Who Will Raise Your Kids Since It Won’t Be You?

Child play

I can only imagine the guilt and pain that comes every day a mother or sometimes a father drops their young children at a daycare facility where people they barely know care for their off spring. People that seldom have more than a high school education, and seldom have much life experience beyond high school because day care workers tend to be young. The times when the young ones cling to their mommy and/or daddy and plead “Do you have to work today?” has to be one of the most heart retching experience any parent must face. This is hard and made harder by the knowledge it’s not necessary if the parent makes the right decisions and displays courage. Our experience with AdvoCare has presented to me lots of examples of parents who no longer have both parents working out of the home and entrusting the raising of their kids to some other mostly unknown persons.

Paques01

The importance of being present for your kids is one my wife and I learned early on. And I’m proud to say our kids saw virtually no time in daycare. Being there for your kids is a gift to them you can never give at a later time. That’s why it’s called a “present”. My beautiful wife and I have raised three kids. Though using the past-tense is a little premature since 1) Our youngest is just now entering high school, and 2) Do you ever finish raising your kids? But we have “raised” our kids past the age of any needed daycare. I’m proud of the decisions we made to sacrifice the extra income and status that could have come from working outside the home and leaving the responsibility of raising children to those whose values may not be ours.

Let’s start by stating what must be said. I am sympathetic to the argument that parents only do this because they must. I’m sympathetic not because the statement is true but because it is so common and thought to be true and too many people have fallen into the false belief that no options exist to allow for reasonable, mature adults to bypass the daycare lie and spend the necessary 10-18 years giving of themselves the most valuable community gesture they can. All of society benefits from a well-raised child. And every study over many years and common sense shows that kids raised with at least one parent in the home are far better adjusted and far less likely to travel down dark paths as they grow into adulthood. And such kids are far more likely to be successful as adults and possess the positive values instilled by parents who were present.

LYS87girls

And to the hyperventilating Liberal haters out there who will falsely claim I’m just advocating a 1950s society where the little woman is the care taker of the kids and subservient to the husband I say quite loudly SHUT UP. YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT. In my house it was me who was home with the kids, most of the time. We became parents October 31, 1987 and in the 26 years since my wife has usually worked 40+ hour per week jobs outside the house. I too worked 40+ hours per week, and continue to do so. But I either worked out of the home or in jobs that had me home by early to mid-afternoon before kids returned home from school. For about 2-3 years before my son was old enough we had a Nanny come into our home even though our combined incomes were only middle-class. But even during this time I was still home early in the afternoon before my oldest daughter got home from school. Since opening our audio and video production company Total Broadcasting Service in 2005 we’ve twice tried to bring Mommy home only to find the lost outside income and health benefits she had while working for someone else too much to overcome. The result- I coached my sons and daughters in softball, baseball, soccer, football, and basketball. I, thus, got to know their friends and the Moms and Dads of their friends. I saw to it that they got to their homework after school and that they didn’t come home to an empty house. They were safe and happy.

Your kids deserve the opportunity to be kids. They deserve the opportunity to sleep until they wake, instead of being woke at the crack of dawn, hustled to the car and driven to that house or daycare facility and hurriedly left in the hands of someone who isn’t mom or dad. Wouldn’t your kids eat better when you’re preparing their fresh fruits and vegetables for snacks and parts of meals than day after day of mass-produced mac & cheese? When they fall down and cry wouldn’t their boo-boo be best nurtured by Mom or Dad than by someone who needs to quickly put them down in order to tend to someone else’s child?

And since day care is so darned expensive just how much is gained by parents not being there? According to the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA) the cost of daycare for infants and toddlers is $300-$1564 per month (and I don’t even want to think about the $300 places. YIKES!). The state of Washington, where I live, is the seventh most expensive state in the U.S. for infant-toddler care at over $10,000 per year. In 2012 the average working woman made only $35,000. So, in a 2-income household the average working woman was leaving care and raising for her youngest kids for an extra $25,000 or less. Probably more like $20,000 when the unnecessary expense of gas and car maintenance and mileage, as well as eating out are subtracted.

Could you work at home part-time, raise your own kids, and make $20,000? With Advocare you definitely can. Again using myself as an example we’re working a plan that will have us earning $12,000 in our first year representing Advocare’s high quality health, nutrition and weight loss products. And we have only been able to devote about 5 hours per week to the effort. Naturally we expect that will grow in year two. Our friends and mentors started with AdvoCare almost four years ago and worked it on a more full-time basis and earned $60,000 their first year, and over $166,000 in their third. Could you raise your kids on $60,000 per year? How about $166k? And consider this, are you in a job where you could realistically expect to grow your income to $60k annually in 3 years? How about $166k? Most people will say no.

And we’ve found the “selling” of Advocare easy. And so will you. It really comes down to using the products. My wife and I lost over 100 pounds combined in 8 months using the 24 Day Challenge and Advocare products thereafter. After using the products, you simply tell people of your experience and encourage them to try them too. How hard is that? What makes it even easier is that Advocare provides you with an incredible training program that should you choose to participate, listen and follow will make success and a good income inevitable. You can do this.

Your kids would want you to. Your kids want you to be healthy and to have the energy and the time to devote to them. And that’s what you want too. Like all things it will require you to try. You must try. If you don’t try you’re guaranteed to fail. Simple.

Call me to learn more: 425-687-0100.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Click to go to our AdvoCare website.

Giving in to Pop Culture. At Back to School Time, I’m Guilty.

On the Phone...again.

It’s back-to-school time. Time to get new clothes for the kids, pencils, binders, paper, and on and on. The way school funding is going we’ll be sending kids to school with their own desks and chairs in years to come. Shhhh…don’t let that idea get out. Some legislator might think its a good idea

My wife finally twisted my arm enough to get a cell phone for my 13-year-old daughter. She received it yesterday and screamed so loud I’m sure the fire department was put on ready alert.

I’m really happy my sweet girl is happy. But I wish I hadn’t been put in position to need to get this phone for her. I blame YOU. YOU, all the parents who bought their adolescents cell phones to play with and talk on and ignore other live human beings and discourteously interrupt live in-person conversations in order to respond to a text or a call. It’s an annoyance I will now have to tolerate.

A Nokia 6280 mobile phone (A1-edition), an UMT...

I never wanted to get my 8th grader a cell phone because she seldom goes anywhere and I didn’t feel she had a need. My thinking is she could have one by the time she was in high school and more frequently away from our home and school than she is now. And since there wasn’t a need I didn’t wish to receive the additional expense on our household budget.

My lovely and thoughtful wife has lobbied for our daughter to have this phone for more than a year. She feels it’s a security issue and makes reaching her easier. I dismissed this argument by correctly pointing out that our still-little girl spends 98% of her time at home or at school. And when at school if she ever needs to reach Mom or Dad she need only borrow the cell phone of any other kid, since they ALL have one. THIS is the argument that my wife used against me. I was repeatedly urged to give in because of the peer pressure exerted on a teen by their contemporaries who all have phones. I was told not having a phone made my daughter an outcast or an odd-ball who would be subject of teasing and that she might be ostracized. When she was in 6th and 7th grade and 12-13 years old I didn’t worry about THAT too much. But I had to admit as she got older my wife’s argument turned my thoughts.

As we all know teens can be cruel. Teasing and bullying have always existed and have always made the teen years tough. I honestly never understood those who referred to the “teen years” as “the best years of your life”. They were the worst years of my life. So insecure; so unsure of the direction of my life. Even if I could magically go back and live those years again with the knowledge I have now I wouldn’t do it.

So my daughter has a cell phone and we have an added, and in large part unnecessary, household expense because society has been sold a bill-of-goods in believing everyone, even kids, need the little hand-held device that dehumanize so many of us. I hope you’re proud of yourself.

OK…truth be told my wife’s final offer that convinced me to get our daughter a phone came down to a trade. She agreed with me to cancel our home land-line phone service in exchange for getting the cell phone. The home phone line is used only by my wife when talking to her Mom, and by my daughter. Now we won’t have the home phone and it’s $60 per month expense. But between my 20-year-old son, wife, 13-year-old, and my home office we still have 5 phone lines coming into our home. I think we’re covered.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

We Specialize in affordable video production.

Father’s Day

My thoughts on Father’s Day seldom drift toward me and my kids. They always tend toward my Dad. He died November 30, 2001, the cherry on the sundae of the worst year in my life.

My dad and brother, Jerry and Jeff.

My Dad was a unique character. Jerome Mathis Schuett was born in Bellingham, WA in 1937, Grandson of a German immigrant; and son of a logger. While he frequently spoke lovingly of his father’s industry he was the only one of the three son’s of Shelby and Delores Schuett to never work in the timber industry.

My Dad left Bellingham for Washington State College in Pullman in 1956. Like all WSU grads he was a Cougar through and through. And he infected all the rest of his family with his love of all things crimson and grey.

My Dad’s temper, alleged philandering, and complete and total disregard for anything my Mom cared for led to their divorce when I was in the 4th grade. By the time I was in the 5th grade he had successfully sued for legal custody of my brother and I. He was one of only 17% of divorced men in the 1970’s to win custody in a court of law over mothers.

And thank God he did. He raised my brother and I to be very independent. By the time I was 13 years old I was cooking or preparing all my breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. I was doing my own laundry. And if my Dad ever asked to see my report card….I can’t remember it.

My Dad was flawed in so many ways. In fact there were long stretches of my adulthood, months and on one occasion years, where I didn’t speak with him. He was often crude. He was almost always devoid of any knowledge or care of hurting another human beings feelings. He was the macho man, only NOT.

Jerry Schuett made a lot of friends. But not a lot of close friends.

He left an impression on me that has been so deep and so lasting because he was there. Twenty-five percent of all Dad’s aren’t even present for the raising of their children. In the black community statistics are abhorrent. More Dad’s aren’t there than are. So knowing my Dad attended all my soccer, basketball, baseball and football games through high school puts him above a lot of Dad’s. Knowing he wanted us to be raised by him rather than our mother means a lot too.

Knowing his many flaws and that he and I clashed a lot, some have questioned why I miss him so much. My only logical answer is that he was always there. And now he is not.

At bare minimum, I know I have provided my kids at least that.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Kids Should be More Afraid of Their Parents than Police

I was watching some classic Richard Pryor last Friday night, Richard Pryor Live in Concert, when he started talking about kids.

In the segment above you see him portraying a little kid so afraid of getting in trouble with his parents that he lies to them.

In this brief segment, he talks about his parenting philosophy:

It was then that it occurred to me that Richard Pryor was wrong and his parents were right. Kids have lost their fear of their parents in this day and age. And it means kids have lost their respect for their parents too often as well.

For the record, I am not advocating BEATING your kids. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with a spanking when appropriate and not done in anger. No parent should ever punish their child in anger. My Dad use to punish me in anger all the time and nearly 40 years later I still resent it. And if other kids are like I was, I often didn’t understand why I was being punished or why I was being punished so severely.

But on the few run-ins with law enforcement I had in my youth I can tell you I was more concerned with what my Dad would do and think than I was concerned with police or courtrooms or jail. They couldn’t hold a candle to my fear of what would happen at home.

My father never beat me. Richard Pryor talked about his Mama “kicking his ass”, but my guess is “kicking his ass” amounted to a switch across his backside. When I was little my brother and I got a wooden kitchen spoon across our bottoms when being disciplined. I did not want that! Thinking about it now and I can’t imagine such a device cause me any pain. But at the time, that spoon was terrifying.

And even the spoon was retired by the time I was 12 years old. By that age I was already taller than my Dad, so him getting physical with me was pretty limited. By age 16 it was non-existent. But that didn’t change my fear of him. Getting in trouble with my Dad was just about the worst thing I could do. Trouble with teachers, coaches and even police paled in comparison. And as it turned out, I grew into being a fairly successful man (I actually consider myself very successful because of the people in my life).

Being fearful of your parents does not mean you don’t love them and respect them. If you are a believer in The Bible numerous passages tell us to fear God. Deuteronomy 6:13 says, “It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear.” Ecclesiastes 5:7 says, “For when dreams increase and words grow many, there is vanity; but God is the one you must fear.” But numerous Biblical directives tell us to love God. Mark 12:30 says, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” And, obviously there are numerous others. A kids feelings toward their parents can and should be the same balance between fear and love.

Do parents fear disciplining their kids because their kids won’t like them? On the subject of discipline kidshealth.org writes: “If parents don’t stick to the rules and consequences they set up, their kids aren’t likely to either.”

As teenagers we all tried to get away with as much as we could with our parents. But the extent of what kids now get away seems to be far beyond what it use to be. Drug and alcohol use is up compared to 20 years ago. Teen birth rates climbed tremendously from 1940 to a peak in 1994 of 45.8 births per 1000 teens. It’s decline since then coincides directly with increased abstinence education; showing that teaching kids what they don’t want to hear actually works. Yet births to unwed mothers, many teenagers, has reached record levels.

On the positive side high school dropout rates have declined over the long-term. And teen criminal activity has also declined, at best, or remained static at worst. It depends on what you read.

I’ll be curious what statistics show about the past 3-5 years when such information is more readily available. Bad economic times can translate into bad social behavior. Whether that remains true, time will tell.

If you thought this blog was going to be about how bad things are compared with “the good ol’ days”, I’m sorry to disappoint. Education has gone a long way to overcome a lot of what ails individuals in society. But most of that education comes from better educated parents, and much of that education comes from good, loving parents unafraid to put the fear of God into their kids.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Why it Sucks to be Conservative!

I’ve always believed that being liberal is a lot like being a child whining at Mommy in the grocery store check out line, “Mommy can we get the giant Snickers? Mommy why can’t we get the comic book? Mommy that man’s getting ice cream. Why can’t we get ice cream?”

On the other hand Conservatives have to play Mommy. They have to be the adult.

In this video Bill Whittle explains better how being the mature adult Conservative really SUCKS!

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A Father’s Love. Happy Birthday to my Son.

This kids is now 20

Do your kids know you love them? Let me rephrase and get specific. Do your adult kids know you love them? From my experience and observations its not such an easy question. Coming through the turmoil that many teens put their parents and family through hard feelings are developed and those hard feelings can and sometimes do last a lifetime. Sadly, they usually extend from child to parent and not the other way around. I know there are exceptions. But I honestly can’t imagine a father’s love dissipating because of teen troubles.

These thoughts are on my mind today as my one and only son turns 20 years old. There are lots of milestone birthday’s but to me this is THE big one. Legally we all become adults at 18 years of age, and at 21 we are legally able to drink in most states. But at twenty you leave behind the teens, the label you’ve had stuck on you for seven years, and you become in the eyes of the world…not just the law…a real adult.

Coming just over 2 weeks from Christmas I’ve always felt my wife and I didn’t adequately recognize and celebrate my son’s birthday. I regret that. And this year is no different. My son has plans. He’s 20. Of course he does. And, of course, he will the rest of his life. Our time has past.

My initial question weighs on my mind. I can’t imagine that I’m the only parent who thinks about such things. Our oldest daughter is now 24. Her challenges as a teen were shocking and remarkable for her mother and I. We really were not prepared. We did the best we could but we felt derailed and couldn’t figure out why our perfect little girl had turned into such a handful. Then it was my son’s turn. Having been close at hand and witnessing the many challenges our daughter laid before us and the whole family I really couldn’t imagine our son wanting to go through and put us through such pain. But he did. And it was not good. The arguing, the yelling, the disappointments, the crushing disappointments. It was really heart breaking.

Obviously I’m not being specific. And you don’t need to imagine two awful little tyrants (either our kids, or us parents). It doesn’t matter. Because fortunately it’s behind us. My daughter lives away from us and while we can hardly say we like everything she does. It’s OK. It’s perfectly OK. It’s her life and my love for her is eternal. My son is still in our home and is still in need of Mom and Dad, or at least our home and food. And his current life is not completely as I’d want it but like our oldest, it’s OK. Isn’t it? Isn’t it the same with your adult kids?

I can say with complete and unwavering conviction I love my kids. I would die for them. I would give all that I own for them. And when we’re apart I miss them terribly. And I’m confident they love me. So my worries aren’t deep, but because of the troubles of the past AND my own feelings toward my own failed parents…some tiny doubt remains. And that tiny doubt sucks. Am I the only one? Tell me. Do the troubles of the teens carry into hard feelings for adult kids? What is your experience?

For me, I won’t be caught off guard if the troubles return. I’ll certainly handle them better…for I still have a 13 year old daughter who at present shows no sign of going through the challenges of her siblings. But its coming. And when it does I’ll be prepared. And I’ll love her too. For a father’s love is unbreakable.

The "Schwa"

Happy birthday to my beautiful and wonderful son.

Thanks for visiting. Comments are welcome.

Goodbye Dad; again.

Dad & Arica

My Dad with his first Granchild

Ten years ago tomorrow, November 30, 2001 my father died. Amongst the things I remember about this day is that Beattle George Harrison Died the previous day, but the news escaped me until the morning of my father’s passing. I also remember hearing a horrible Christmas song that morning about a young boy wanting to buy some new shoes for his dyeing mother. The song probably isn’t that bad. I guess a lot of people liked it. They made a TV movie about it. But I hated it. It always brought me back to the day I lost my Dad.

Losing my Dad was far more emotional and troubling than I would have ever predicted prior to its occurrence. I was a basket case for at least six months. I thought about him daily. And then slowly over time it got better.

At my Dad’s request he was cremated. Cheap and/or practical to the end. I bought the urn. His remains were kept in the possession of his widow. Not my Mom. She had been married to him his last 20 years beginning my Senior year in High School. Initially she talked of spreading his ashes in a couple of locations in Eastern Washington where my Dad frequently went camping in one of his RV’s (He rented RV’s for a living. So he had many over the years). But that never seemed right to me. Sadly I didn’t have a good alternative. It’s all just as well because the idea of spreading his ashes drifted away and never occurred.

My Dad’s widow died 2 months ago. I took possession of his ashes, and a few small items of his that she’d retained over the previous ten years. My office is now decorated with mallards, as my house was growing up.

Keeping his ashes in my home is not an alternative. He never saw this house. I bought it 2 years after his death. Keeping him here just wouldn’t be fitting. Fortunately I actually thought of the perfect place to spread his ashes, and that is what I am doing tomorrow

Dad's resting Place

He is where my Dad's ashes will spend eternity.

. I will drive up to Bellingham, where my father was born. Along the way I’m picking up his brother, my Uncle. Together we will drive to a favorite spot of my Dad’s along the Puget Sound waters south of the Canadian border. He spent countless days in this place as a kid. He took me and my brother to this place time and again. And in my 24 years as a father I have taken my family here innumerable times. I will dig a small hole in the beach when the tide is out, and will deposit his remains there, amongst the clams, and muscles and crab. I will then say a prayer. And then I will say goodbye Dad…again.

 

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