Child abuse is defined as:  mistreatment of a child by a parent or guardian, including neglect, beating, and sexual molestation. Spanking is defined as: to strike (a person, usually a child) with the open hand, a slipper,etc., especially on the buttocks, as in punishment. Now that we are all clear on the definitions, I want to reiterate that I don’t condone child abuse or violence in any form. As a parent myself, I think it is imperative that we find forms of discipline that work to mold healthy and productive citizens. However, I hate the argument that because I believe in spanking that I am destroying my child and he will grow up to beat on others. That statement in itself is flawed because I don’t beat my son. I spank him if it is a spankable offense. 

What is a spankable offense? An egregious offense where he knows better or running in traffic. Not much would ever be considered spankable because he’s only six. However, I implore the 3 warning rule in my parenting. This is where I give munch 3 chances to correct the behavior on his own before consequences are handed down. This is not a spankable offense. This means it is timeout in his room with no television, an hour of French work, no Ipad, etc.

As a child growing up, my mom employed the same techniques. Altering the punishment to fit the crime and not spanking out of anger. Did I get whopped with a switch (absolutely! I’m from the south)? Do I do it? No. Do I believe her spanking me has damaged me? No. There were other things that were more harmful than her spanking. But, I never believed that she enjoyed spanking me or my siblings or assumed that her spanking was detrimental to my psychological or emotional health.

I grew up in an era of spank first and talk later. I can’t judge Adrian Peterson on the crime he’s accused of, but I can tell you that it breaks my heart to see the photos of a four year old boy who was whopped with a switch and it left marks. I’m heartbroken. Too much force was used on this child. No four year old child should ever have to endure the feel of a switch. It’s obvious that Adrian is strong, so I question whether or not he could have used his hands instead of a switch. But, he didn’t. So, he has to know that his choice was poor.

Adrian has a right to discipline his son. Society may so no. We want people that spank their children to go to jail. Some punishment should happen, but I ask you about this child (also from Minnesota) that was 9 year’s old that was suspended from school and boarded a flight to Las Vegas, Nevada last year. Apparently, the parents have asked for help with their child and never got it. He had prior trouble because he had stolen a car. A 9 year old stealing a car? Wow!

The parents were told that he was a minor and hadn’t done enough bad things to qualify for the help that they were requesting. The father sobbed as he recounted how he asked the officer to watch him spank his son. The officer said if he saw him hit his son he would be arrested. He sobbed saying that it was a double jeopardy damned if I do damned if I don’t situation. The father said,  “If I whoop my son, I will get locked up. If I keep on letting my son do what he’s doing, I get in trouble.”

I felt the father’s pain and I ask you, what do you do when you know you can’t spank your child and no one is helping you? There are rules to everything in society. How are we taught these rules? What are the consequences of those rules? Even adults make mistakes and don’t learn the rules, but spanking a child to help enforce the rules that you are teaching is acceptable. But, child abuse is not. We may not agree on how to raise our children, but I think we can all agree that we don’t want chaos in our society because no one can follow the rules.

Child Abuse Photos from Peterson case
Child Abuse Photos from Peterson case