sideline parenting (5 of 12) — picking up chicks
July 22, 2008 2 Comments
Being with a woman all night never hurt no professional baseball player. It’s staying up all night looking for a woman that does him in. — Casey Stengle (former New York Yankees and Mets manager)
(double negative’s were a big thing back then , I guess)
I realized that I will be given as much levity as Judge ‘Chamberlain’ Haller gave Vincent Gambini when explaining where the heck I am going with this statement as it pertains to parenting children. I can assure you that I will make a point, and that most of you will understand that I am in now way stating that you should teach your kids the finer points of “bar hopping” and “pick up” techniques.
If you care to read on, I will try not to beat around the bush too long.
What is it about the allure of women and their fun parts that made us jump from watering hole to watering hole in search of some cream for our coffee? Think about all of the time, money, and ridiculous”one liners” we went through, all in the name of “nookie”. The late hours, the back twisting dance moves, and the almost irreversible heat damage from hours of over blow-drying your Beverly Hills 90210 hairdo.
The craziest part was, the later it got, the lower our standards would get.
The criteria that outlined the characteristics of your dream girl wind up being less important the closer you get to “last call”. The amount of adult beverages that you consume to increase your liquid courage, while suppressing the pain of the “you have got to be kidding me” glares from your unsuspecting prey, is mind bending. Then you get so desperate that you actually consider dropping all of your dignity, standards, and self respect and try to make a selection out of what is left when the lights come on at 4 a.m. that actually possesses 1/10 th of one of the criteria that you actually set out to connect with when you started your quest for some “hibbidy dibbidy”
So let’s get to that point I promised you I would make about parenting.
To do so, you will need to replace the previous use of the word “woman” with “temptation”, you have to substitute the bar scene with your child’s circle of friends, and you have to remove the idea of you as the inexperienced, desperate for attention, poorly dressed buffoon and insert your child.
Think about the desires of children. Think about how bad they think they want things. Think about the effort they put into getting out of going to bed on time, talk you into more junk food, or to buy them an iPhone. Think about the horrible things that they thought about you because you wouldn’t allow them to stay out past dark, wear all that make-up, or restrict the amount of text messaging they attempt to perform while you are eating diner together as a family.
As parents we need to understand that the goal is not to try to remove the temptation from our kids lives. It is teaching them how to deal with them that is the key. Our job is helping them to process the tornado of emotions that they will experience when their primitive desires challenge their spiritual betterment. And at all cost, show them what it looks like to make reasonable decisions in the face of Carlizina Jolectron.
The damage is not done when they get what they wanted. The damage is done when they get in the habit of practicing poor judgment and exercising ridiculousness to get what they wanted. Dignity and self respect make a great ribbon to hold a gold medal around your neck. Without it, you might as well stick it to your chest with bubble gum. And just like the gum, it can seem like a sweet, easy, and quick solution to your dream come true scenario; but what you really will wind up with is a solution that may provide some immediate satisfaction, but will inevitably leave you with a sticky, gooey, inaffective mess that has lost its flavor and will wind up on the bottom of someones shoe.
The finishline is not the challenge, the path that got you there is.