Raising a Good Man – In The Thick of It!

boyI can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard other parents say, “My kid ain’t gonna play video games and lay around on the couch all day, doin’ nothin’!”   And I’ve agreed with them many times.

Then one day I woke up to find that my little boy had grown into a big hairy, smelly guy.  Complete with a ferocious appetite and the inability to move beyond a snail’s pace.   He grew up without me noticing how fast it was happening.

Now I’m one of those parents that whines, “My kid lays around all day doing nothin’ and playing video games.”   Be careful not to say “my kid ain’t gonna…” while they’re growing up because it has a way of coming back to bite you in the butt later.

The only parents  that have the right to thumb their noses at parent’s who have a kid on the couch, are the parent’s who’s kid has eventually gotten off the couch.  I’m a firm believer that nagging encouragement is key to successfully getting them off the couch but I don’t actually have any proof of that…..yet.

One day I made umpteen suggestions to my son that he needed to go do something with himself.  He stayed on the couch.  Yet on a totally different day, without my prompting, he went and signed up to take classes at the local community college across the street from my house.

Then, after several weeks of alternating between helping his dad out with some lawn work and listening to me gripe about him lying on the couch; without prompting from anyone, he went across the street and took care of business.

It was then that I realized that you’re either in the thick of raising a man or you have already raised a man.  The trick is not to get stuck raising man into old age years but to transition into that “have already watched my son grow into a man” category.

There’s a ton of parenting articles in magazines, books and on the internet that say parents should practice tough love or use put-your-foot-down tactics but those bits of advice are much easier to say than they are to do.

How is it possible to turn a boy into a respectable man?  I don’t know.   I do know by seeing other fully grown men function in the world that it is possible.  I am determined to get my son off the couch and I’m pretty sure he eventually will but right now I’m still in the thick of it, teetering on that line, looking forward to being a parent that’s already done that, did it, finished successfully and raised a good man.

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Haphazard administration and unpredictably crazy blogging topics are the staple of Kelly's (SWL's slightly weird founder) writing career. One thing you can always be sure of is that you never know what Kelly is going to post at Suburban Wife Life next.

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