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Apologies are overrated

While I have absolutely ZERO interest in homeschooling my kids.. or really schooling anyone over anything that has to do with actual learning of school-like things- there is still plenty left over that as a parent, I want to teach my kids before shoving them out the door to that giant yellow school bus. Shit, even when they’re IN school, it will still be my job to be continually teaching them things. Even more reason to not ever want to teach anyone else anything.

Obviously, we all want our kids to be kind, caring, and respectful. Hopefully good listeners, confident with a sense of humor…
Pretty much- we just hope to teach them not to be raging doucheholes all the time (and yes, this also applies to females.)

Are we serious with this shizz?

If we’re being HONEST, we all hope to have “Disney kids” …and no, i’m not talking about the ones they hire that are two steps away from Britney Spears head-shaving trainwreck status, i’m talking about the ones they parade around on TV as the picture of Pleasantville perfection where their biggest dilemma comes down to “well golly-gee, what EVER will I wear to the dance?”
If we’re being REALISTIC about this honest desire, we know our kids will all have their flaws, all have their moments of turdy douchehood…
but that doesn’t change the slightly delusional desire, and it also doesn’t stop us from TRYING to instill good traits in our children (because of we stopped, they really WOULD be raging doucheholes all the time). It’s important business, the non douchehole thing- so off we go with Pleasantville in mind, but knowing it’s really just a fantasy that we’re sure we’d be SUPER fucking annoyed by if it ever came to fruition, trying to show our kids how to love and accept love in return, to say please and thank you- and to NEVER be too proud to apologize when they’ve done wrong.

And that damn apology business is where this whole thing bit me in the ass. Doesn’t it usually happen that way?

We go about our lives, maybe stumbling, maybe fumbling, but generally making our way through it without seriously maiming someone (or being maimed), through pregnancy and labor and childbirth- and then we have to stumble and fumble down the road of parenthood where there is no instruction manual and even if there were it would probably be REALLY fucking wrong and obnoxiously annoying because there simply is no ONE right way to raise a kid- so we’re just feeling it out for ourselves and doing our best and what we think is right..
And then those little boogers turn it around on us.

Every.Single.Time.

When it comes down to discipline and punishment, i’ve already written a blog on my favorite method “The Five Finger Countdown”– but really, sometimes ALL it takes to get out of trouble around here is apologizing. Emphasis on SOMETIMES. Shit, sometimes I will even do a countdown to give them a chance to apologize, and if they say those two magical words “I’m sorry!” before I get to 1? MAGIC!!! Out of trouble.
Again, EMPHASIS ON SOMETIMES.

If you have kids, you know that when they get a certain thing into their hard little heads, it can be incredibly difficult to remove it. And while they may not always be a BAD thing- this one thing that’s trapped… doesn’t always apply.

The apology.

ah yes, coupled with the
pouty lip. A winning combo

Yes, if my kid goes all douchehole on me and totally screws up- I DO want them to apologize. Every time. You mess up? You say sorry. End of story.
HOWEVER, the apology will NOT always get you out of the punishment. The apology will likes make the punishment less severe, but it will not get you out of being punished.

If I stick your ass in time out for chucking the beautiful delicious tomato I just plucked from the garden across the yard, you cannot just come crying to me, arms outstretched, repeatedly apologizing for the transgression when you’ve been told thousands of times NOT TO THROW THINGS or you’d be sitting your ass in a lengthy time out- and expect to not get one just because you apologized.
“I’m sorry” is not a get out of jail free card, my spawn. It just isn’t.

Thank you so much for your apology, even though I know you’re saying it just to get out of trouble- but you’re still in trouble. The apology…. isn’t enough.
Try to tell a kid that and you’re looking to open the 7th circle of hell on yourself.
MY APOLOGY ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH?!?!?!

This is the moment you feel as though perhaps you SHOULD have bitten your tongue, or worded things differently, or just not said anything at all because now this is going to be used against you in a court of law (and by court of law I mean the damn witness stand your kids put you on every day when they question every little misstep)… but in the end, I’ve learned just to suck it up and TRY to explain, and even if their head starts to spin atop their neck and they’re puking split pea soup at me in a projectile fashion because to them I have contradicted myself and it’s not fair and all kinds of other childhood excuses… one day they WILL understand.

Ain’t being a parent grand?

Posted on July 30, 2012 by Holdin' Holden 3 Comments
Holdin' Holden

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