Thursday, April 7, 2011

It's never easy

There are something’s in life that are easy, for example- falling off a rock, knocking over the new vase that your wife had told you not to touch, saying the wrong things to the wrong people, easy come easy go, easy like Sunday morning ooh. You get the drift (OK so I hope you do)

One thing in life that isn't as easy as some would want you to believe is being a parent. Don't get me wrong; being a parent is amazing-words cannot describe it, usually a deep growl or groan, but not words. With that said parents need to understand that just simply having a title of parent really doesn't mean anything unless you do something with it.

I have always been troubled by parents who don't have the guts to stand up to their kids, lay down the law and love them enough to set them straight. Kids don't just "figure" things out on their own. Ok sure there might be some, but for the most part no!

Kids are in need of direction & instruction, that's why there are parents. Teaching kids this stuff shouldn't be the responsibility of the schools, although I am thankful for teachers and administrators who step up to the plate. Its shouldn't be the responsibility of the police, community, churches whatever-it should be the parent.

Here's how NOT to be a parent

Working with the court system I have had kids assigned to me to do community service to fulfill their sentence for whatever crime they have committed.

One kid was brought to me having to do 60 hours of service, this was his second offense and it was basically his final chance. The judge made the terms of the sentence very clear.

He began his time with me. His parents brought him the first time then said that he would be driving himself. After the first time he showed up sporadically. I would call him and remind him, I would tell him that he needed to get his hours in that the courts had only given him so much time to do so. I told his parents that he wasn't showing up and that he needed to be made to. That fell on deaf ears.

Four days before he was to go to court he had only finished 8 hours out of 60. His dad comes to me and says this right in front of the kid, "Steve he needs his letter for the court. I know he hasn't finished his hours, but if you would just write a letter to the judge stating that he has finished them I will make sure that he comes here until his hours are finished". I remember looking at that kid then the dad. They both stood there I think actually thinking that I was going to say, "O sure, no problem, here let me write it right here so you all can get going I'm sure you have a lot to do today".

I took a minute to compose myself then I looked at the dad and said-"You want me to do what? You want me to perjure myself to a court of law for you and your son. You want me to lie to a Judge and tell him that your son finished his hours and you are promising me that you will have him here every time until he has completed them-are you an idiot?"

Both dad & son had a shocked look on their face; I'm guessing that wasn't the answer that they thought they would get. The dad then says that his son is going to go to Juvie if I didn't write that letter. I responded by I don't care that's wasn't my fault, he had plenty of chances and he blew it. I also said to the dad that he better come down on this kid or else there would be bigger problem down the road. Well needless to say the family got real mad at me (boy that kept me awake), they left the church and how can I say this, they didn't have a lot of very flattering things to say about me (again how do I sleep at night).

I wish I were wrong, I wish that everything would turn out like a Hallmark movie. You know the kid goes to Juvie, gets banged around, but discovers that he has a gift for playing the piccolo and ends up with a really great record deal and plays back up to Yani.

No in and out of jail through the rest of his teen years arrested numerous times as an adult and then finally found dead in his parents basement of an apparent drug overdose.

Granted things like this happen to really good parents who really try, but in this case like so many others, these parents didn't have the guts. Parenting isn't easy, but to me it's worth the fight. Are you willing to fight?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Live their convictions

This week I read an article about a young wrestler in Iowa who decided not to wrestle his opponent in a championship match therefore forfeiting the match to the other wrestler. Now some of you may know what I am referring to, but if you don't let me fill you in.
A young man was on his way to competing in the a state wrestling tournament when he choose to forfeit due to the fact that his opponent was a female. He stated that because of his beliefs and I am paraphrasing, "wrestling is a combat sport and at times it gets violent" and because of his faith that he should never hurt a women, he decided to forfeit therefore giving up his chance for a state championship.
I wish I could write as fast as my brain is running, but I'll give it a try.
First off- good for him! So that's probably going to set people off but oh well. I agree with this kids decision 100% and the support of his parents. He showed what it means to be a man with character and strong moral beliefs.
I have been a athlete all my life. I have competed in various sports and even at times I have competed against females, when I competed in the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii as well as two other smaller Triathlons. In these instances I have no problem with men and women competing against each other. Why? Simple, first off I'm not grabbing them all over their bodies, second-I'm not throwing them down, pushing them, twisting body parts to the point of breaking, third- I'm not showing any type of violence toward them at all.
Wrestling is a contact sport, and yes at time considered a violent sport, therefore a contact sport. This young man choose not to participate because he felt that his "faith and belief" which he gleaned from the bible prohibited him from competing. LOUD APPLAUD!
This young man stood up for his beliefs, even though a goal he had worked so hard for, trained hard for, had sweat blood at times for, would slip from his reach, nice job! I believe there is a lot to learn from him, I see him as a champion already because he stood for what he believes.
Let me finish with this: I don't agree with young men and women competing in contact sports against each other. I'm sorry if there isn't a wrestling team just for girls at the school this young lady is from. As a dad of 2 boys and one daughter my question to the parents of the girls, why? To the dad's really, you want your daughter to be grabbed, picked up, slammed to the mat, rolled over and rolled upon, legs twisted and arms locked behind them- are you insane?
Don't give me this nonsense its a sport, its abuse and your a part of it.
Let the athlete's compete, but fairly. Good for this young man and his parents, they taught us all what it means to live their convictions even if it means forfeiting a dream.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just wondering

So I have been wondering. I always thought that a secret was something that your kept from others, why then has Victoria shown so many? Why is it that parents think that kids today need more than what they had as kids, was it really that bad? How come after a athlete scores a touchdown or dunks a basketball do they pound their chest frantically like they have just discovered a cure for cancer? Who decided that Sunday should be the first day of the week, why not Thursday? Why are people constantly looking for love, yet they always look in the wrong places.
If people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones would that be the same if people who live in a stone house shouldn't throw glass? Why do politicians think that we work for them and not visa versa? Why is it that someone can use the name of God or Jesus Christ as a form of swearing and no one bats an eye, yet if you speak of Jesus Christ as if you have a personal relationship with Him, you're "one of those"?
Lord let me be one of "those"!
Just wondering