Picture thanks to Julia Hanks
I have written a few articles on parenting, well better said, I have written a few articles on my experiences as a parent. I have one in college and one entering 7th grade. It is quite a different experience between both of them, having to deal with different attitudes not only based on gender but age. It is quite a challenge. I remember them as babies and even toddlers and the biggest challenge as a baby was staying up late at night for all the feedings and crying, then when they became toddlers the biggest challenge was making sure they did not get into anything they shouldn’t. I never had to deal with attitude, well maybe babies and toddlers gave us a different attitude, but we usually could handle it. as they get into middle school their attitudes definitely change and dealing with them isn’t as bad as when they were babies and toddlers.
My son, as a baby and even a toddler, was very relaxed, and hardly fussed. When my son was maybe 3, he would wake up in the mornings when I did, just so he could wave at me as I left – I was out of the house at 5:30 am. I remember him when he was a baby and through about 5 years old, whenever I was on the ground he would squeeze in between the floor and me just to cuddle up, I love it. You could leave him on the ground with some legos and he could entertain himself for hours, the only thing was that he would bring his legos to wherever I and his mom were to play – so we had to be eye distance away. As he got older we noticed that he had a big heart, still does. We heard stories from his friends saying that he was the first person that came up to them and was kind. My son in middle school through high school had a bunch of friends that always hung out at lunch together, I mean there are 12 or 13 of them and they keep in touch till this day. He would tell me stories of them walking through campus and people would stare, but it wasn’t because people were scared or thought something bad of them, people knew that if you were ever lonely you could stop by their table and chat it up; they always welcome new people into their group. He told us that one day there were up to 30 people gathered at lunch from all classes levels, laughing and talking; a few times the teachers would walk by them but nothing ever happen.
My daughter was quite different, she was a lot fussier and wanted a lot of attention. We tried leaving her on the floor with toys, but would immediately start to cry because she wanted us to sit with her and play. She was more interactive with us; I remember taking her to the park and we would run around chasing each other, playing. Other kids and parents would look at us as though we were crazy, but you could see the kids pleading their case, and moments later the father would chase the kid. I could see the joy in both that kid and their father, it was nice. As my daughter got older, we began to read each night just before bed, for 15 minutes. It was like clockwork, and we did this for at least 7 years, then it was slowly taken out from the goto sleep routine. Now, she is big on Minecraft and she actually got me playing as well. When we play I see a lot of me in her, in the way she acts or reacts to certain situations, I do try and teach her better. Not saying she is rude or anything, just aggressive and gets frustrated easily, so I try and talk to her that this is just a game and to relax, just have fun.
The thing is now, have to deal with different attitudes and of course different situations that I was not prepared for. Well, I am sure no parent is prepared for the surprises our kids give us sometimes, but we push through right. Well, of course, the first year of college was done online, because of this darn pandemic. He really struggled, as with many students. The professors were never available, the counselor was too busy, the different support groups or services that usually are offered at campuses were closed, so it was tough and he struggled. Now into his second year, he cannot find housing, plus it seems the University offers a different major within his major that he asked to be moved to, but he doesn’t know if he was accepted or not. He tried to sign up for certain classes but he gets denied because they are not part of his major, which is the new one, but he doesn’t know if he got it, because he cannot see the classes related to the new major – it is a mess. So right now I am dealing with a stressed college student and all he does right now is stream live-action of him playing Apex – too funny. My daughter has emersed herself into Minecraft, and we barely see her, except for the meals. Also, she is going through some changes. She is beginning to like a certain way of dressing, but the thing is that most of the friends she has now, don’t quite match so she ends up dressing like them instead, and I could see the disappointment in her eyes. She is really into Anime and Magna so I try and support her by buying certain books and little figurines that come from these books. I want her to be her own person and experience the things she finds interesting, of course, I am always keeping a watchful eye. I also could tell that she is dreading the return to school, I think she is a bit nervous, but I still have a month to encourage her, talk to her and make sure that she shows up to school excited and ready to kick some butt. It has been tough this last year dealing with each of their issues, and I find myself like an old broken guru, throwing out inspirational quotes and messages. Just last night I talked to my son and told him that going to college is something he wants to do. Not just because his mom is pestering him and even jokingly threatening him if he doesn’t go he will work, but that attending college is something he alone wants and that he is not doing it for me or his mom. I told him straight up that college is not for everyone, and college is not just about learning something, but it is about the experience of going to college, living in a dorm, shopping, money management, interpersonal skills he will learn from interacting with professors as well as other students – it is an experience that is part of growing up. Yes, I know that a lot of kids do not have the means for this, trust me I know I was one, but if the means are available – do it, if not move on and find that passion that will make you successful. All I know is that I have come to learn a lot about college and life, so when my daughter goes I will be prepared.
Once again I thank you for reading and I leave you with this thought, “If you are a parent or even if you are not, dealing with children and even other adults takes patience – a lot of it. Just remember with today’s internet you are not alone and help is just a click away”.