Sunday 8 January 2012

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5 Parenting Questions

You know what I've come to realize? By using my Sunday posts to ask some questions, not only am I learning more about you guys (a little too much on occasion), but I'm saving myself a ton of time and money in counselling and self-help classes. Sure you get what you pay for, and you guys are no Dr. Phil (unless of course he's reading this, then "Hi Dr. Phil!"), but I truly sense that you guys care about me and have enough concern for my welfare that you take the time to offer up some well thought out, rational advice. That or you're responding to blog posts after 10 glasses of wine again. Either way.

At what age do kids need a cell phone?
My daughter will tell you that 11 is the perfect age, but I'm thinking I'd like to see a slightly higher number. The problem is that my son got his when he was 12, but that was more a set of circumstances than a real need for a phone. Lori is concerned that my daughter will lose the phone all the time, but I don't know about that. I can't remember the last time I saw a teenage girl without a phone in her hand. It's hard to lose something you're holding on to 24 hours a day. Although if anybody can do it, it would be my daughter.

Is 11 too young for a cell phone?

Do you make separate meals for dinner?
My wife must love to cook. That's all I can come up with as she will make each person something different for dinner if that's what they feel like having. I've actually seen her make tortellini, perogies, pizza, and stir fry for one meal, each in individual portions. I think she's nuts (although incredibly beautiful at the same time) as I was brought up in a "This is what's for dinner. If you you don't like it, it'll be here for breakfast" household. You'll have to take my word for it, but I promise you that cold liver and onions is not that "most important meal of the day" that everybody's talking about. I'm not advocating taking it that far, but I don't think you need to offer a complete menu for each meal. That being said, Lori does offer as many options for dessert as she does for dinner. This part of the meal plan, I have no problems with.

How many options do you offer your family for dinner?

Should we make our kids take extra-curricular activities?
Up until this year, we've always made our kids take activities outside of school. Our oldest daughter has been simple, as she started dancing at a young age and has carried on ever since. The other two have been through a huge variety of different sports and classes, but nothing has ever really stuck. Basketball, football, horseback riding, astronomy, piano, electric guitar and the drums all got a shot, but nothing seemed to inspire, and now I find myself with two kids who don't have anything outside of school hours. I've always thought it important that my kids should be working towards learning new things, but I'm to the point now where I'm kind of tired of chasing them to pick something. I think next semester I'll tell them to either pick an activity or start writing a blog. If you're reading this kids, you can't use the title "#%@! my Dad makes me do."

Do you know of any interesting extra-curricular activities I can put my kids in?

What did Snoopy do to my daughter?
My youngest daughter has a serious dislike for Snoopy. I don't know exactly what happened, but in our family, somewhere along the line Valdemort got replaced by a dancing Beagle as "He who shall not be named." This is the kind of information that is good to have in advance, like maybe before you take your daughter to see Snoopy on Ice. I knew she wasn't a Snoopy fan, but I thought it was just a general disinterest kind of thing. It became clear that I might have underestimated the situation when Snoopy came out for his first scene and my daughter started to boo him. That'll draw the crowd attention away from the stage. Truthfully, I kind of get where she's coming from. When my kids were younger, there's nothing I would have liked more than to punch out a couple of the Teletubbies. Not Po though. He was kind of cool.

Any cartoon characters you'd like to give a swift kick in the behind to?

Would you let your kids get a tattoo?
A co-worker the other day told me a story about his 15 year old daughter coming home and announcing that she'd gotten a tattoo. I don't think it's legal for a minor to get a tattoo without parental consent in this province, but from the stories he's told me I doubt that this is the most pressing legal issue he has to deal with. He said he was going off on his daughter about doing something stupid, when she showed him the tattoo and it was a small heart with her mother's name in it. He didn't know what to say, and I have to say that I didn't really have any advice for him. I'm not opposed to tattoos, I'm just not particularly a fan. If my kids want to get a tattoo AFTER they turn 19 then I guess it's OK. If they want to get one before that, the only acceptable one would be an essay on "Why my Dad is so great". Minimum 300 words, double spaced, and believe me spelling counts.

Do you have a tattoo? How old were you when you got it?