Bruce Sallan: OK, I'm setting myself up with this one -- but I think it's important. Sometimes, parents should be selfish. Yup, selfish. Think of ourselves. For instance, parents need vacations, too. Anybody who doesn't need a vacation after a family vacation is lying. Parents need time alone and more than a date night.
Moms and dads will likely differ on this, as moms tend to think the kids come first. Sure, there are times they should, but not all the time. The kids will leave, should leave, and then you've only got each other. If you've not developed a relationship, separate from the kids, you'll be staring at each other wondering who is that strange person.
An example. Went skiing with my wife and younger son. He got a bloody nose and was freaked out. We stemmed the blood; it stopped and he was fine, calmed down, but clearly wasn't skiing this day. No big deal. I suggested my wife and I alternate going skiing, leaving one of us with our son. She was adamant about not going. So, I go at her insistence and she denies herself the pleasure of skiing (something she loves). It wasn't being selfish; it was living our lives, too.
Previous generations left kids alone a lot of the time. Kids actually served their parents, not the other way around. Why has it almost completely reversed? There is a middle ground between spoiling our kids to death and taking care of ourselves. I suggest this is almost a taboo subject and needs to be brought out of the closet. But, then what do I know, I'm just a guy.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|