Wednesday, October 02, 2013

On Being A Dad

It's hard being a good dad after many years of being a bad dad.

I am trying to change and obviously there is resistance. Tonight I came home and instituted a new house rule: No Verbally Abusing People. My daughter routinely calls my son and me idiots. She likes her mom. My son routinely calls everyone every swear in the book. I sat the kids down and explained that this is not allowed anymore. I said the punishment is 24 hours without your iPad. My son then promptly decided to test the new rule and called me a bitch. So I took his iPad away.

The next half hour was full of several nice things. Him throwing stuff around his room and trying to push me and grab my broken hand. Him swearing at me more. If you swear again you lose it for 24 hours more. He then asked what I lose if I swear at people. I told him this is about him and not us. I told him I would change my ways but the house rules are for the children and us parents make the rules. Obviously this is unfair but so is life.

I then got the whole guilt trip about how I swear all the time and how for the past years I have shown a bad example. All true. I agreed with him and told him we were changing our ways. We were not going to live like this anymore. His mom then came in and agreed with him. Said I should cut him a break for tonight. I think the most important part of this is to be firm so I will not be cutting any breaks. She told me how I have taught him all this and it is my fault. I did not disagree. I just stated calmly that this was not going to be the way our house was anymore.

I told him that I love him and do not want to see him arrested when he loses his temper and hits someone, or swears at the wrong person and gets shot.

He wanted to know why I suddenly wanted to make all these rules (I also implemented chores for electrical use a few weeks back, I need to be more firm on keeping to this). I told him I am trying to change and read some parenting magazines and want to become a better parent.

I probably argued too long. Finally I pulled myself out of the situation by saying "Listen. This is not up for debate. These are the rules. You will live by them. I am not arguing with you. You can have your iPad back in 24 hours." and went downstairs to my cave home.

I sort of feel good about all of this and yet I really want to cry. So anyways it is tough being a good dad. I think I can do a lot of good in the years I have left to fix my fuckup. Just needed to mind dump. Thanks for listening.


Blogger M.Prosk said...

Excellent post. I get where you are coming from as I have similar situations occur with my daughter. He will admire your many many years when he is well into adulthood.

6:29 PM

Blogger lightning36 said...

There is always time to change. And if kids know you love them, you don't have to be perfect in what you do. But ... you have to show some consistency. If you are starting this new family program, don't pitch it right away if there is resistance or if it seems like it doesn't immediately catch on.

6:38 PM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

yeah... my attitude is this is the right thing to do so I am not pitching it. My natural inconsistency has to change... so they know I mean business. It makes sense the first night is all drama because he has to test the bounds... just a little sad I have been fucked up so long. Not discouraged about the new attitude though.

As my good friend used to say "90% success is showing up"... heh, just kidding.. Pauly told me Woody Allen said that.

6:59 PM

Blogger The Poker Meister said...

It ain't easy being a parent. Good for you for effecting change; most people just accept complacency.

6:06 AM

Blogger AgSweep said...

My biggest disasters as a parent came when I reacted when I was pissed off instead of calmly and rationally. You are setting a great example on many levels. You are showing them how to parent, how to keep calm in the face of drama, that people can change when they want to, that there are consequences for our actions, and the list go on and on. Bravo.

7:32 AM

Blogger Tony Bigcharles said...

lightning, why dont u show this post to si? he would be the best to offer advice.

11:21 AM

Blogger angerisagift said...

just b consistent.also,y the new rule in the 1st place?

3:24 PM

Blogger Unknown said...

I don't think my advice would have any more value than what many of the other's have offered.

I do applaud Waffle's decision to make a change; change is difficult and it sounds like he's serious about sticking with it, and I do think it's a worthwhile and selfless change.

My only suggestion would be to talk things over with Ms. Waffles and make sure you're both on the same page. Providing a "united front" will provide more stability for the kids (which they need, developmentally) and more consistent boundaries (which they also need), developmentally. When one parent counteracts the other in front of the kids it can undermine the goal. It's fine for parents to disagree on parenting decisions, but those discussions should take place out of the earshot of kids.

Again, congrats, Waffles. I admire what you're doing and why you're doing it. I'm certain it has been/will be hard, but your heart's in the right place - stick with it!


5:40 PM

Blogger KenP said...

Damned if you haven't really grown.


1:08 PM


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