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timeflies

“Time flies. It’s up to you to be the navigator.” – Robert Orben

Yes indeed, time sure does fly by in so many ways!  It’s amazing to watch things change all around us, especially our Kids.  Sometimes we inadvertently miss crucial moments or dismiss the small things which prove just how old our Children are getting or what’s really going on in their lives, or even our own!

One small, but significant example is my little dance diva, Aleah, just got a new pair of girlie “Jordans!” Never in a million years would I have thought she would want anything of the sort or run around afterward saying “ Whaaat? Whaaat?” but it happened just before my eyes.  Now she looks like a cute little hip-hop dancer which she hated less than a year ago!  I’m still baffled as to how this transformation took place or what sparked this transformation but I’m good with it!

Luke now has a new iPod and is getting so technically savvy at the age of six that it’s amazing!  The other day I tried to FaceTime him but was unable to so I called his Mom.  She asked him if he had his wi-fi on apparently he didn’t which was the problem. So, he turned it on and we were able to chat “face-to-face.”  I asked him if he knew what wi-fi was and he explained it to me well and further explained that he turns it off and on depending on where he is and also ensures his Bluetooth is off to “conserve battery life.”  Who would have thought that a six year old guy would have known what he was explaining to me.  Heck, there are adults out there who don’t know some of that lingo.

Zack, the teen, knows a so much about many things, technically and otherwise (though he chooses not to use that knowledge from time to time) and seems to gain more knowledge each day.  He’s also growing like a bean sprout (which I’m hoping will cease soon before he eats us out of house and home ;-)  ) Nevertheless, he’s changing on a daily basis as well in so many different ways.

As my Kids’ grow and change I have to remember to allow them to change accordingly, become themselves, but also to steer then in the right direction.  Not in a militant fashion (unless it’s called for) but rather in a way that lets them know that what they choose to do now and the effort they devote to different things will ultimately help or undermine their future.  It’s up to them to choose what’s really important and what they want to focus on.

I am going to do my part to ensure they know and understand the “cost-benefit analysis” of what they choose to do and ensure they are doing at least the things they are supposed to do…get decent grades, be respectful, keep their word, etc…but in the long run they are going to who they want to be and do what they want to do…within reason.

My goal is to help guide their way.  The time sure is flying by and before they know it, they’ll be on their own wondering if they’ve made the right choices.  I will ensure they have a kit bag full of all the information and guidance I can possibly give them before that time!

My Son and Step-Kids deserve at least that much from me and I won’t let them down!

I welcome any and all thoughts you have on this subject!

Tune In Or Get Tuned Out!

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Most of you don’t know that I maintain (to the best of my ability) a website entitled “The Step-Dad Diary”. I choose not to combine the two blogs (the one from my page and this as the other is dedicated to step-parenting, parenting, mixed-families, etc…) but I thought this was a pretty good post that might come in handy to many parents out there or parents to-be!

It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much more time I spent “targeting” my Step-Son for things I didn’t want him to do or things I thought he was doing wrong than I was trying to develop a good relationship and parental report with him. I felt like I was failing at becoming a great Step-Dad and someone important in his life and I couldn’t figure out why.

We don’t enjoy the same sports so I was never as engaged as he was when he wanted to watch basketball, football, or sports along those lines. I might, just might, be there in a physical sense but definitely not in a mental sense. I’m more of a non-mainstream sport guy like rugby, lacrosse, volleyball, skiing, golf, swimming, etc… We both like electronics, social media, cool apps, and things along those lines but when he’s doing that stuff he definitely doesn’t want me looking over his shoulder and watching what he’s typing. Okay, I understand but that doesn’t leave too many ways for us to connect and bond.

Buuuuuttttt…we do have a Xbox now and I really have no clue how to play these games with fifty-thousand buttons on the controllers and crazy themes. Guess who does? Yup, you guessed it…my Step-Teen! (and probably all young teenagers these days) So, I found a common meeting ground for us where he could lead, teach me a thing or two (or ten), run the game and keep me alive while at the same time we could “bond” and spend some quality dude time together.

Now, I have no idea why I didn’t think of that before because he is always itching to play the Xbox as that’s in the family room on the big TV and he has a Playstation in his room (which isn’t as cool by the way) and all I had to do was ask if he wanted to play and he jumped all over it! It gave me a chance to learn how to play, have some side conversation with him about nothing deep, and he had a blast (I think) showing me how bad I was since he had to keep bringing me back to life in the game.

The bottom line was that I was able to just stop knit-picking at him for small things and just hang out for a while. For me, it really wasn’t about the game (though it was fun.) It was about getting past that barrier where my Step-Son would almost literally run to his room when he heard me coming in because he knew I was going to find something to target.

I realized that I have to get on a certain level to connect with each of my Step-Kids. For my Step-Son it might be video games, for my Step-Daughter it might be the swimming pool and I’m sure it will change for both of them over time. If I continued going in the direction I was headed, I was likely to permanently hinder any chance at having a good relationship with my teen because he’s already getting up there in age and maybe even with my Step-Daughter.

I’m going to make it a point to not be so picky about everything. My OCD kicks in every now and then but I have to realize most people don’t hone in on every little thing that’s out of place or a bedroom that’s a little out of order like I do and I shouldn’t expect them to. That’s not to say there’s no time to put my foot down but I have to make sure I leverage that with fun time as well!

Now, I gotta roll…GAME ON!!! 😉

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