My guest today is author/editor/conference organizer/mother/friend/autism awareness advocate and probably the owner of many, many hats... Lea Schizas. I'm pleased to be part of her book tour, promoting Bubba & Giganto: Odds Against Us. Here's a review by a very satisfied reader: Bubba & Giganto is a great story about two high school freshmen who become very unlikely friends. Bubba, a new boy in school, knows he's going to get picked on because his real given name is Bubba. Giganto actually has an acceptable name—it's David, but Bubba refers to him as Giganto because the ninth grader is six feet tall and over 200 pounds! They meet when Bubba literally bumps into David when Bubba steps off the school bus. Expecting a fight, Bubba is surprised when David apologizes and introduces himself. But trouble soon finds these two boys when they try out for the school soccer team, and a trio of bullies dare them into a scrimmage after school. Bubba discovers that David and the bullies are hiding a secret.
As a mother of five, Lea certainly has garnered much wisdom about raising children. I've asked her to share some of it with us today and here's what she's prepared:
The world, once upon a time, had folks who didn’t feel the need to lock their doors, be scared to take a walk at night, to clutch their purses close to their bodies, to stand up and defend someone in need of help. Nowadays, it’s not as much adults who are putting the fear of God in everyone but the younger generation. Why is that?
I often wonder if parents are too busy, too tired to really lay the rules and regulations at home. Many are two income families, come back late from work, prepare dinner, and their energy is spent. No time to have a family ‘togetherness’ and find out how the day went with their kids.
“Hold on, I’m making dinner. I’ll come see afterwards.”
“Not now, sweetie, I have a headache.”
“Okay, I promise to read it after.”
Sound familiar? It does to me. I’ve been guilty to say these things and never get around to actually ‘hearing’ what my kids had to say. I woke up one day when I overheard one of my older kids telling the younger one to tell me the good news. Her response, “She’s busy now. I’ll tell her after.” That really shook me up. She mimicked what I had said a few hundred times. Where had I become so busy to listen to my kids?
This is where our families get into trouble because we are not there to ‘see’ and ‘hear’ our children and guide them. It was after that point I changed and never regretted it. I was able to hear frustrations about homework, how other kids bullied other fellow students, how my kids jumped in to defend them and found themselves bullied eventually. Where was I through all this? I hugged them and told them how proud I was of them to stand up and defend their friends. My mother instincts took in and guided them on what steps to take in these situations, who to contact if faced with a bully, and so forth.
The saddest thing is I talked to several kids I knew were bullies while in elementary school, and now adults, and asked them what made them act the way they did.
“Don’t know. Just didn’t want anyone to be better than me.”
“I felt important. Kids looked up to me.”
One similar thing that came out of their mouths, however, was the fact they wished their parents were more strict with them. They said they were allowed to do whatever they wanted, with no punishment to worry about.
So although our kids tell us:
I hate you.
Why can’t you be like so-and-so’s mom/dad!
Why do I have a curfew. She doesn’t’.
I’m moving out at 18!
As they grow older, they will appreciate our guidance at some point. Mind you, I’m not talking about setting ridiculous rules. I’m talking the basics:
Curfews according to their ages
Giving them responsibilities around the house again according to their ages
Punishments to fit the ‘crime’. Take a few minutes before exploding and handing down something you know you won’t keep. Kids are smart. They know how to draw our anger but we need to count up to a thousand and calm down.
By being there for our children we instill an education that will last them a lifetime. Remember: monkey see, monkey do. We need to remember we’re parents first, and then friends to our children.
Thank you Lea, for the inspirational post. For those who want to continue to learn from and enjoy more from Lea, you can stay aboard the blog train by visiting these sites in the next few days...more links will be posted at your next destinations:
Chris Chat Reviews
Zooprise Party and