Thursday, March 25, 2010

failure is not an option...

It was the job of my dreams. The brass ring that I was striving to reach. For years I did everything I could to obtain the coveted position. Success did not come easy. Failure followed failure which was followed by even more failure. It was frustrating and heart~wrenching to continuously fail, but I knew that I had to continue to try. I was convinced that I would never be content until I could wear the title. So I persevered. And finally, after 5 years of 'No-s', I finally received the call confirming my newly obtained title, 'parent'!

And what a job it is! It is a job that carries enormous responsibilities; whose successes and failures will effect the future of society. It is a job that is filled with joy, laughter, and a love that fills the heart beyond belief. And it is a job that has disappointments and hurts that can tear the same heart into tiny pieces. There are days you want to work 'overtime' and there are days you want to run out screaming, quitting on your way out. Parenting is one of the most difficult jobs we will ever do. It is a 24 hours a day/7 days a week position that requires commitment (no, not to a rubber room--although there are days!), dedication, and a strong determination to do your very best. Consistently. Even when we are tired of saying 'No'. or "You are not doing what your friends are doing." Consistent even when you are tired of being the boss and when the only answer you have is, 'Because I said so!" (and if you haven't said that to your child yet, just wait, you will.)

Sadly, many that have accepted this job are failing miserably. Some have accepted the responsibility, but only on a part-time basis. They are there in the early years, but cut back their responsibilities as the children grow older. Others it seems are not even part-timers, but more seasonal workers--showing up during the momentous occasions, but absence during the 'slow' times. And the disrespect our youth has for others and their lack of morality are evidence of the parental neglect that seems to be prevalent in so many households. Just read some of the Facebook pages and it will be evident that there is no parental monitoring or guidance occurring.

Many of you may be rolling your eyes and saying I am overreacting. You may be saying that I am an overprotective mother that smothers my child by checking her emails and Facebook page. That I am creating a sense of mistrust between Michaela and myself by going onto her Facebook account and checking the statuses that her friends are putting, and deleting friends that are inappropriate and foul mouth. But I believe I am doing my job as a parent. It is my responsibility to teach her right from wrong and to guide her as she matures so that she can make good decisions when confronted with peer pressures. And when I read a status on her FB page that is so disturbing and inappropriate I want to be ill, it is my responsibility to delete that individual and then discuss the reason why with her afterwards. Not ask her permission. Not just ignore it. But monitor, question, check up on, and teach!

Parents we need to step up. Our children do not have the maturity and experiences we do. It is our responsibility to nurture and guide them. Read what your children are saying on their social pages. Check their emails and text messages. Monitor their friends. Know where they are going and with whom. Be the bad guy and say,"NO!" when it needs to be said. We are not their friends...we are their parents. And when we accepted that position, we accepted the good, bad, and ugly that comes with it!