Chance or choice?

Several years ago I was lying on an examining table watching a waggly little fetus wiener on the ultrasound screen confirming that my hunch about my baby's gender was indeed incorrect.

All the girl dreams were wrong. I was having a son. I hoped he'd be healthy. I hoped he wouldn't't grow up to be a moron. I hoped he wouldn't't get cancer or become a serial killer. I hoped a LOT of things.

Now two kids into this parenting trip, it is my humble opinion that it is equally challenging to nurture, discipline and socialize a kid no matter what physical, emotional or conditions are in the picture.

I'm trying to civilize these little people and instill some decent values but when the world outside our window contradicts the values and life philosophies I am trying to imbed in the thick skulls of my wee freeloaders I GET MAD. Hope? I've moved on to acceptance. Some things are just out of my control unless I decide to completely isolate my kids from society and frankly I couldn't handle that much high quality family time. I would like to thank Mr. Charlie (Tiger blood/Adonis) Sheen for providing me with the most recent challenging conversations with my son. Now we can add some new concepts and things to the "holy shit what has this world come to and how will I ever explain it to my children while trying to instill some decent values into the kid" list of difficult and awkward conversations.

Porn? CHECK. Now that's a fun topic but it's hard for me to choose what I am enjoying the most because my choices are so colorful and chock full of horrifyingly complex concepts. Bad behavior among athletes and celebrities, corrupt politicians, domestic violence, murder, drugs...............EXHAUSTING.

Here are a few of my recent favorites; explaining some of the Sheenster's bi-winning behavior, discussing the idea that a mother would actually KILL HER OWN CHILDREN (thankyouverymuch Julie Schenecker), attempting to explain political corruption in our fine state of Illinois (thankyouverymuch Governors Blago and Ryan), OR the reason that cigarettes are sold just about everywhere even though they are basically packaged poison responsible for medical misery and are the direct cause of the death of both my children's grandfathers and the ventilator currently keeping their one grandmother alive.

Can I get a little help here? As a mental health professional I am beyond overwhelmed with compassion for any parent or family member who is standing by helplessly as their loved ones make poor choices or suffers with untreated mental illness or addiction. People make choices and sometimes these choices are dangerous, confusing, against the law of the land as well as the unwritten rules that we follow as considerate and loving people.

There is also the grim reality that some terrible and unthinkable things happen in families. As a parent I have to try to help my wee innocents make sense of a world that makes NONE. I have given this a LOT of thought and I came up with something even a kindergartner can understand. Ready? I got it handled for you.

"Listen (insert child name or term of endearment/nickname), in this world there are moron people and mentally ill people. A moron is someone who knows the rules but ignores them. That's a choice. A mentally ill person might know the rules but can't always follow them because he/she is sometimes too sick.

Nobody chooses to be sick because being sick is never fun no matter what kind of sickness. There are also mentally ill morons and that's where it gets confusing because it's hard to tell if the person is feeling sick or being a jerk face. Soooo, any questions (Don't give him/her time to ask and quickly break any physical or eye contact)? I am so glad we had this talk. How about some ice cream (or any other distracting special snack usually reserved for special occasions)?"

You are welcome.

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