I hate to impose, but...

Played with the address again. That's likely common. So for now, Campbell Scoup will do the trick.

For years now I've trained myself to keep my ideas and thoughts on many things, most importantly parenting, to myself unless specifically asked for them. I'm not talking about things like racism or injustices of any kind. In situations like that I allow my strong sense of fairness to take over and I will speak up, albeit toned down to some degree with an effort to be tactful and attempt to educate rather than be outright contemptuous.

It's not that I don't think that I have nothing to offer in the way of ideas. I do! The problem is the trouble I've gotten myself into trying to share them. In fact, if you were to ask the lucky recipients with whom I've shared my ideas with in the past they'd be more apt to use the word "imposed" than shared. This is never more likely than with the topic of parenting so that's what I shall start out of the gate with in this blog. If you're starting to feel imposed upon, I suggest you stop reading.

Parenting is the thing I've been best at in my life, period. There is nothing else I've more put more thought and effort in to, nothing else I'm more proud of. It's also the one for which I've taken the most heat.

The fact I'm good at it isn't lost on people. What's interesting is how they feel about it. Usually when someone is good at something people want to tap into that knowledge. Not so with parenting, in my experience anyway. I think it's an ego issue.

I have no ego when it comes to parenting. I have pride in myself and the way I've done and still do things, but no ego. I've used ideas from some very unlikely sources (Dr Laura comes to mind) and wasn't ashamed to do so although it's never been easy for me to admit my mom ever put any thought into parenting, let alone a good one.

Our parent's example is one of our greatest resources. The key is to be able to look objectively at how they did things. Have the ability to adopt the good ideas and lose the bad. It's our responsibility to do this, which is something I've taught my son his whole life. "It's your responsibility to repeat the good things your dad and I have done and put an end to the bad. This is the way you become better than us and your children will be better than you".

Before I continue I'd like to address the following. If you've had the worst parents in the world you also have one of the greatest resources to draw from. The obvious catch here is, you've had the worst parents in the world! People have said the most culpable perpetrators of child abuse are those that have been abused themselves. They should know better than anyone how it feels to be mistreated, right? I say easier said than done and that the people who break bad cycles of any kind on their own are heroes. How they do it, and there are those who do it, is beyond me. I was fortunate to have relatively good parents so although I believe my parenting skills are a product of self development as they're quite different than those of my mom and dad, I did not start out with the odds stacked against me. So although I have thoughts on parents who were abused as children, I have no true knowledge on the subject.

Today would have been my dad's 75th birthday. I miss my dad and love to speak of him any chance I get. Birthdays of loved ones who are no longer with us provide a great excuse to do just that. It's not that I need an excuse but it just seems to make it more comfortable for others if you have a reason to talk about the dead. My dad's parenting didn't really have much of an affect on mine and that's mainly because he never really parented unless forced to by my mother. It's his work ethic, his honesty, and his dedication to his children and extended family that I admire and try to aspire to. It was in spite of his lack of parental rules that I developed my own.

My mom, who is alive and kicking, could not have had a more different style of parenting than my dad. I credit her for demonstrating a style of parenting that I did not want to emulate. Mom is a perfect example of someone who is unable to break a cycle. One of the people who feels wronged by their own parent or parents but is unable to see themselves doing the exact same thing. You can sometimes identify these people by their tendency to say things like, "well, my parents did that to me and I turned out just fine"

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