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.