Brain Dump Friday:

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After three 6-hour shifts for my externship as a Pharmacy Technician this week, I have a day off!!  I really like it so far … though there are times when our pharmacy was SO busy – people lined up at the front, people lined up in the drive-thru, and the telephones ringing!!  I am learning from some very competent people … and the motto seems to be “Be Calm and Pharmacy On”.  In school, we learned the term “pharmacy speed”, which just means moving quickly but efficiently … and I’ve seen that in action this week!!  And the people I work with do it with a smile and positive attitude, which makes all the difference in a busy work environment.

The pharmacist I am working for is great – and yesterday I found out she is a Christian as well, as the tech on duty with me yesterday is her pastor’s wife!!  I had a feeling she was a Christian … but you know how you can’t really ask in a “professional setting.”  While I doubt I will get a job at this pharmacy, at least my externship experience has been positive so far, and the staff have all been very supportive of my efforts to learn and work with them.

So, I’m learning A LOT, and I’ve also applied for my Pharmacy Technician state license, the next step in getting ready to work in the pharmacy world.  I also am incredibly thankful for a friend here who is helping me out with MiMi.  She has watched her during the times when she isn’t in pre-school for very little pay.  What a blessing she is available!!  And her daughter is 5, so MiMi has loved being with them, too.  AND I’ve avoided bigger day care expenses since I am not getting paid right now.

ANYWAY ……….. on to the heavier things of life:

Because of the upcoming changes in our lives as I enter the work world again, Daniel and I have been having some conversations about our expectations (mainly mine because I do not want to burn out again by working outside the home!).  And we’ve been discussing our kids.  Mainly our teenagers … and recently, the question is:  have we been too easy on them??

Because I am a SAHM, I just go ahead and do a lot of stuff the kids could be doing because I like to and I like it done a certain way … and I am just glad to do it for my busy family.  HOWEVER, it isn’t just that my kids aren’t doing a lot of chores (they know HOW!!  but they really have a limited amount of chores they are required to do), but the question is are they taking things … and ME … and their dad for granted??

We’ve noticed some laziness and complacency on the part of one kid.  This one disregards or excuses a lot of things that she is asked to do.  For example, getting up in the morning.  At her age, she should be doing it on her own!  But we check up on her because if she runs late, we all run late.  And she just putters along at her own speed.  Also, with chores, she does the bare minimal, which isn’t disobedience since she does her assigned tasks, but she doesn’t do more than that.  She doesn’t look around and see what else she could help with that she knows how to do (for example, a basket of laundry is in the living room for 2 days … and instead of folding it, she just moves it from one corner of the room to the other …).

Then another of our kids has decided he doesn’t like basketball any more.  His goal is to get a job … which is noble and good … but he’s been playing ball for years now, and even did the conditioning work outs over the summer.  We are at a point in the season, where if he was to quit, it would have to be now.  We are trying to get at the crux of reason he wants to quit too … and some of it is the method that his main coach uses has the opposite effect on our son!  For example, the coach will tell him he’s a terrible shooter – or he’s not giving his best at leg lifts – or he’s dribbling way too high … and by saying something negative, he’s challenging our kid to CHANGE.  However, to Drew (may as well say his name!!), all he hears is that he stinks at dribbling and he’s a lousy shooter.  You see, Drew THINKS he is working hard and doing his best.  *sigh*

I think part of his problem is discouragement … and so at first, our inclination was to NOT let him quit.  We don’t want QUITTERS in our family!!  And then we got to thinking about it.  Basketball is optional.  If we force him to stick to it, he may be miserable all season, and so will we.  He’ll never play because his coach reads his attitude.  Is it fair to the team to have a negative player in their midst??  Is it fair to the coach to have to deal with our problem?  So, now we are leaning towards letting him quit with the disclaimer that he MUST get a job and his grades need to be up-to-par (but we have to think up consequences if that doesn’t happen!!  and that can’t be making him go play basketball again – ha!).

In conclusion, we’ve decided it comes down to 2 things for us right now:  the heart and character.  BUT this is where we’re questioning our failures??!  I know a part of parenting is instilling GOOD character into our kids … and as Christians, it is instilling godly character.  And most of all, I want my kids’ hearts!!  I want them to want to do what is right because THEY want to!!  But that choice – to change or not change – is up to them … not me.  I can force outward obedience, but I can’t change their hearts.  I can only pray to that end.

This morning, an acquaintance shared that her daughter’s (teen) best friend had taken her own life last night … and that puts my own issues into perspective.  I am glad that overall, our kids seem happy and want to get good grades and enjoy life and go to church and do right.  BUT I want so much more for them!!  I want them to know what a life lived outside their own world is so much happier than just living for one’s self.  While I have zero experience with suicide, I kind of wonder if a person isn’t self-absorbed – whether in how awful their problems are  or the outward influences of, say, a bully – then suicide isn’t even an option??

Anyway … deep thoughts.  I just want my kids to be ok.  Which is what my husband and I are talking about right now – we can only do so much.  We can lecture, we can be an example, we can apologize when we make mistakes, we can spend time with our kids, we can allow them or not allow them to do things … but ultimately, we can not control how they will turn out.  There are no magic formulas, which stinks, because I am all about fair and equal cause-and-effect, and that just isn’t the case in life.  We all have choices.  God gave us a free will.  And I’m glad He did.  BUT it might be easier if kids were programmable robots?!  But it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting …  😉

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6 Responses to Brain Dump Friday:

  1. diarysahm says:

    As a mom of teens, I can completely relate to a lot you were saying. I too do alot for my children, not because I don’t think they should or can’t, but because I’m home and I don’t mind doing it. But I too have started putting more responsibilities on them. My 15 year old daughter only recently started getting up without being asked to repeatedly, and she also moves at her own pace. I still have to remind both her and her brother to make their beds, clean their rooms, etc. Things that I feel at this age they should be able to get to without being prompted.

    It’s life I guess, and I think all parents go through this 🙂

    Wishing you all the best for your internship.

  2. Amy says:

    First of all….your kids are awesome. Let me tell you, as frustrated as we were with out teens sometimes, when they went to college and out into the real world and came back, they had a much deeper appreciation for our family. Because they’ve realized that not everyone has that family support.
    Here’s the thing I’ve found: My kids (grown) are not going to do what I think they should do! Yes, I have more experience and wisdom, and if I could go back in time and keep that wisdom, I’m sure I’d be a different teenager, but we can’t go back! But my kids are not me, and they are going to do things their own way. Here’s the catch: sometimes, they surprise me by handling difficult situations even better than I would! So I’ve realized that my kids are going to make their own decisions and their own mistakes, but they’re also going to do some really, really great things!
    Our Nick quit basketball when we moved. The assistant coach had talked to us right before the move and he was very welcoming and positive, but the head coach was just a jerk, he treated Nick poorly, and we felt it was Nick’s choice to NOT continue to be treated poorly! Instead, he chose to surround himself with positive people (his band directors) and ended up being band president his senior year and winning the John Phillip Sousa award! He found his own way and even though we (parents) missed basketball, when I look back I think he made exactly the right decision.
    Parenting teenagers is not for the faint of heart! But it can be really fun at times as they change and grow. Take a deep breath now and then, and remember: you’re molding this relationship into the one you will have with them when they’re grown. It’s worth the investment!!

  3. Tanya says:

    OOps! ** I will give you other thought = I will share with you another thought

  4. Tanya says:

    Keep praying for them! I know we do not EVER cease as parents, but I mean be sure to pray specifics. I even do it in front of them when we are praying as a family (though being careful not to demean them). Another thing that I think has made the most impact on my kids was to serve together as a family in areas where there are others less fortunate. Not that it is a cure-all, but it seems to keep things in a right perspective for them. Email me privately and I will give you other thought. Love you! Hang in there! Parenting is the hardest when your main desire is a heart that is following Christ (constantly reminding myself that I do not just want outward obedience with a heart that isn’t tender to the Spirit).

  5. melanie says:

    ha * that would be “wear” not “where” …clean undies. 😎

  6. melanie says:

    I could easily commiserate about a desire to see maturity in teens. Mostly it just takes time I think. Tim reminds me to not expect someone under 20 to act like they are 40 😉 {but I do hope/pray they learn more diligence earlier than 40! it’s harder to learn later in life…ask me how I know that.}
    I’m guessing you already hold them accountable for their actions/inactions/choices. Don’t feed the ‘victim’ or ‘you deserve a hand-out’ mentality, and they will learn an essential part of adult maturity ==> personal responsibility.
    Maybe your new endeavor in outside employment is the time to install some ‘new’ expectations — and explain them to the kids. {I could take a lesson here, so don’t think I am looking down my nose… hardly.} You know, the good ol’ chore chart. Who’s in charge of supper/dishes/laundry/bathroom cleaning/all those things that EVERYone enjoys life at home better when they are well-managed? Take turns. Let the older kids each (or together) cook supper, even if it’s to dump whatever in the crock pot b/c they don’t have an hour to cook either. 😉
    I don’t have any secrets for how to ‘get them on your team.’ But ultimately that’s what it feels like to me… Help me/don’t fight against what I’m trying to do here… ie, don’t track hay and dirt in the house after you’ve played fantasy football outside 😉 [and clean up the mess when you DO!]
    Maybe just making a chart with EVERY thing that could/should be done regularly {espec if they like to eat or where clean undies}… will open their eyes a little.
    This doesn’t have to be about martyrdom [again, addressing my own self in this lengthy diatribe]… Instead let’s discuss and VOLUNTEER to be helpful for the good of all who live here. Maybe? Am I dreaming? 😉
    World peace begins at home. And let it begin with me. 😀

    As for my direct two cents: Let Drew quit round ball. But obviously he’s not going to fill that time with video games or other worthless escape. A job inside or outside the home is appropriate at this age {both actually ;-)} As for your princess, you need to determine what’s appropriate for her duties at home etc, then find consequences for failing to meet those expectations [and rewards for stepping up, if necessary. It’s okay to cheer her success! and buy her an alarm clock. Be sure to discuss what is or isn’t an appropriate Get Out of Work Circumstance, maybe discuss what would excuse you or Dan from responsibilities = Not much, right?] – I’m also thinking that missing a social event is what will speak her love language/motivate her to succeed. 😉

    Yikes, better stop my ramble before my comment is longer than your post!
    Hang in there! Keep praying and loving and pressing on!

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