Jump to content

Raising Children


Recommended Posts

For those of who have raised or are raising a family, this is an apt comparison of children and pets...

I just realized that while children are dogs - loyal and affectionate - teen-agers are cats. It's so easy to be a dog owner. You feed it, train it, and boss it around. It puts its head on your knee and gazes at you as if you were a Rembrandt painting. It bounds indoors with enthusiasm when you call it.

Then around age 13, your adoring little puppy turns into a big old cat. When you tell it to come inside, it looks amazed, as if wondering who died and made you emperor. Instead of dogging your footsteps, it disappears. You won't see it again until it gets hungry then it pauses on its sprint through the kitchen long enough to turn its nose up at whatever you're serving.

When you reach out to ruffle its head, in that old affectionate gesture, it twists away from you, and then gives you a blank stare, as if trying to remember where it has seen you before.

You, not realizing that the dog is now a cat, think something must be desperately wrong with it. It seems so antisocial, so distant, sort of depressed. It won't go on family outings.

Since you're the one who raised it, taught it to fetch and stay and sit on command, you assume that you did something wrong. Flooded with guilt and fear, you redouble your efforts to make your pet behave.

Only now you're dealing with a cat, so everything that worked before now produces the opposite of the desired result. Call it, and it runs away. Tell it to sit, and it jumps on the counter. The more you go toward it, wringing your hands, the more it moves away.

Instead of continuing to act like a dog owner, you can learn to behave like a cat owner. Put a dish of food near the door, and let it come to you. But remember that a cat needs your help and your affection too. Sit still and it will come, seeking that warm, comfortable lap it has not entirely forgotten. Be there to open the door for it.

One day, your grown-up child will walk into the kitchen, give you a big kiss and say, "You've been on your feet all day. Let me get those dishes for you." Then you'll realize your cat is a dog again.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest rattler

And for the flip side. laugh.gif

Raising Parents

Dear Readers:

Take it from my brother and me. It isn't easy raising parents these days. First off, they're entirely too busy. Mom and Dad are the first to say, "You can't get better at anything, if you don't practice." Well if that's true, how can they expect to be better parents, if they're never home?

The time crunch gets so bad sometimes, we ask them to write us into their datebooks. They need to know we're serious about talking things over together without distractions. For awhile we arranged to have regular family meetings, which works out pretty well for planning vacations and negotiating allowances, but not so well when a crisis comes up. Whichever parent is around then has to step in and make a decision on the spot.

That's when our parents argue with each other about being consistent, because they don't want us to catch them contradicting each other. My brother and I think that's odd. We don't think alike; why should they? Look at it this way. They were never parents before we came along, so half the time they're just winging it anyway!

I remember when Mom grounded my brother for a week for getting a bad grade in English. Grounding him meant grounding her, too, because she had to stay home to make sure he stayed in his room and didn't use the phone. By the end of the week they were both miserable. Thank goodness she dropped that form of punishment before she used it on me!

Parents can be real busybodies. They seem to think that a history of changing diapers and bathing us gives them the right to know about everything we do or say.

"No, Dad, you can't walk into my room without knocking."

"No, Mom, you can't go through my stuff just to straighten it up."

We finally came up with a workable compromise. My brother and I agreed to clean our rooms once a week, without being told, and they agreed to stay out unless invited. After that, things were more considerate between us in lots of ways.

Teaching parents to listen better is tough. They have so much to say about how things were when they were our age, it's hard to get a word in edgewise. We appreciate their efforts to keep us from repeating their mistakes, but try as we might, we only succeed in making new ones they never even thought of. Like the time I decided to turn the shower into a bathtub for my turtles. The stopped-up drain overflowed and created rain showers downstairs in the kitchen! Sometimes we have to learn things the hard way, just like they did.

To improve the balance of power, we like to treat our parents to a slice of humble pie every now and then. My brother crushes Mom at ping-pong and we both run rings around them at computer games. After they've eaten their fill (get it?), they're pushovers!

Last but not least, we do set high expectations but we don't expect perfection. After all, they are new at parenting and need time to learn from their mistakes. Mom and Dad are still a bit rough around the edges, but so far, they admit we're raising them pretty well.

How are things going with your parents?

Sincerely yours,

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Agree wholeheartedly but am still waiting for the day that my son offers to do the dishes for me !

Owning both cats and dogs , your comments are accurate!!


Well my Dad's dead so I don't know how he's doing up in Heaven (I hope) and my Mom's driving me nuts but all in all I am surviving her visits !

As a parent my son is in University , doesn't drink and drive nor does drugs , has acceptable manners ( according to my peers) and always tells me where he is going. If he wants to live in a pig sty of a bedroom , that's his business . I remind him that I'm washing clothes and if they aren't in the laundry room tooo bad!

So I figure life is pretty normal at my house as a parent.

PS I have more trouble getting my husband to put his dirty laundry in the hamper than my son.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...