Tag: Parenting

A Sad Moment for Me

Mim's Karate Belt rack, white, yellow, orange, and purple.Yesterday, two boys in Mim’s karate class moved up to the next level (Fish’s class). I had a moment of sadness as I watched two boys advance who were lower ranks than my son and younger (albeit only by a few months).

By the time we got in the car, I was over it. I have faith in the instructors. This is a family run program and I think they genuinely care about the children they teach. I also had time to recognize that my son, is who he is. He has issues beyond his vision. We’re working with the school and some specialists to determine the best course of action to help him overcome some of the challenges and manage those that can’t be overcome. He is immature, and unfocused. He is undisciplined and has the attention span of a gnat. When I really pondered on it, I realized that what made me sad was that his deficits are holding him back. As parents we want to see our children soar, but as humans, we all have strengths and weaknesses. His weaknesses happen to be focus and sitting still.

One the way home, he told me about how boys who were younger, and lower ranks than he had been moved up. I was glad I’d had a chance to gather my thoughts a little before we talked about it. With his sister’s help, we talked about how the next level up is less playful and more focused.{As an aside I was very proud of how she didn’t rub it in that he didn’t advance and instead offered constructive criticism for him} We discussed how there is even less tolerance for tom foolery at the higher level.

I reminded him that he has made excellent progress. In the last year he has advanced four ranks. Then we talked about whether the advanced level is something he’d be interested in. It is disrespectful in karate to ask your instructor when you will be advanced (either to a new rank or a new level). I have faith in the program and I don’t believe in advancement without merit. So, I coached him to talk about his own skill set and ask the instructors for suggestions on how he could improve to be considered for promotion to the next level.

He’s young to understand the implications of putting his destiny of his own hands, but I feel good about taking that tact. We’ll be working with him to help him manage and conquer his other issues and I believe he’s good at karate and so long as he enjoys it and rises to the challenge, we’ll keep going with it. He’ll complain again, I’m sure of it, but I’ll just remind him that in karate as in life, it is up to him how far he progresses.



Parenting in a social media world – an update

Remember when I wrote about Tommy Jordan, the father who shot his daughter’s laptop in response to a rude letter she wrote? Since he posted the video more than 27 million people have viewed it on YouTube. YOWZA! In his own words “the punishment accidentally outweighed the crime”.

In my opinion, he has handled this situation amazingly well. He has admitted his mistakes and done his best to insure that he has retained control of the story. He has refused any television appearances, choosing instead to reply via text first on his Facebook page and now on a newly started blog. The spotlight doesn’t appear to have gone to his head, and he has used it to raise funds for his local MDA chapter. Good on ‘em!

When asked why he thought the video was so popular, he responded “There’s no way this would have ‘blown up’ like it has were there not already a powder-keg problem ready to ignite.” I agree. People are sick and tired of entitled children and parents who won’t parent. I can’t support the methods he used, but I must say I support the sentiment.

I’m trying to raise children who are kind, motivated to work hard and appreciate all that they have been given. I think with A-Man’s help, so far, so good. My kids aren’t perfect and neither am I, but with a lot of work and a little luck, we’ll muddle through and they’ll grow up to be happy, healthy, self-sustaining adults who leave a positive mark on this world.


One of my pet peeves of modern media is that a story blows big for a few days and there is never any follow up. If you are interested in seeing where this takes Mr. Jordan and his family, you can visit his website. http://8minutesoffame.com/

Parenting in A Social Media World Part 1

This video was making the rounds on Facebook last week. I shared it to my wall without comment.  I wasn’t really sure what to say. Watch it, then we’ll talk more.

So I have mixed feelings. First off, I suspect as with any story, there is more to this than meets the eye. I’m not going to pass judgement on this guy one way or the other. When I see examples of how others parent typically I try and learn from their experiences. Would I do this? Probably not.  Are there days when my kids frustrate me beyond a breaking point? Um, yeah welcome to parenthood.  Have I done or said things that I’ve later thought better of? Most definitely.  Would I have wasted a perfectly good laptop? No.  I would have wiped it clean and donated it to a charity.

The father’s name is Tommy Jordan and his Facebook wall is public. It is worth going to see the follow up and fall out from the video going viral.   He’s been visited by the police and Child Protective Services, major news outlets have contacted him and he’s being impersonated on Facebook and across the Internet.

This update is taken from his Facebook page, but I was unable to find it. Stupid timeline!

His take

I’m NOT a hero… of ANY kind… at all.

I’m not a super-dad, or awesome parent.

I’m a normal guy with reasonable a moral compass that I try very hard to keep pointed north. I make a LOT of mistakes. Did I say a LOT? I mean a WHOLE lot! Daily… sometimes hourly!

and later

You guys caught me on eight and a half minutes of ONE day in my life, probably the worst day in my life as a father.

To me, that is the rub.  We caught nothing but a snippet of his life, an eight and half minute glimpse. A commentator on my wall suggested he might be in it for the publicity.  We’ll never know for sure, but that’s not the vibe I get.  He does have a book on cloud computing, but there is only minimal mention of it in his most recent posts.  He does however raise funds for the local Muscular Dystrophy of America Chapter and since the video going viral he’s raised close to $5,000.

I love this comment:

“PS: CBS just called and offered us our own show. The ceiling of absurdity has just been reached.”

What has our society come to? Let’s review shall we? We have a 15 year old girl who pushes her boundaries. We have a father at his wits end who in a moment of frustration takes extreme action against an inanimate object (albeit an expensive one), video tapes the violence video tapes the violence and posts it YouTube.

Suddenly, the video is everywhere and this event is “news”. The man is at turns vilified and called a hero.  He is, by many, raised up on a pedestal. He refuses the promotion to deity and calls bullshit on all the attention and uses the spotlight to raise money for a good cause. There are worse ways to use your fifteen minutes of fame.

When the dust settles they go on with their lives (since he declined the whole T.V. show thing). The ultimate question is did his daughter learn anything from the experience? Someone with a far more analytical mind than mind will have a ball with this once the dust settles.

What do you think of the whole thing? Have you ever done anything like this?  Would you?

Taking Care of Yourself – Gift to Your Children

Holding Handsphoto © 2009 Rachel Davies | more info (via: Wylio) I read Megan’s piece and I wanted to hug her mother. There is background here that I am reluctant to detail for privacy reasons, but allow me to say that one gift a parent can give a child, is the parent’s own well being.

The current parenting climate is one of putting the children first and in my opinion, we have carried that to the extreme. I think this child-centric environment develops parents who feel guilty for taking care of themselves and raises children who expect the world to revolve around them and lets face it, it can’t possibly revolve around your child because it revolves around mine. 🙂

Love your children, but do them a great favor and build a life of your own. Go on dates with your spouse, partner or friends, pursue a hobby that no one else in the family has an interest in, make time for activities by yourself. Take care of your health needs. Go to the doctor regularly and especially when you aren’t feeling well.

Our go, go, go lives combined with child-focused parenting styles is going to lead to a generation of parents who don’t know what do with themselves when the kids are gone. Parents who will be dependent on their children physically and emotionally because they haven’t taken care of themselves and have no life to fall back on when the kids spread their wings.

I am not suggesting you leave your toddlers home alone for a weekend while you and your hubby do the Las Vegas strip, but seriously, taking care of your own physical and emotional needs is in and of itself, a gift of love. By taking care of ourselves, we show our children that we are all responsible for own well being and happiness. By taking care of ourselves, we develop healthy habits and a support network. In the long run, we won’t *need* our kids to take care of us or come to our rescue. We’ll have the financial, physical and emotional resources to take care of ourselves.

We all need people and for sure adult children can be considered part of your support network, but they should not BE your support network. It isn’t healthy for either parent or child and it is an unrealistic expectation of the child. Giving them life and raising them was a gift, not a debt that had to be repaid.

Trust me on this, I speak from experience.