Raising humans – AKA kids – in the real world is a pretty difficult job.
It really is.
How do I know? I have 3 of them.
I have a 13 year old female human, another female human who’s just under 9 and a male one who breached the 2 year mark just the other day.
Why do I say raising humans in the real world is a difficult job?
Because it is.
Any parent who says raising humans is easy is most likely doing it wrong or has done it wrong.
The Job…Part 1
The home is a pretty sheltered environment for kids in most normal families.
For most growing humans, home represents an ideal created by us, their parents.
This ideal unfortunately, is not found in a large chunk of the real world – AKA outside one’s home.
Our job as a parents, therefore, is to do the very best we can to create a home environment that resembles as much of the real world as we can.
How Did I Get Here?
Because of a conversation I had with a friend recently.
My buddy disagreed with the fact that I had instructed my 13 year old to listen to an episode of Andy Frisella’s MFCEO Project podacast.
Some Background Info On Andy Frisella’s MFCEO Podcast
Andy Frisella is THE tough talking, in your face truth-about-everything entrepreneur whose podcast has a cult-like loyal following.
I’m a member of that following.
To say Andy uses the ‘F’ word liberally on his show is to understate the frequency of the word’s use.So you get the picture.
Using the F word is just his style as it is the style of many ultra successful entrepreneurs who have very little time and tolerance for bullsh*t.
Gary Vee is a member is this group as well.
Ok…back to the conversation with my friend.
So my friend believes that it was wrong for me to expose a 13 year old child to a F-word laden podcast.
What do you think?
Do you think I was wrong?
Ok, before you answer, why don’t you take the time (15 minutes) to listen to the episode for yourself then make judgement.
The Real World vs The World We Might Desire
I have asked a few other people whether they would have their kids listen to a swear-word laden podcast or radio show if they believe the core content is useful.
Opinions are split.
There are those who like me, believe that they value content regardless of what package the content gets delivered in to their kids.
Taking account of the age of the child and normal parental sensibility of course.
Then there are those on the other side of the aisle…
Those parents who said they would never do such a thing argued that because they don’t listen to such material themselves, they would never expose their kids to such.
Fair point but here’s where these good folks get it wrong.
Most of their kids already listen to swear-word laden content on the daily.
Unless these good parents keep their kids under a rock, then their kids already listen to songs whose explicit content is blocked when the songs play on radio.
But the explicit content is not blocked on Spotify or Itunes. Which is where most teens and pre-teens listen to their music on.
So unless one’s 13 year old and above child listens to Dolly Parton or Kenny Rogers, then they have heard the F world hundreds of times.
The Job…Part 2
Personally, I think my job as a parent is to guide my kids into knowing what it means to be appropriate.
To be appropriate in time, place and circumstance.
What is considered OK or appropriate in one place might not be OK or appropriate in another.
I don’t see anything wrong with my daughter and her friends wearing butt cheek exposing shorts in the privacy of our basement during a sleepover.
There would be something wrong with me as parent however, if I were to let my daughter dress the same way going to the mall.
Likewise, she can use the F word with her friends if she likes.
She would however, be looking to go without food for a month if she uses the F word to me or her school Principal.
I know that’s too lenient a punishment right?
But you get my point.
Getting The Job Done
So how do we, as parents, create a home environment that matches the real world?
Guiding kids towards traits such as kindness and work ethic is at the core of what we do as parents.
There is a need however for kids to grow up with a full understanding of effects of the opposite of these traits.
Hate, laziness, giving up and unkindness are not desirable traits.
They are however, found in plenty supply in the real world.
Exposure To Hate
There is a lot of hate in the world.
How do we introduce hate in the home so that the kids – above a certain age – grow up knowing that the world does have people that’re full of it?
How do we expose our kids to hate in an arms length way so that they get to see its effects without developing the trait themselves?
Let them watch movies and documentaries of Nazi Germany, the African Slave Trade, both World Wars, Apartheid and other hate fueled genocides.
Oh Hotel Rwanda is a good one to put on the list as well.
To be continued…
In the meantime what are your your thoughts?