Friends Don’t Let Friends Parent Batshit Crazy.
When I’m not shaving my head, cleaning bathrooms, or drunk facebooking, occasionally I read the news. Then, immediately regret it. Last night I didn’t even need to watch the news to be depressed, I was just innocently drunkbooking when the video of the dad that shot his daughters computer posted on all my friends walls. I’d put the video from youtube up here, but I’m very protective of my blog feng shui and don’t want that messing with my vibe. I’ll put a little picture up, just to give an indication of how nasty the video gets, but that’s my limit.
I almost don’t want to even talk about it, I had nightmares of all the batshit crazy people that have ever been in my life, like the ghosts of douchebags past. However, all the comments and blogs being written that support a parents right to treat their child in a demeaning, angry, vindictive, immature, derogatory, mean spirited, violent (at least towards her computer) way…all while holding a lit cigarette in his hand for the love of worst example ever…all these supportive comments sent me over the edge. I just have to put in my .2 cents to try and restore at least a little balance to the universe. This is going to be quick because I don’t want to dwell on this and I have a park day to go to. And you all know what happens if I miss a park day with my unschooled kids–they miss out on being socialized! (bwahahahahha)
Unlike the dad responding to his teenage daughter’s letter on facebook (that was supposed to be private but he snooped around and found it)…I’m not going to name call (asshat and douchebag come to mind). I’m not going to take sides. I’m not going to answer hate and frustration with my own hate and frustration.
Freeplayparenting uses the force. To sum up: Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to douchebaggery and bad relationships. Truthfully, I didn’t watch the whole video because it literally made me feel like I was going to have a heart attack I got so worked up. The pain!!!! So I didn’t see him actually take out a gun and shoot a computer dead. But of course he did. It makes perfect sense. That’s what happens when you walk down the road of one upping a kid of yours, tit for tat. It gets ugly, people. I’m not saying that freeplayparenting releases you from ever having conflict with your children, but what I am saying is that effective parenting leads to connection and a deescalation rather than bullets in computers and shattered trust.
Freeplayparenting is leading by example. You want a respectful, balanced, happy, mature kid? Model that behavior no matter how many buttons they push. You are the adult. It’s tough, I’m not saying you have to be perfectly composed all the time. Vent to your friends. Pull yourself together for your kids.
Freeplayparenting doesn’t take sides. As soon as parenting becomes you versus the child, it’s over. Parenting is so much more effective on common ground. What I wish both the dad and 15 year old girl could see was that they are both feeling exactly the same way. They are both on the same page of frustration, powerlessness, and sadness. When you can find a common ground, then you can find compassion. And parenting with compassion is a good solid place to stand.
Freeplayparenting doesn’t demand respect or make kids earn it. It’s parenting with respect, though. Respect for our shared human existence. Respect for the inherent awesomeness in both parent and child. Age doesn’t have a role to play in it. Parent/child dynamic becomes person to person dynamic, each with their own strengths and weaknesses and wisdom.
Freeplayparenting isn’t about teaching lessons or making a point. It’s not “I’ll show you” or “I bet now you’ll learn” or “you’ll be sorry…” It’s about living a good life. Exploring what makes happiness and what leads to sadness and gently finding a path from one to the other with minimal trauma. It’s about accepting a wide range of emotions in yourself and in your child, and not being threatened by them.
Freeplayparenting is win/win. Negotiating isn’t a bad word. Neither is compromise. I choose connection before rules. Actually, I choose principles over rules anyway, but that’s a post for another time. Kids are constantly in flux. Something that works one day doesn’t work the next. The relationship between kids and adults needs constant tinkering and adjusting.
Freeplayparenting chooses love and joy above all else. This isn’t to say that it’s love and joy all day long, 24/7. There’s conflict and bad behavior from everyone and hard feelings and frustration. We are living in the world, after all. We are flawed human beings, after all. But in the midst of things that are beyond our control there is one thing we are always in charge of…what choices we make and how we respond to the shit that happens on a daily basis. And when my kids throw their shit at me (I’m speaking figuratively but I have had a fare share of my kids shit and other bodily fluids on me) I take a breath and remember that I invited them to my party. I made them. I love them. I work my ass off 24/7 for them. I want them in my life for as long as I’m living it. I choose not to humiliate, degrade, diminish, talk down, disrespect, and alienate them. If I wouldn’t say or treat my best friends how I treat my kids, then I choose another way.
It’s complicated, but simple. I parent not just for today, tomorrow, and 5 years from now. My parenting isn’t a sprint…like, how am I going to get my kids to college. It’s a marathon. How am I going to get my kids to adulthood? How am I going to help them handle big things…death, birth, love, loss, grief, exuberance, dreams and fears? How can I turn this into a lifelong partnership of unconditional support and love?
That’s freeplayparenting. Choose play over guns, people. Simple as that.
Play. Laugh. Love. Embrace.Share Tweet