Diagnosing children …. Just … no

Technology is a wonderful beautiful thing. We as homeschool parents swear by Pinterest, Google, Khan Academy and so much more. Technology even allows idiots to pretend their smart by doing sufficient research or using autocorrect and spellchecker. We organise, connect and communicate across borders with ease. Technology can be used as a powerful teaching tool. But the one thing that technology cannot teach it’s users is common fucking decency. 

Before Google, parents took their kids to qualified doctors and psychologists when they thought something was wrong… now, every one is doctor.

I like to refer to this spectacular phenomenon as the generation of retarded grownups, aka post-Google parenting. 

Before Google, if parents found a weird rash on their kids, they promptly made an appointment to have it checked out. You walked out of the doctors office with a very clear indication of what ailment your little beast is suffering from now. Post-Google parents self evaluate their problems and end up with a list of possible outcomes that leaves you more confused and scared shitless than before. 

This we all do, and I’d be a little bit hypocritical if I said anything differently. 

In today’s technologically advanced world, this is somewhat acceptable. You’re just a concerned parent trying to figure out your kids. 

But then there’s some idiots that has made it their personal mission to evaluate every behavioral phase their kids are going through and shoving these cocked up conclusions down every one else’s throats.

They are every where, hiding in plane sight, dressed up as a concerned friend or neighbour or a friendly homeschool mom that’s “just trying to help”. 

Quite recently I had an experience where one such friendly homeschool mom, whose name I don’t even know, thought that my child’s behavior is her duty to diagnose. Let me just elaborate on the behavior of which she spoke…

My eldest is a little shy. To me, that’s a personality trait which he has always had. In the new homeschool group where he hasn’t made any friends yet, he was sitting and taking notes on the presentation they were receiving instead of playing with the props like the other kids. I felt kind of arrogantly proud, watching him be the intelligent boy I am trying to raise. So imagine my surprise when this skinny weird looking blonde told me, her child is “Hyper sensitive” as well. I think she mistook my look of “who the fuck are you and why are you talking to me” as “please continue, I’m so interested in the label you want to hang around my kid’s neck”. So she bulldozed on about all the symptoms that HS sufferers have, like I should be sitting with a tick list. In her conclusion, I could see the look of satisfaction on her face, and all I could think of was…. You post-Google idiot. You have seen my boy for all of 5 minutes. Lay of, step down, and go read a fucking book on parenting. 

Kids are not projects, they are blessings. Kids do weird things… But so do grown ups. Yes, there are terrible illnesses and behavioral things that causes your child to struggle fitting in to normal society, but not all behavior needs to be labeled. I remember what an awkward kid I was. 

Who decided that kids should all fit into a specific mold, or else their weird? God loved diversity so much he made each of us unique in all aspects. We look different, think different, find different things funny… and if it wasn’t for that we’d all be bored out of our minds. 

In today’s day and age, I find it so backwards that we still believe that all kids are the same. If you keep telling a fish it’s a bird, he might start believing he is and end up trying to fly. Humans are the same… with this in mind, we should be telling our kids that their awesome, brilliant, intelligent, that they can be what ever they put their minds to, and mostly that they are loved unconditionally just the way they are. 

We are all guilty of this sin.. me included. But I was only humbly brought to realization once the tables were turned. 

So to all the parents and kids I may have offended in the way I have been offended, I apologize for being a post-Google dick. 

How to stretch a non existing budget with three boys

So all parent know that becoming a parent is a synonym of becoming broke. With all the expenses rising, I thought it wise to share some of my budgeting tips. 

You’d think studying accounting would make me a jedi-budgeteer … But how does that saying go…. a hairdresser’s kids always look like a lawnmower got to them and a machanic’s car is always two pieces of masking tape away from becoming scrap metal. Well it’s no different with accountants and their finances. 

But of you’re up for taking advice from an idiot here goes:

1) STOP HAVING BABIES! Now this is crucial for financial freedom. Kids are money hungry bottomless pits of despair and the more you have, the darker the pit.

2) get organized. Sound a little anal but it works. Before I was an organized, well organizedish person, I would go into a shop and buy all kinds of shit. I’d come home to unpack and find twenty packets of the same fucking pasta sauce and still I’ve bought twenty more. Treat your pantry like a shop and do a stocktake. A legitimate, quantities and allowed purchases fucking stocktake.

3) stick to you’re list. This is a lot harder than it sounds. In fact, I’m severely impressed with my parenting skills when I actually remember the list and even more impressed when the list makes it through the first isle without being eaten by Oscar.

4) sell your unwanted hoard. One man’s shit is another man’s wanted shit. I sell pretty much anything I trip over more than twice. I sell books, dvd’s, clothes, toys, beds, bedding… I’d even sell my husband if I thought he would fetch a good enough price. Before season changes, sort out the clothing and sell it. The last load I sold got new shoes, four pairs of slippers, a car wash and at least six ice cream trips. 

5) shop at charity shops. Their everywhere. Specially things like tennis rackets, glassware and books. I just spent R30 at a charity shop buying three kids books, one tennis racket, a lightsaber toy and a wine rack. Trust me, it works.

6) swap old games. Most dvd stores allows you to swap old PlayStation games for other old PlayStation games.. But kids love PlayStation games that are their new PlayStation games no matter how old said game is. 

7) buy school supplies during the year, when on special only. Shops hike up their prices every December in anticipation of the back to school rush.

8) try and get winter blow out sales just before summer for the next year’s winter. Now this is quite a gamble, because boys grow like weeds. What you think will fit next year may end up looking like a tank top instead of a sweater. But you get sort of better at the estimates with experience.

9) join your community groups. I know it sound like a real tree hugger move on my part but I’m working out three times a week for free…. Jip, you read it… free, just because I keep my ear on the ground.

10) instead of having your car washed, have the kids help you wash the car. They actually end up loving it, and you can get of with a small amount of money and an ice cream.

11) when people ask “what does your kid want for his birthday?” Your answer is always clothes. You’re the parent. Your kids have to love you and pay your old age home one day. Have the rest of the world buy them clothes and you get them the fun things.

12) plan your meals. You don’t have to stick to the exact plan but have a meal for every day of the month. 

13) get a savings account that earns a little bit of interest and transfer the remainder of your money after debit orders into it. I, for example, budget for fuel for the month and transfer it into my Savings account. When I need petrol, I just transfer the budgeted amount over. The rest of the time it sits there and makes money. Not a lot.. But money gained is money gained. No matter how you look at it.

14) save your change. We’ve cashed in lose change on several occasions and it not only helps alleviate the clutter, but serves as an awesome little lesson on the history of money and exchange. (Sounding more and more like a homeschool parent by the day)

15) try and buy in bulk. Especially meat. Separate it into one mealtime portions and freeze it…. and keep stock on what’s in the freezer! 

16) grow your own veggies. Just the basics helps. Potatoes are insanely expensive and having four hungry mouths to feed can be a little much. I plant tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce and beans…. and I always thought that I only know what plants to smoke. 

17) pick up old school clothes at the clothing banks at the schools… obviously not all of it, just the good stuff. Some parents (wealthier ones) buy school uniforms in advance and end up donating new clothes because it doesn’t fit.

18) this is probably the most important tip…. TEACH YOUR KIDS TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR SHIT. They all look like diesel mechanics after 10 minutes outside so TEACH them to wash their clothes by hand. If the toys are left around for more than two hours.. you’ve won a lego man. I literally made my eldest go to school without a jersey because he lost 2 in one week. He wast very happy and ended up going to the clothing bank himself.

Understand that money is never ours in the first place and that you will not be blessed with more if you cannot handle what you have at the moment. Being wealthy can take many forms and success is only your perception of it. We are entrusted with three heavenly gems. To me, that’s Godly wealth.