Tag Archives: parenting

Is Having Babies Selfish?

Baby me. I used to be so innocent and adorable, I wonder what went wrong...

Baby me. I used to be so innocent and adorable, I wonder what went wrong…

Here’s my foreseeable future: go to college, get an undergraduate degree in English/Psychology/Philosophy, go to graduate school, solidify a successful career, get married, have kids. Sounds like a plan, especially after throwing in a mother with anger issues and the fact that I don’t know how to drive yet. As you can see, I’ve thought about my future a lot.

But here’s something I haven’t thought of yet: why do I want kids? Continue reading

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The Fight Song of the Tiger Son

My handy dandy suitcase.

My handy dandy suitcase.

Floss, Latin textbook, ratty T-shirt, notebook. As I threw these things into my suitcase, I wondered whether I would survive that day.

I ran out of my house. Wearing shorts and a thin jacket, the cold cut at me even though the sun still shone. Shouldering my backpack and holding my suitcase in both arms, I felt like a fictional character, running away from home. Except this time everything was real.

I made it a few blocks down until I saw her car approach me. Contemplating whether or not to make a run for it, I knew I wouldn’t escape – no mile time was fast enough to outpace an angry mother. Her beige car pulled up alongside the road, and she lowered her window to yell at me.

“Get back in the house, now!” my mother screamed.

Minutes before, she had threatened to kill me. Inside my house, she had started one of her angry outbursts, but it felt more dangerous than all of the other ones. In that moment, standing on the sidewalk of the road, heart racing, I defied my mother for the first time. Continue reading

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No Normal Life

I’m seventeen and I don’t know how to drive a car. Every time I see two parents talking to one another without screaming, I gaze in awe. I haven’t gone to Prom and I doubt that I will.

Sometimes I wonder how my childhood would have been if not for my mom. What would it have been like to grow up in an environment entrenched in caring as opposed to cruelty? Which friends might I have met, who might have I turned out to be, what might I have done? With only a few months left before my eighteenth birthday, every chance I have to experience an average life is slipping away. Continue reading

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A Post For My Father

A few nights ago, I wondered what it would feel like to cut off my ears.

I remember thinking something similar when I was thirteen or fourteen. I was in the car with my mom, sitting in the passenger seat as she screamed at me. This I was used to – what scared me was how she had formed her hands into fists and was punching the leather of her seat as well as the surface of the dashboard. While I cannot claim to remember exactly what had caused her anger, I do recall that it was something insignificant. Perhaps I had closed the car door a little too loudly. Maybe I looked at another boy who walked by for a little too long.

But, as she spewed poison and purged her anger, I thought to myself: I wonder what would happen if we got into a car accident right now. I wonder how much of myself I would be willing to give away for her to disappear. I proceeded to bargain mentally – would losing an arm be worth not having to put up with the abuse anymore? How about an arm and a leg? All of me?

Looking back, I realize how melodramatic and shallow those thoughts were. Continue reading

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You Can’t Be a Princess

It’s not every day you see a video about parents who purge the identities of their children.

When I was a child, I wanted to dye my hair blond.

I wanted, like every child, to explore the possibilities of my person – whether it be my physical or my mental characteristics. I doubt that there’s a single person out there who can honestly say they did not try something new as a child, that they did not crave for change or something exciting. Childhood, in essence, is about discovering the depths of your world, and who and what inhabits it.

I remember telling all of my friends in my fifth grade class that I was going to dye my hair blond. When I got home that day, I looked up at my father, eyes wide, and exclaimed my wish. He looked at me, amused, and told me we would have to ask my mother.

Of course, she shot it down immediately. Continue reading

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Spilled Milk and Staunched Fears

I grasp the carton of milk in my left hand, and a clear plastic cup in my right. As I raise the carton in preparation to pour the milk, my left hand squeezes.

Milk flies. Splatters the table. Stains my shirt. I stare in shock, as if I’ve witnessed a murder in cold blood.

Oh, no, I think to myself, as realization settles in. Oh, God, no. Continue reading

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My Pants and My Mom, Part 2 (the Happy Anti-Ending)

This takes place roughly two days after this incident. My mom and I are in the car; she is driving, and I am in the passenger seat.

“Did you see your AP Psychology grade?” she asks.

I shake my head.

“You have a 99%,” she says,” I bet you’re at the top of the class.”

“Teachers love students who work hard,” she goes on,” I’m sure it brings your teacher great happiness to have a student who works as hard as you do.”

I nod. Usually, when I’m with my mom, I don’t speak. Not because I’m afraid, though that is the case some times, but because that’s just how it is. She talks. I listen.

“I saw some people on the red carpet,” she says. I assume she is referring to the Hollywood stars.

“They wear black pants with white shirts like you wanted,” she says,” when I saw them, I thought, maybe you do have some fashion sense.”

The infamous black pants. Perhaps I will post a picture of me wearing them.

Continue reading

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My Pants and My Mom

My Science Fair presentation is coming up on Thursday. I was trying on clothes in front of my mom, as she decides what I’m allowed to wear and what I’m not allowed to wear. It was getting late, and I suggested a pair of black pants I wore to a friend’s wedding over the summer. She wasn’t happy with this, as she wanted me to wear another pair of looser pants, but she angrily asked me to try the black pants on anyway.

-

I put on the black pants, my heart pulsing.

I turned to face her. Her face was a thunderstorm of emotions, precipitating the rage that was sure to come.

Continue reading

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I Finally Made Friends! (the Wonders of Technology…)

Well, sort of. This is what I used to take my new profile pictures:

My awesome fourth generation IPod Touch. It's white, which happens to be one of my favorite colors.

And this is the guy who I will bring along with me to social gatherings in which I will feel inclined to sit in a corner and read:

So I finally own a Kindle... I think my father owns about five of them.

And this is the interior of my new best friend. Breathtaking, I know.

Both of these I received as late Christmas gifts from my brother and father respectively, and of course I really appreciate them. My family is very technology-oriented, another aspect in which I am the black sheep – beyond Word and the internet, I am lost.

Anyway, these two devices are seriously becoming like close friends to me… not like I would know what having friends feels like. I’ve been using a first generation IPod Touch for three years and this new one has a bunch of amazing features such as a camera, a built-in speaker, and many other amenities that could eat up one’s free time if not handled responsively. I take it to the gym with me, I use it as a dictionary, heck, I even took the time to encase it in an awesome… case.

It's protected like the Mona Lisa. Okay, not really. But close enough.

As for the Kindle, I’ve been resisting its charm constantly for quite some time. I’m a fan of tangible books – books that I can hold in my hands and flip their pages, books that I can annotate with a real pencil or mark with a real sticky note, books that I can give to my friends so that they too can revel in reading delight.

Yet, when my father gave me the Kindle as a gift, I thought to myself, what the heck. It’s convenient in that it can carry thousands of books, is small enough to take with me to many places, and has useful features such as a built-in dictionary and categories for me to organize my books. While reading on the Kindle may not measure up to holding an actual book in my hands, it’s not a device that I would disparage, because the Kindle actually promotes reading, which I appreciate.

I suppose this is a good time to share my thoughts about technology. We as humans are naturally inclined to love things that lessen our workload, and though we can groan and bemoan how technology is becoming so prevalent in society, we do in fact gravitate toward these devices no matter how lazy they make us look. Obviously there’s a problem when kids are spending their time playing video games instead of reading or going outside, but, like almost all things in life, balance is key. Parents should model positive behavior that blends benefiting from the advantages of technology and doing things the old-fashioned way so that one can build character.

Though now that I think of it, if it weren’t for technology, I wouldn’t be writing this right now. Nor would I even have a blog, or a Facebook, or an email account… but then again, with that extra time I could actually live my life and make real friends go outside or sleep at normal hours. Pros and cons, pros and cons…

What do you think of technology? Did you get anything similar to what I got for Christmas? I like how I intended this post to be purely personal, yet it became a musing on technology. I suppose that’s what happens when I write these things at midnight. I hope everyone is having a splendid New Years Eve! Also, for those who don’t follow me on twitter, I’ve updated my “about me” section if you want to check it out.

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The Benefits of Having Strict Parents

I haven't included a Cyanide and Happiness comic in a post for quite some time... ha.

It’s time to perform some damage control.

I admit to discussing my mom in a derogatory manner in posts like this one and hinting to her in my posts about child abuse. Although she is abusive, I don’t want people to presume that I’m an ungrateful little brat I don’t appreciate my parents. I really do.

There are the obvious things they do for me. My mom ventures out into the cruel world to provide me with sustenance, and my dad works grueling hours to pay for my expenses and future college tuition. They both buy me school supplies, the occasional book, and a variety of other material objects. Needless to say, I live a pretty nice life, and I am thankful for it.

What’s more important, at least to me, is how they raised me. By being strict and harsh, they’ve made me appreciate all the things others take for granted. They’ve given me the motivation to work harder in life.

Now, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, I know what you’re thinking: “but Thomas, your mom is so mean! You even said so yourself!” And, yes, that’s true.

There’s a fine line between strict and abusive – but it’s a clear one, too. When you’re around strict parents, you are careful to act respectfully and be on your best behavior. When you’re around abusive parents, you’re scared of what they’ll do, even if you haven’t done anything worthy of punishment. In my opinion, abusive parents are strict parents. Of course I don’t approve of abusive parents, but I do support strict parents.

A stern and exacting parenting method is good for children because they’ll be expected to succeed. Children who have parents that care a lot about their performance are more likely to exceed than those who have parents that don’t care. Like I stated earlier, kids with parents who have rigorous expectations are motivated to put in more effort as opposed to parents that let them do whatever they want. That way, they’ll also be more prepared for all the hurdles life has to offer, unlike the kids who grow up in a bubble of unearned affection and nonexistent reprimands. They’ll also be more courteous and respectful, which is always a plus.

Please excuse the messiness of this stream-of-consciousness post, I just wanted to make it clear that I do think parents should set standards for their kids. However, I do know how suffocating extremely strict parents can be, so, like many things in life, balance is essential.

What do you think of strict parents? What were your parents like, and how has it affected who you are and how you’ve matured?

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