Why are YOU a bad parent?

The mom who buys everything for their child so they will like them and be their friend is an idiot.  I know that seems mean but not near as mean as the mom.  I have seen dads that take their teenage son to Hooter’s to point out the awesome wings they have and maybe even share a beer.  I mean is there really a need to show your teenage son you are a dirt bag?  I assume he is probably smart enough to have figured that out by now. 

Maybe we should continue to punish the mom who let her kid walk to park alone even though he had a cell phone.  Maybe we could also put more effort in to punishing the dad who went to school with his son who was being bullied just to make a statement.  Of course we have to make sure these parents are doing the right thing so these kids don’t grow up thinking their parents know best.  We fill these kids heads with this false sense of the government knows best how to live your life.  Then they grow up only to find out the government has no idea what they are doing. 
My parents should be thrown in jail based on the new definition of bad parenting.  I drank from a water hose that was left outside all the time and didn’t even have a filter.  I was never given hand sanitizer or told eating apples off the neighbor’s tree before washing them would kill me.  In fact the one time I did finally say enough is enough and ran away from home they never came and looked for me.  In their defense they never knew I had left since my parents didn’t watch every step I took.  For the record I spend 5 minutes in the dark outside my window and got scared so I came back in. 
You are not a bad parent if your kid fails at something.  You are not a bad parent if your kid gets a bruise for climbing a tree.  If we continue to punish parents for letting their kids grow we will end up with a bunch of participation ribbon winning 20 year old scared of attempting anything wimps living with mom and dad.    
The real danger is they will think it is foolish to take a chance or risk anything.  In other words they will be too scared to LIVE and change the world. 

You won’t get picked

I know your mom told you that everyone loves you and that you are the cutest person in the world.  Your dad probably told you that your singing was better than Celine and Mariah put together.  Maybe you were the one the other kids called too slow or too fat.  What if you were too short or not smart enough?

The point is you are not very good and will not get acknowledged by the “important” people.  There is a closed group of people in the world that control everything.  Yes I am a member so I am allowed to tell you all the details.  We have regular meetings where we look at photos to decide who sits with the cool kids or gets the best jobs.  We pick the ones that get to be beautiful actresses and big time singing stars.  Of course we picked Michael Jordan and Tim Duncan to dominate the NBA.  We put Kate Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated.  The Koch brothers are rich because we decided they were worthy.

I am sorry this makes all the things you believed were possible in life seem incredibly unfair but that is how the world works.  If you really want to achieve anything in life you have to earn our approval.  If we don’t give you that stamp of approval then you will forever be locked in a state of mediocre living.

Now assuming you have read this far and your head is not exploding you no doubt understand this is completely not true.  There is no audition.  There is no approval process where you get a card that says you now belong and have made it in life.

Sometimes you will be picked, applauded, cheered, accepted and maybe even loved for an accomplishment. You may be yelled at, hated, stalked and even rejected for something you do in life.  The question is what do you do with this information.  You have to decide if you want the world’s approval which is temporary and based on works or you want the one that has already been given before you even took a breath.

I am not trying to get preachy on this subject but I believe it applies to business, leadership, family, high school, middle school and probably even in retirement homes.  You need to accept that God approved of you before you did anything so clearly it is not something you can earn.  Stop trying to get picked or earn some sort of approval and accept that you are meant for great things even when you fail daily.

You don’t measure up to the world’s standard but that’s okay you were never meant to be here very long. To not believe you are approved is unbiblical.  Just read Jeremiah and you see a story of God’s approval completely overwhelming the world’s.

Martha Stewart is a CONVICT!

Only in America could we have people who commit murder, sell drugs and commit violent crimes get probation while Martha Stewart goes to jail for insider trading.   I don’t really care what happens to Martha but let’s be honest we have a serious prison problem and the justice system is supposed to create a safe society not lock up old ladies who cook. 

If we are really over crowed in the prisons then why send people who commit these types of crimes to jail?  We live in a time where the NSA and Google know where you are 24 hours a day anyway so put an ankle bracelet on these people.  Of course some people make the argument that we would spend millions tracking them and bringing them back every time they escaped.  I have a solution that my dog could understand.  We just set these bracelets to a certain radius and when you go outside that area you are shocked to ground like a Taser. 
Please don’t tell me that is cruel because I really don’t care when you are talking about millions of dollars to house millions of people for crimes that are no threat to the general population.  If you think putting someone in a metal cage and surrounding them with smarter lifetime career criminals makes more sense then you are missing the basic concept of common sense. 
A friend of mine may go to jail for not paying child support.  I agree this is a crime and he needs to pay up for it.  If we put him in jail he can’t earn money so no one wins.  Why not put a bracelet on him and give him a 10-15 mile radius to work and give him a chance to earn that money? 
Also why is there trash on the roads and parks when we have people in jail just sitting there?  Why not hand them a trash bag and for every hour they work we knock off an hour of their sentence?  It makes not sense to feed and house people then let them sit around and do nothing.  If we give people an incentive to make their lives better and they blow it we stick them in the cell but don’t waste a good punishment by not teaching a lesson and benefitting society at the same time. 

I wished I cared more (NOT REALLY)

I say things all the time that get me in trouble.  It is a symptom of me just not worrying about what most people think and sometimes that means feelings get hurt.  There just seems to be an abundance of stupid in the world and I like to point it out and sometimes make fun of it. 

I’m not talking about hate speech or being mean in the sense that you bully people, even though I get accused of that sometimes.  To me if you wear cut off denim shorts and a tank top to the store and not one person in your life loves you enough to tell you not to do that, then I get to make fun of you.  This morning I was at Wal Mart (I know like shooting fish in a barrel) and a lady clearly in her late 50’s and I am being generous was wearing just that outfit.  Now assuming you worked out, didn’t provide thousands of cigarette tax dollars to the state and were not trying to get McDonald’s profits to a new record level, it may have been cute.  That was not the case at all.
One time we were at a party shortly after the presidential election and this lady who clearly did not know me decided to bring up politics.  Now I vote Conservative, have dogs named Reagan & Bush and love to talk politics.  I do not bring it up because some people get all mad and start calling names and begging me to punch them in the face.
If you bring it up I will be happy to discuss it as long as you know what you are talking about and don’t start saying stupid stuff.  This rarely happens but it was worth a shot.  She was in her 60’s and should have been smarter but after 20 minutes of reciting what she believed by reading headlines and watching ABC news, I had enough.  She asked if I agreed and all I could say is that is what is wrong with America.  I said “low information voters” are what is killing this country.  I was not specifically calling her stupid but I think she got the point. 
Not sure if she was hoping we would be friends but her and her husband left shortly after and never called so I assume we may be done.     

Stop trying to spell stuff

Have you ever changed your plans because something was too hard to spell?  In Texas we have a great water park called Schlitterbahn located in New Braunfels.  It is easier to spell San Marcos or Austin when talking about where you are going since they are within a few miles of the park.  I was texting a friend telling him about the trip we had planned and he said by the way that is not the right city, to which I responded it was just easier to spell. 

I can’t tell you haw many times I have typed something and the little red line pops up only to find out I didn’t even get close enough for Microsoft to know what I was trying to spell.  My history of bad spelling is long so I have never pretended to know how to spell some really simple words.  In fact “pilot” is for some reason one of the most difficult for me to remember.  
Handwriting a letter is one of the worst times to realize the word you want to use is out simply because you can’t spell it.  Sometimes I will even go to the phone or computer to see if I can find it but usually I just choose another word. 
This can also lead to problems when you are trying to map a route and can’t spell the city you want to type in the app.  I guess for people like me you always need a copilot to stop you from driving past New Braunfels just to get to Schlitterbahn.  For some reason I have always been able to spell Schlitterbahn.

You are Pregnant?

You are PREGNANT?
Seriously at your age and you are having a baby?  Well I guess you can forget ever having any fun now that you are going to start over raising a kid at this season in your life.  I mean who in there right mind would want to have a kid in their mid forties? 

Last night we had dinner with some great friends that are expecting their first child together in the next few months.  They are a blended family with kids from previous marriages but none together.  It is a beautiful thing when you realize they will get to share a very special moment together that previously seemed impossible.  It was not that they were trying or even expecting there to be a risk because they felt the time had passed.  My bride and I were so excited because we think this couple is one of the all time great couples in the world.
It is the classic story of both married before and had kids and they blended great and have awesome kids so what could make this story any better?  Well a new life given to a family of 5 that has more than enough love to give a new baby.  We have known them for years so we have laughed, cried and even screamed together so it was with nothing but pure joy that we hugged and were happy for them when we got the news.  
We have seen them go through some storms and been strengthened in their faith so the smiles on their faces were a clear result of the humor they got from knowing God believed they could do this too.  We can’t wait to hold this beautiful baby (assuming it looks like her) and love him or her. 

Learn how to cheat

Have you ever made a suggestion and had it completely rejected?  I never understand the person that doesn’t take advice or counsel.  There are always areas in you life that could improve so look for people that challenge you in life.  One of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t spend time with people that don’t see potential in you”.  I have two men that mentor me on a couple of different levels consistently.  To be honest I have a few mentors but some are my friends and people I work closely with on different projects. 

The two men I am referring to are not related to me or close to me socially.  They are both older and have gone further in their lives than I have spiritually and professionally.  See I want men that can teach me their mistakes before I make them on my own.   I need men in my life that are better fathers because they can give me the short cuts to great parenting.  Maybe they were not the best fathers but as long as they learned from their mistakes then I can learn also.  Maybe they are not multi-millionaires but they learned what not to do in business and finances so I can skip a mistake or two. 
I did not seek perfect men or even huge successful men.  I sought humble men with a heart for serving the next generation.  These men were not easy to get time with in the beginning.  In fact I had to ask one of them for almost a year before he would finally make time for me.  I think he wanted to make sure it was worth his time.  The other man was always busy so I had to adjust my schedule and meet him early one morning for breakfast. 
My point to all this is there are a lot of people willing to help you in life but you have to ask first.  They are busy and not looking for projects so they require some pursuit.  You must be committed to asking until they agree or point you to someone who will meet with you.  The other major point you need to remember is to show up with questions and something to write the answers down to create the plan of action.  No one wants to give advice and have it ignored.  Now go call, email or kick the door in on that one person you have always wanted to sit down with and ask some questions.  You would be surprised how much they want to help you cheat and skip some mistakes.

That Moment

There are moment s in a parent’s life where you feel your kid has reached a base level on the mountain.  For babies it is sleeping all night, a toddler walking or a young teen staying alone without fear in the house at night.  Maybe for you it was the older teen driving or planning for college on their own.  I think the times a child reaches the different levels in life are important and should be celebrated. 
There are times in a young adult’s life when those base camps are set up that you really can’t celebrate with them but you know inside you are throwing a huge party.  Those moments are really vital to a young adult’s growth but there is a great danger in your acknowledgement. 
It is hard on a parent when you have a young adult son or daughter and they lose a job or maybe two or three jobs in a row.  I understand it is hard on the son or daughter but as a parent you want to help and that can have devastating effects on their confidence.  There is great value in letting your kids grow up and suffer some failure.  There is also great value in letting them know you will always love them and support them emotionally but not financially for life. 
I think when you have a child stumble a few times and they finally get that camp set up indicating they have stopped starting over, it is a big deal.  The problem is you can’t make a big deal about it because the camp is set up on very fragile ground.  For example if they finally mention they need to get better about getting to work on time you can’t say, “I have been saying that for years.”  It is in those moments you have to just be happy and keep moving forward.  The last thing anyone needs to hear is “I told you so.”
We all know you have said it a million times so reminding people is like saying the sun will come up in the East.  It is hard as a parent to accept the destiny that God has for our children especially when that destiny looks nothing like the one we had for them.  It takes courage and a lot of love to believe God loves your kids more than you.  We all take different paths but we all take the path we are supposed to take to get where we were supposed to be.  

Riding your bike to McDonald’s

If you have been awake over the last few weeks and months you probably know a lot of people have died in plane crashes.  First thing you need to remember is there are about 28,500 commercial flights a day or 10 million a year in the US.  Worldwide you are talking about 20 million flights a year.  Less than 0.00001% of commercial flights crashed a year.  Yes it is tragic when someone loses their life but you have to pay attention to media reporting and not forget their goal in life. 
Media outlets make money on advertising and nothing sells better than fear when it comes to news.  Yes I know you hate when someone puts this stuff in perspective but seriously more people died in cow related incidents than died in commercial plane crashes in the US over the last 5 years.  More people die from regularly eating at McDonald’s, smoking, alcohol and yes even riding bicycle’s than commercial plane crashes every year.  So clearly smoking a cigarette while riding your bike to McDonald’s drunk is about the worst thing you can do in life. 
The point is I constantly get asked if I worry about my bride flying so much.  My bride flies on average about 3-4 times a month.  She has a very important job and it requires her to travel around the country.  I am immensely proud of the work she does and the value it brings to our country.  I tell her no when she has too much to drink and wants to ride her bike but that is another story. 
Yes I worry about her traveling but not crashing in a plane.  I worry the plane will be hot and she will punch someone and get thrown in GTMO.  I worry they lose her luggage and she buys a whole new wardrobe.  I worry the hotel doesn’t treat her like the platinum super VIP she is supposed to be and she burns the hotel down.  I worry she will be over exposed to stupid and fire people which will result in more travel because the job will have to be done by her now. 
The fact is she is safe flying, staying in hotels and working in government buildings.  The point is live your life and stop worrying about safety so much.  If you do ride your bike to McDonald’s after a few too many and just insist on smoking, please wear a helmet. 

Could this be killing your kids?

I love a good headline but to purposely mislead people to get them to read your article is annoying.   I record the news every morning in order to watch the weather and major headlines.  It takes me about 20 minutes to watch 90 minute news broadcast.  I admit I do it mostly to avoid the commercials but also because they tease every story with a horrific headline to get you to come back. 
Will most things kill your kids?  NO!  More people were killed by cows than sharks last year so really the chances of you dying in the middle of Oklahoma are better than the Florida coast. 
Is there a chance you will die from the plague or lead poisoning?  Probably not. 
Will missing the latest government warning cause your kids to miss out on college money?  Doubt it!
Did your parents let you drink from the water hose?  Did you know the water hose has a warning label on it that says, “Not for human consumption?” 
Did you ride a bike without a helmet?  Well then based recent voting results most of you should sue your parents.  
I know I am dragging this out but I am about to get to the point.  The thing that really could be hurting your kids is a disease called LAZY.  We read just the headlines and think we got the whole story and move on so we never get the full story.  We are raising a generation of people that only read the newsfeed on Facebook.  We read the scroll at the bottom of the television.  If you are like me you spend 45 seconds on a website skimming for anything you think matters and forming an opinion. 
An actual headline recently read, “Obama cancels fundraisers due to tragedy”.  The problem is that is not what happened at all.  He moved them to later in the day to be able to have a press conference and then went to the events.  Most people never read that far into the article.  I don’t care what you think of the press or even the current administration but you have to admit that is dishonest. 
Another recent headline read, “Are vegetables actually deadly?”  The story was really about a store clerk that stacked the pallets too high and it fell on him.  He didn’t die or even eat the vegetables but unless you read the whole story you would never have known. 
My point is read things you may not automatically find appealing just in case they have a good point or a valid argument for another point of view.