Girls Write Out
Friday, August 13, 2010

Parenting is the one job that's public and everyone has an opinion about how you're doing. The thing I've learned over the years is that parenting comes first, people's opinions, second. I want what's best for my child -- what you think of it, doesn't matter.

Which is why this morning, tuning into another interview with Lindsay Lohan's mother, I wanted to slap the woman. Lindsay's parents need to shut up and get that poor girl help. You can't control another human being. Ultimately, they will do what they're going to do, and someone creative like Lindsay or Britney, is a HECK of a lot harder to parent. Don't think it would be different if you were her mother. Kids like that are harder to parent. But you know what you can do? You can side with your daughter, and honor her privacy and her need to get better. You can stop worrying about her as your meal ticket and shelter her from the storm while she takes the time to heal.

We joke in our house about my writing a parenting book. I say, I will do so when none of you end up in jail. Until that day, the royalties depend on you, so play nice! (quote from Toy Story I use often.) My kids have BIG personalities. (They must get it from their dad!) To me, parenting is all about character. I don't care if you ACT right, so much as you work on BEING a person of character. So while some parents may have perfect-acting children, do they know to do it when Mom isn't around? That's my goal. Do it right, when I'm not here because God is.

This morning, I heard three kids (11, 13, 15) charged their mom's credit card and took a plane flight to Nashville with no parent. Here's the thing, I can see my kids doing that, but I'd also know they'd be bright enough to do it. Oh they'd pay for it (which is why they wouldn't try it!), but I'd also know they could handle the situation. And that makes me proud.

Once I saw a child who had climbed up into a "claw" game, and stuck himself in with the toys. That could easily have been one of my kids. Easily!

I sent one of my children to camp this summer for two weeks. My house has been absolutely PEACEFUL. I had no idea he started all that trouble, or tried to entertain himself at the expense of harmony, but guess what? I know now! And life is never going to be the same for my defiant prophet (Jonah) -- as Maya Angelou says when you know better, you do better. Oh Jonah. Life is about to get rough, dude. LOL But the good news is, it will make a great chapter in my book. Incidentally, my mom had my other three for the week, and said they were perfect angels. So sometimes, they act right too.

The picture is little Diego from San Jose del Cabo (just got home from a trip with my best friend!) Gosh, these parents will say someday, remember when we could just stuff Diego in a bucket during the work day? LOL
posted at 10:36 AM  
  Comments (5)
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At 8:52 PM, Blogger Pam S. said...

You know what they say: Parenting isn't for cowards!

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

So Jonah's the culprit, huh? Wow. Who'd a thunk?

At 11:25 PM, Blogger Kristin said...

Well, he's not the only culprit, clearly, but he does start a lot of drama. Pam, it's true. And no matter how we think we'll screw them up, it will be something totally different we have to worry about. LOL

At 12:01 AM, Blogger Ruthie said...

I don't know how many times over the years that I flopped on my bed and cried out to God, "You made me his mother. Now, tell me what to do with him!" In His faithfulness, God would give me the answer.

However difficult the childhood years were, though, the adult child is so much more difficult to parent. After all, you can no longer tell him what to do. You just have to bite your tongue and pray like crazy. And then you need to trust God's everlasting faithfulness to care for your child. It's hard, but so worth it.

At 10:03 AM, Blogger Never2manybooks said...

As a mom to two boys with ADHD and one overachieving daughter, who teachers always said was too quiet and shy,we always thought it was our boys who started the mayhem. NOT! When our daughter went off to college things got much saner! We could go out to dinner and enjoy a quiet meal with the boys. We could never do that before. We could go a whole day without the screaming and crying of sibling squabbles. When she came home at breaks it started all over. When we remarked to her about it she just smirked a knowing smirk and walked away. But her youngest brother remarked-it is true but it's more fun when she's here. I agree! Go figure!


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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