Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Failing Miserably or Coolest Parents Ever?

WARNING: This post is way too long...feel free to skip it, but know this! It's pretty much the most awesome post I've ever written. So if you are okay with missing out on that, then that's cool. Loser.

So I was reading Happy Meals & Happy Hour today, and I left a comment on this post that got me to thinking...yeah, I know...scary.

I would consider my husband and myself fairly open-minded, forward thinking parents. We have rules for our 16 year old...rules he must always follow or he gets punished. We have a standard level his grades must be at all times, he has chores he must complete before any socializing can happen, etc. Pretty typical stuff, I would say.

But in a lot of ways I think we are different than some parents. What I mean is that we are always extremely open with him about life. We don't shelter him from reality, we try to make him aware of what is going on around him in our world. We tell him our honest opinion about things such as sex, birth control and religion. Hot topics for most parents are things we discuss without any qualms in our home. Our son knows his dad smoked weed sometimes when he was younger. Our son knows that we have become increasingly disillusioned with organized religion. Our son knows his parents have sex...often. Like rabbits. Really sexy rabbits. Ahem... the point is, we talk to our son about real shit.

Example: When the kiddo got his first girlfriend at 15, the Condom Fairy visited him pronto. For reals...the ACTUAL Condom Fairy (i.e. Captain Carl dressed in fairy wings and a blonde wig that I had from past Halloween costumes). CF and I snuck into the kiddo's room early one morning, and CF scattered condoms over his sleepy little head. Got it all on videotape too. We, of course, thought this was HIL-AR-I-OUS. The kiddo, not so much.

It was freaking genius and funny, but we did it because we are realists. By the time I was 15, I was doing the dirty in the backseat of my boyfriend's old Fury using the tried and true pull-out method of birth control. Captain Carl could probably have written a How-To-Score-With-Teenage-Sluts book by that age. Of course, we have preached abstinence and common sense to the kiddo from the moment I washed his first "alone-time towel" (parents of children under the age of 12...pay attention. No, your son will not suddenly develop a bladder infection that requires him to be in the bathroom 8 times a day. It's just puberty...roll with it.). But come on peeps, if you think your hormone-enraged teenager is going to actually listen to you then you, my friend, are delusional.

Yeah yeah yeah...I know there are some truly "good" kids out there. You might get one of those "good" kids, but let's do the math. Most of us were bad in at least one way...what are the odds your kid won't be? So we want him to be prepared in case he makes a decision we hope he doesn't make. Same thing goes with drugs, alcohol, driving drunk, getting married, douche-bag teachers, etc. The list goes on and on.

Anyhoo....most of the time I feel totally comfortable with our parenting style. It doesn't work for everyone...it probably will offend some people actually. But meh...whatever, our kid is awesome and he's going to be a fantastic grown-up someday, so I'm cool with that.

But there are some days when I wonder if we are just completely awful parents. Like the day I let the kiddo watch Team America when he was 12 years old because I had never seen it but knew it had puppets so how bad could it be? Yeah...ummmmmm, did you guys know there is a puppet sex scene in that movie??? Gah! Or the day just recently when I made these awesome cake balls for dessert and my son said, "I've got two balls" and Captain Carl responded with, "That's what she said" and then they laughed for about 5 minutes.

So yeah....leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Worst Parents in the World, or Wicked Awesome?


Amy Kate said...

Wicked Awesome for sure!! Our are only 4 and 1, but so far we've been pretty upfront about things that have come up which is pretty limited right now, and not always able to put into kid terms, but I know so many people that don't bother really talking to their kids and fostering their development into their own person, and I see it backfire on them all the time.
Good for you! You're going to have a kid with a healthy world-view, able to think and make choices (hopefully responsible choices, but sometimes not, of course) on his own, and will understand that there are consequences that come along with things and he'll be well prepared to deal with that, too.
In other words, you are doing the one single thing that parents should be doing - raising a good adult-of-the-future. Plus you sound pretty damn cool - especially the condom fairy. I bet he was mortified. HA!

Traceytreasure said...

Wicked Awesome of course! I wanted to get our son some condoms the first time he talked to a girl. I let him know that all he has to say is "remember when you offered to buy me those things?" And, I'll be at Walgreens and back faster than anyone could say "where's Mom?"

I have struggled with drugs and alcohol and our kids know most of the story. I didn't say "I did drugs and drugs are bad so you shouldn't do them". Because that would have been nieve on my part to think that he would just believe me. He was invited to a Halloween party with 2 kegs and drugs. We talked about all the things that can happen at such a party like fights, getting stopped for DUI on the way home, etc. etc. His dad and I grew up in a party world.

When it comes to drugs, I'm not stupid so we had a long talk about things like addiction, what to expect if he does try them and the fact that most of family nut tree is filled with alcoholics. He didn't go to the party and was called a pussy and a baby.

He was offered pot at the State Championships and turned he it down. I'm so proud. He's only 16! I'd already been an alcoholic for 2 years by the time I was his age. I'm hoping that he takes the high road but honestly, I'd expect him to have sex before using drugs.

Oh, yeah, I didn't comment but when Captain Carl bought the Wii the weekend that your son was grounded was pure genius.

Hugs and love, T

Traceytreasure said...

S/b naive, see I'm not stupid!! :)


w-v feritati! OMG!!


Lulu said...

So so very Wicked Awesome!

We have always been very open with our kids - we taught them to have their own opinions and inside our home, to express them freely and defend them ferociously - and outside our home, to express them with care and respect for others.

NO child ever suffered from honesty and respect from his parents!

And really - isn't it our job to embarrass them at every opportunity :) Captain and Mrs. Condom Fairy?

Amber Dawn said...

Coolest parents EVER! Mostly because of the condom fairy story! I seriously just almost peed my pants! We are also very open and realistic with our teen son. But you definitely one-upped us. On video even? Oh priceless!