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Friday, March 8, 2013



One of my sons called me for some advice, and fortunately I have experience in the area where he needed assistance.  For a person like me the Parental Contract was the very last page of the Children Raising Manual.  I’ve tried real hard to learn all I could about raising children, and just when I have one child figured out the next one comes along and everything changes.  You might say that the rules you were familiar with no longer apply.
My youngest child is nearing the old dreadful threshold of 30, but I am very lucky in that they are all doing well, and all of them have faced challenges that they met head on and not only survived but thrived.  I gave up a long time ago trying to teach them all the mistakes to avoid, and the easy path to success.  Each one has gone through a phase where they knew best, but sooner or later reality sets in and they come to the conclusion that maybe there was an easier way to do things.  I’ve never been one to hang around waiting to say, “I told you so.”

I do get a level of satisfaction when I see the light bulb go on over their heads, because I know that this experience will lead to a better understanding on how to approach life, and the required decision making process.

All my children will always be my babies, and for as long as I am able, I will answer the call for assistance.  Just in case you are still scratching you head and wondering where the Children Raising Manual can be purchased, there isn’t one.  I was just making the point that the Parental Contract and the Manual are non-existent. The variables are infinite.  Just ponder the possibilities, each child is different, and requires different style of upbringing, every parent is different and has a unique (right or wrong) style of parenting.  Among the things to consider: culture, religion, politics, and language, socio-economic environment, on and, on, and on.  And that’s just the parents I am talking about!

Before you criticize my post, keep in mind that I am sharing my experience with raising my family of 7 children and not trying to tell you what you need to do or not do.  While there is no known parental contract some family laws actually consider parents responsible for their children to the age of 18.  I personally have never set a deadline for when my children must leave the house (family home), and some have even returned after they set out on their own.

The unspoken Parental Contract is a double edge sword, kind of like a Reverse Mortgage.  At some point in time the line is crossed and the child becomes the parent.  The day comes when we will need the assistance of our children, to at least sign us up at the Hootersville Old People’s Home.  I am making reference to the Hootersville from the television series Petticoat Junction, not the restaurant chain Hooters.

I don’t know about the followers of this blog, but I probably have another 25 to 30 years to go before I get to Hootersville.  The best is yet to come….

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