Happy New Year! We, at The Urban Daddy sincerely hope that this year is the best year ever and that it is filled with fun, family, health, happiness, wealth, prosperity and PEACE!
While in the process of clearing off an old computer, I came across my family plan for 2017. I’m going to post it below and after reading it, you tell me if you think that the year was a success, OR, if I need to rename it “Happy New Year 2018” and try again.
Did you set family goals for the year? Or does that get done in September before school?
Do you then use January 1st as a re-boot?
Here is what I presented to my 3 children on January 1st, 2017.
Welcome to 2017!
Kids, you have left us no choice but to institute this new policy in our household. Your mother and I are tired of picking up after all of you, and asking you to do the same things over and over again. We don’t like buying you new things because you treat everything you have very poorly. You all have the ability to change this, but you have never had the reason to… Until now!
Each of you have complained that we don’t like doing things that you want to do, and that is also going to change this year because as a family, we will be doing more together inside and outside the house.
You have 2 options. Read them below and let’s see which one we like and want to start following.
Starting at 12:01.01 am on January 1st, 2017, your parents will no longer be making your lunches, driving you to programs, buying you toys, or taking you to and from school. We will not be allowing you to watch TV, use electronics or listen to your music devices until these following conditions are all met each and every day.
If you fail to do any 3 of these in a week, you will forfeit anything that you consider “fun” and will be given extra school work to compensate for your lack of interest in being a contributing member of this family.
Help out more around the house. It’s your house too, not just ours. Don’t fight as much with each other and respect each other’s belongings. Be kind to others, be kind to yourselves, and make sure if you don’t know / are not sure / confused / uneasy or uncomfortable with anything that is said, done to you, near you or around you, or to others, to ask us or tell us.
Lie to us and it’s over. Tell us the truth and we can deal with consequences.
We want others to see how wonderful each of you are.
Hugs are a must
We’re not perfect either but we are your parents. We have the key / password / ability to allow you to have fun, or be miserable. We think you might want fair and fun over option 1 and feeling like a prisoner.
Happy New Year!
How was our year? Better than 2016. 🙂
Well, it took only 4-years for this moment to arrive and I was not prepared for it, but walking my daughter to school she saw a teacher and a couple of her friends and she let go of my hand.
“Take my hand.” I said.
“I don’t want to hold your hand, daddy” was her reply.
“Oh. Is it because your friends might see?”
“I just don’t”, she said.
I’m not going to force her to do anything she does not want to do. She’s getting to be a big girl, so I walked beside her to the school doors, squatted down beside her, gave her a big hug and said, “I love you.”
Not ready for that moment, I have to say.
I remember when my oldest boy did that to me the first time. I protested, and said, “Fine, just give me a hug.”
In front of his friends he refused to, so in a loud voice and a smile on my face – looking at his friends – I said, “Bye sweetheart. I love you!” and I have him the biggest kiss possible.
We all laughed.
Walking home from school, my 2 youngest ran ahead, and I told this story to my oldest.
He said to me; “I’ll hold your hand, daddy”.
… and that was how we walked home.
The absolute best trait a person with ADD-like symptoms possesses is the ability to think about 45 different things over the course of one full minute.
Since today is Thursday, I’d like to put together 13 items that have crossed my mind in the past 13 minutes – many of course coming as a result of something one of my children has said to me, about me, recently when he questioned my (in)ability to help his with his homework.
This lead to #12.
Then I started thinking… See #11.
Or… If I was subconsciously pulling a fast one on my kids to get out of having to help them with their math. I mean when I was growing up and my family decided that I needed to help make lunches before bed, I sabotaged their lunches and was never asked to help out again.
But after a hug from mummy and a handful of grapes, I could hear the cries for “DADDY!!!” from the child who actually needed my help… I think.
I made him apologize. I didn’t need it, but I wanted him to get used to saying sorry. It’s not easy for everyone to say but it’s powerful and liberating to clear your conscience.
Even at 7-years-old, children do not like to be forced to apologize, yet when they know they need help and you are their only option, you get the short, unemotional, “sorry”.
Then we got down to business, and after 2-hours or being creative and cutting, solving, gluing and decorating this project, the light-bulb went on in both of our heads.
It had become my project and it had to be good. Really good.
Daddy was doing his project and it was looking good… Really good.
I stepped back and said to him, “Hey man! It’s your project, not mine. We’re going to do whatever you want to do. Please don’t let me take over or tell you what to put where I think it goes. It’s all yours (and in the back of my mind, while he’s staring at this piece of art, I know he’s thinking it’s awesome and I’m thinking – still think I’m useless?)
He takes over. He colours, aligns, decorates, fixes, alters, and adjusts the project and now it’s ALL his. It’s amazing,
He turns to me with his eyes wide as saucers and says; “I love you Daddy!”
Totally worth it!
I happened to overhear a conversation between my 6-year-old son and my 3-year-old daughter regarding the fact that I was taking my 8-year-old son to the store with me;
6yo: “He’s going to buy him snacks! That’s not fair. We’re not going to get anything!”
3yo: “Yeah! That’s not fair. I don’t like Daddy anymore!”
6yo: “Me either! Unless he buys me a treat too. Then I can share it with you!”
3yo: “Or if he buys me a treat, I will share it with you!”
6yo: “Well, what kind of treat do you want? I want mint-chocolate”
3yo: “Well, I want mint-chocolate too… and strawberry and bubble gum and gummies and berries.”
Me: “Ewww, disgusting. I’m not getting anyone a treat guys. Relax”
6yo to me: “Why do you do that? Why do you dismiss everything you don’t like as being disgusting. Just because it is nothing you like does not make it disgusting!!!”
Me, thinking I’ve just been put in my place by a 6yo: “Errr, yup. You are correct. I think it’s disgusting. My opinion only. Sorry about that guys. But all that sugar will eat away at your teeth and that is disgusting, right?
6yo and 3yo: “Ewwww. Disgusting. We don’t want a treat, Daddy.”
Phew! Got through that one okay, but barely. How in the heck am I going to be able to navigate the serious issues?!? Well that would be my wife’s responsibility! I got them through diapers, she can get them through the teenage years!
Although I’m sill not sure how I feel about being put in my place by my 6yo. I get the feeling this is going to be an ongoing issue with him. 🙂