Parenting is not for the weak of heart

Yelling at your kids is the worst thing. I hate when I have to yell at them. Unfortunately, I feel that the yelling is the last resort – they’re not listening to me when I’m calm and trying to talk to them. But, when I’m yelling and they hang their heads with tears running down their cheeks – they’re all ears at that point.

Why does it need to come to that? Am I doing something wrong? I have read books on emotional intelligence, communications, raising boys; I have a masters, I’ve been all over the world, I been in armed conflict. Why is this so tough?

Why do I get a feeling that having children was a mistake? Like I am at fault and I will not send proper adults out into the world.

Why do I feel like I’m the one that didn’t study when the poor grades come in? And why do I feel like I’m the one being yelled at when I’m the one doing the yelling?

Because I was there.

I was in that chair with my parents hollering about my effort and “such a smart person should do better than ‘just getting by'”. I had the tears streaming down my face because of the cognitive dissonance of knowing they were right and wishing they’d shut the hell up. I wish I could go back and talk to them as an adolescent with what I know now. I’d tell them how difficult it is to be a teen. I give my son the chance to say anything rather than just sit there and take it. I want to know what’s going on in his head.

I would hate to try and go through school all over again in this day and age. There are much more distractions than just outside, sports, toys, and Atari today. If I had the internet when I was their age, I’d have never left the house. It’s too tempting. I’m realizing I have to regulate much more than I have been at this point. It’s drastic, but necessary. It’s unfair, but just. I hope they’ll appreciate it one day. I hope that my actions are sane and tempered so they do learn from it and we grow together.

I want nothing but the best for my children, but I can’t give it to them. I can only show them how they can get it. And that’s the toughest job a patent will ever have.

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