Drowning Under The Weight

I cry

I swear

I scream

I am drowning under this weight

So alone

Yet I know that I am not

Suffocation

It is real, so real, too real

Help me

I can see the walls

They are closing in

I am drowning under this weight

 

That poem and this post is for my Mom. She has been through a lot in the last year plus, which is part of why I have been away from my blog. My Mom just turned 74 in November, a week after her birthday her eldest sister passed away from cancer. Ever since then my Mom’s health has been rapidly failing.

I am sorry I just can’t keep writing about this right now, however; if you would like to read more about this please go to https://www.gofundme.com/Drowning-Under-This-Weight and if you would please share.

Thank you, I will try to write again soon.

Dawn

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The Masks We Wear

We all wear a mask, anyone who says otherwise is either lying or in denial. It’s the why we wear a mask that is important anyway. Some like me wear a mask to hide physical and or mental pain. Others wear a mask to protect themselves from truly being seen. Why? Because they are hiding more from themselves then from others. They don’t like who or what they see in the mirror. Or they were told and believed that they were unworthy or whatever stupid thing that they truly are not.

Now I am sure most of you know that the masks I am speaking of are not a physical mask, easily removed. I am speaking of the masks that a person pretends to wear. A smiling face when inside you are sobbing. A face of joy when really you are completely filled with jealousy.

What a lot of mask wearers don’t realize is that their mask/s are highly flawed. For instance every time I am wearing my pain mask, those who truly know me will ask, “Dawn are you OK?”, or “Dawn is everything OK?” Sometimes I will pretend that they really don’t see the truth mainly because I am scared. But sometimes it’s because I want to stay in denial about it. Which is the truth for most people.

Some people wear masks to protect them against anger and hatred. Such as the teenager or younger that may be gay. Then the ones that “come out of the closet” might have family or friends that wear a mask to hide the fact that they “can’t look at you the same way anymore”. Which all of those people I feel sorry for.

So all in all pretty much everyone wears a mask of some kind. It’s just sad that some wear the wrong masks around the wrong people. What I mean by that, is when a friend or family member wears a happy or proud mask, when really they are anything but happy or proud. Also known as a false/fake mask. Because it makes that person a fake. Nothing hurts a person worse than a fake friend or fake family member.

Now I dare you to go look in the mirror, and tell yourself that you are who you are, that you are beautiful/handsome, and that you no longer need your mask/s. Why? Because in the words of Lady Gaga, “Baby, you were born that way.”

Thank you and have a great day,

Dawn Laffoon

Lost In Translation

Have you ever had a day where you thought “Why does my child/children hate me?” Well if you know how to be a good parent then guess what, you have most likely asked yourself that hundreds of times. Why do I say that? Well it’s quite simple really, you’re doing something right.

Kid’s act out, act up, throw fits and so much more. As parents it’s our job to know why our kids are doing this. But most importantly it’s the kid’s job to do these things. See kids do these things at different stages for different reasons. Why? To test us. See every day not only are our kids learning new things but so should we.

When a child is still young (under age 8) and you’re out at a store with him/her, and a fit starts you need to ask yourself,

  1. Does he/she need it or want it?
  2. Can I afford it?
  3. Why do I think my child want’s this?

Now those first two will be the simple ones to answer. It’s that 3rd one that will be tricky. So now I have a true story for you.

One day my oldest son, an adult family member, a minor family member and myself had gone to a local department store to buy household needs. My son and I do arts and crafts together, so we go to that department to “window shop”.  He spot’s a “Paint my Number Sun Catcher”,

“Mommy can you buy me this?”

I know he wants this, he/we have some at home undone, and I won’t know if I can afford it until I am done shopping. So I tell him, “I am sorry sweetie I don’t know if I have the money for it, but maybe I can come back later and buy it, Okay?” He breaks down crying, and starts to beg and plead with me. “Mommy please, you can buy my shoes later, and these ones still work” he sobs. This is breaking my heart but I stand firm. “Sweetie, you need your shoes, we can get the sun catcher later besides we still have some at home to finish. I know how much you want this one I can see that, but right now it has to be a no.”

Now you should notice that I addressed those 1st two “Ask Yourself Questions” But I didn’t touch the most important question, why do I think he wants this? Well I never did buy that sun catcher, but the adult family member that was with us did, and after I said no to my son. This upset me more than telling my son no, more then not having the money to buy it, and much more than the crying fit inside the store. But after my son and I got home I got the answer to that 3rd question.

“Mommy I wanted to make this for you, because I love you and it’s so pretty. I want you to have it.”

Oh that was a heartbreaking moment for me. So he wanted to make it as a gift. Now some of you might think that I should have just bought him the sun catcher. Others might think I should be thankful to the adult family member for buying it for my son. There are others probably thinking what was the point in the story?

The point in the story is that I didn’t find out when I should have why my son wanted something. That was my job, knowing the why.

Now on to a teenage issue. Teens and school. How to deal with the teenager that doesn’t want to go to school.

Before I start my story, let see the Ask Yourself Questions.

  1. Why do I think my teen/s don’t want to go to school?
  2. What has happened that I don’t know?
  3. Is there and what could the underlying issue be?

So my youngest son loves school, hates reading, and has a learning disability. A couple of years ago when he entered the 7th grade I feared that the mean kids would bully him. Well as it turned out I was right to fear that. What I didn’t know at that time was that he was picked on to the point that he never dealt with the normal 7th grade angst. The oh crap a new school, new people, and what 6 classes with different teachers for each class stuff. So that hit him when he entered the 8th grade.

So much that he started getting stress sick all of the time. He wanted nothing to do with school. So after going most of the year going back and forth with him, his teachers, the councilor and almost having to fight the school board we got to the bottom if his issue. He didn’t want to go to school to get teased. He didn’t understand certain things being taught. Teachers didn’t know how to help. I was even at a bit of a loss.

I mean how can you make someone do something that they truly don’t want to do. Where that person does not feel safe. As a person it’s hard, as a parent it is difficult. You must first put yourself into that persons place. See things from there point of view. Otherwise you will not get it. You can try to pull the “I have been there, done that” crap but you have not. Think about it. When you went through it you were not the other person. You were not learning the same thing’s or learning them the same way, exp. New core math.

Anyway I got a bit off topic, after all I did title this Lost in Translation. Why did I title this that? Well because as a village we have failed our children. We have lost sight of a key component in child rearing, family and relationships on the whole. Now what is that key component you ask? It is called Communication. So back to the ages and stages, the acting out, the boundary breaking, attitude having, non-respecting child/children. All of it, every last bit comes down to real, true communication. Those of you parents out there that say my child/children are disrespectful, you the parent need to pull your head out. Respect is a multi-road idea. You cannot expect respect from your child/children if you do not give/show them respect. Why? Because they learn first from you, you the parent are your child’s first teacher. You either show them how to have respect of you will never have it from your child. Plan and simple.

I have a few friends that will ask me, “Why do you let your son disrespect you?” Well neither of my sons have even been disrespectful. How does that work? It is quite simple. I have taught my sons that if I do something that they don’t like, they have the right to tell me. As I have the right to do the same to both of them. If I want them to be honest with me, I must first be honest with them. If I do it or have done it, I cannot expect them not to. They learn by my actions, my mistakes, they’re actions and they’re mistakes. There is nothing wrong, nor disrespectful about that.

Not only that but my sons and I talk about everything. Not much is off the table when we are talking. And if they ask me a question I answer it as best as I can. If I don’t know the answer I tell them that I am not sure and either I or we look it up. That way we can all learn something new.

Now I will tell you that my approach to parenting is not for everyone. But with me being a single mom that is disabled I find that my approach can be a better option for people. I don’t have the money to buy my sons everything they want, and you know what that’s a great thing. Because by them not having things handed to them they have or are learning how to work for what they want. So much so that my eldest son, during his High School days had thrown away the idea of ever going to college. Well due to some research and hard work, not only did he finish High School. But after two short weeks after he graduated High School he started his first day in college. Now he has his Associate’s Degree and is preparing to start classes for his Bachelor’s Degree. All without a penny from any family member. And I could not be any prouder of him.

So again I have last my topic. Do you know the best way to communicate with your child/children? Well do you have similar likes or hobbies? For my sons and myself we have computers and videogames. What a lot of people don’t learn about communication is that a lot of it can be done in the space of a moment. After all when a baby is first born its first communication is when it cries. That baby is telling you so much with its very first cry. It’s cold, wet, hungry, and wants to be held to feel its mom and her warmth and feel safe and loved. All with a single cry. As that baby grow and begins talking, it will communicate with its fingers and then words. It’s our job as the parent to know what that finger is pointing at and what the words are. As long as you never stop learning what your child/children is pointing at, and what they are trying to tell you then you will always be communicating.

Did you know that the best way to communicate with your child/children is to, get this, just be there? Kids don’t want the next coolest tech gadget, they want your time. So the next time your son or daughter comes in to bug you, stop what you’re doing and start communicating. Because after all if you expect them to drop what they are doing to do something you ask them to do, you have to be willing to do the same. Why is your child/children being disrespectful? Because you’re not respecting them. Why is your child/children hiding things from you? Because you’re hiding things from them.

So in closing if you want honest, respectful, and communicating child/children then you must be honest, respectful, and communicating parents. Otherwise it is not their fault if they’re not meeting your expectations because you are the ones that are in fact setting the example for them to follow. So next time you think about getting onto your kids for their behavior ask yourself. Am I showing this behavior? Am I the one that is being dishonest? Am I the one that is being disrespectful? Am I the one that is failing to communicate?

Thank you,

Dawn Laffoon

Teen and Parents

Dear readers,

I am currently working on a few new articles for this blog. Please be patient with me, seeings how blogging is new and different for me.

If you would like information, tips, ideas, or answers to issue’s please feel free to leave a comment. I would be happy to answer any and all comments/ questions you might have.

I should be posting some articles here in the next few day’s. If you want to know when something has been posted feel free to follow this blog. I do post updates blog posts to my Twitter @TubbyTilly77, as well as my Facebook and Google + accounts.

Until next time,

Dawn

Spoiled vs. Earned It

Do you have a spoiled child, or an earned it child? Well sometimes it is hard to tell which is which. I know that with my son’s, my eldest is a total earned it type. While my youngest is still on the teeter-totter, it always changes.

With my eldest son he understands money to the core, valuing it down to the ½ cent. When he wants or needs something, he will only ask if he has most of the money for it or if he can work it off. Other than that he does what he needs to in order to earn the money he needs. Such as he just recently bought all the parts needed to build a PC from the ground up. How did he pay for it? He was working as a math tutor while going to college. That is how he has been most of his 20 years and I couldn’t be prouder.

With my youngest son he understands that money doesn’t grow on trees, but he truly wishes that it did. When he wants or needs something he starts asking and planning on little things he could do for the money. Such as:

Son 2: “Mom can I sell my old stuff so I can get something.”

Me: “First off what is it that you want to buy?”

Son 2: “Well some stuff.”

Me: “Well in that case how about no, but you could do your chores and earn some money that way. That way you can figure out what you want or while you remember what it was you wanted.”

Son 2: “Ugh fine never mind.” Walks away, few minutes later. “Mom do you have $2.00”

Me: “Um I am not sure, I take it you remembered what you wanted.”

Son 2: “Yea I was wondering if…….”

Me: “You want to go a get a pop or a treat huh?”

Son 2: “Yea how did you know?”

Me: “Because it’s no longer yesterday and still not quite tomorrow.”

LOL I just read that to my youngest and he is all “yep that’s about right, ok good night.” Um dude you have been awake for 45 minutes and it’s after 11:00 am. Oh I love my son’s, they have an awesome comedic value.

Now as the topic implies this is all about finding out and or helping you to help your child/children to be more earned it than spoiled. Yes I know I still need to work on this myself with my youngest, and trust me we are working on it.

If your child says to you that they want to earn money for anything be happy that they want to earn it. Feel free to ask them “what can you think of to earn money?” this is an important question guys. It will allow you to find out what your child knows about work, what they might be limiting themselves to and so on. Also remember that jobs need not always be age appropriate because let’s face the truth kids today are a lot older then we were at their age, well most of the time they are.

Also chores can be negotiated. That’s right by negotiating chores and payment for said chores you are teaching your child about worth. Example your 14 year old wants a video game that costs $60.00, you ask “How much do you think a $60.00 video game is worth?” Depending on the answer will depend on how you start your negotiation, and whether or not you add any conditions such as missed chores = drop in earnings.

The best way to devalue your child when they want to earn money for stuff, is by giving them money for nothing, money for holidays, money for birthdays and so on. If they tell you that they want to earn it then let them earn it. Then when those days come where it’s a holiday or birthday ask them “what would you like for holiday/birthday?” if you get the “I don’t know/don’t care” answer then give them an option. Let them pick between things such as clothes, gift cards, or cash. Whatever they’re answer is that is what you do that time. By doing it that way they still get what they need and want, learn how to earn it, and learn about worth and value.

You know what when you devalue your child by not letting them earn it when they want to earn it to prove it to themselves that they can, you are in a way spoiling by just handing it to them. I would know, see back when I was young I was spoiled. When my dad was alive, all I had to do was walk into the room and say “Hi Daddy” and he reached right for his wallet and would hand me $5.00 to $20.00 every time. It was so bad that to this very day, if I say “I love you” to certain members of my family they ask me flat out “What do you want?” It hurts me every time because I am trying to tell them that I love them, but because I didn’t have to earn it when I was young, they think I want things and I just want them to KNOW THAT I LOVE THEM and that’s all. So please never devalue your child/children, don’t spoil when they want to earn it.

Thank you until next time,

Dawn

Stressed Out Teenagers

Are you a parent of a teen/s? Are you a teenager going “I wish people understood that I am stressed the hell out”? Well guess what everybody has stress. Some yes more than others. Some even have great coping skills, others not so much.

Well I am in a mood, so today I am going to tell you about stress. Firstly STRESS is very real, and can be very dangerous to your health if not dealt with the right way. So what are positive ways to release stress? Well for one it’s called PARENTS HEAR YOUR TEEN/S WHEN THEY TALK, YELL, SCREAM, CRY, GET IN TROUBLE, and most importantly when they are quite. You will notice that I said Hear and not Listen, it’s because believe it or not there is a difference.

Secondly parents, our teens stress needs to be addressed because they have it, and guess what some of it is you’re doing. Yes that’s right, if they are blaming you for their stress good chance they’re right and you are very wrong. (Remember I am a mom) I know what I am talking about. I have been on all ends of this issue. I know as a parent you’re stressed out, what with work, bills, kids, and so on. I know many are not going to want to hear this but if you want to help and understand your teen/s you have to remember today’s teen stress is new and worse in some cases compared to when we were teens.

See a lot of us parents have either forgotten the stress that we had as teens, or it was just a horrible time for you so you choose to not remember, and or we shrug it off like “that stress is nothing compared to the stress I have now”. Well I bet you that if you would acknowledge that time in your life truly you would understand half of the stress your teen/s is going through right now. Quite a lot of things yes are the same, but so many things are so much different.

When you’re an adult your stress at work is different than a teens stress in High School. How is that? As an adult, your living outside your parents’ house, you don’t have chores that are time sensitive, you don’t have 8 hours’ worth of homework, you don’t have siblings/animals that you have to tend with, and most importantly your parents telling you things like “you need to do better, get your grades up, good grades = good college = good job with good wages” and the like. Just to name a few things.

I mean don’t get me wrong that is all well-meant and all, but do our teens need to really be reminded at school, and at home that grades matter. Yes grades matter, but not if the teacher’s all grade differently, or grade based on only certain things. When it comes down to how they are graded than grade don’t matter or at least they shouldn’t matter to the point that they do. Then there is the college thing, yes I said thing. Why, well because most schools now start talking about college around 3rd grade, so why should you hammer college into your teens head. They already know about it. What is wiser is to start a discussion about what your teen thinks about when they think of the word college. What can they see themselves doing in college? What type of college do they feel is the right fit for them, and so on?

We had clicks, and so do our teens. Again some are the same but some have changed or are completely different. But not everyone is a part of a click, and some are part of many clicks. I know I was. No matter what though a click is a group of peers one way or another. So let’s move past that.

Homework, what are teachers and parents thinking. Most if not everything that your teens need to learn to get past the 12th grade and farther is learned in the classroom. The rest of the grading is showing up to class, answering questions when called on, being a part of the classroom discussions, and so on. All of which is done at school. Homework is practice and review, and that’s about it. But yet parents are always saying, “Do you have homework, is your homework done” and so on. Then we parents try to help with that homework and guess what, we have no clue. Guess what parents if you want to help you kids/teens with homework you might just want to think about quitting your job and going back to school just so you know what they are working on. Most of which will NOT help them in the REAL world.

I mean have you seen your kids/teens spelling. They don’t teach spelling like they used to. Over 50% don’t even know how to sign their name. Thank the tech world that they can do an E-Signature otherwise they just might grow up just to be an educated homeless adult, but hey at least they have an education right.

Ok sorry got a little off topic, after all this one is on stress not how schools are failing our students.

So you’re stressed out because of your job. Guess what School is your teen/s job of course they’re stressed. Your boss is asking you for your account report (or whatever your job in tales). Guess what the teachers are saying, things like “where is your homework, why are you late, why are you being disruptive, why, why, why, what are you going to do with your life, what are you doing with your life, what is so hard to understand, you were here yesterday it’s not my fault you didn’t this, that, or the other thing”. You’ve had 20+ years to make your friends, yet your teen finds it hard to make friends. You’re thinking “I wonder what so and so wants to do this weekend”, yet your teen is thinking, “Man I wish I had someone I could hang out with this weekend”.

You’re parents call to see how life is treating you. Your teen is doing homework and you ask “do you need help”, them “yes I could use some help with my blah, blah, blah.” You “can I see it I never had that class”, them “ok/never mind”, you “fine just finish your homework, and don’t forget you have this and that do to, and did you remember to do this”. Your teen is now thinking “if you knew that you might not be able to help why bother me and then bitch about everything that I need to do, shit I have to be in bed in 3 hours and I still have 3 classes to do, on top of everything else. I am useless”. Yep that’s right that is what happens when your teen has too much stress. It is called stress has turned to depression. Guess what you were too stressed out about work, and the kind of job you hope your teen can get to see it, that is a shame. And what’s worse is your teen/s is so stressed out that they are starting to get sick.

Your teen/s are missing a lot of school. It is passed the time to talk WITH them. You need to be able to talk when they need to talk. You need to be present but not in their face. “Mom, Dad I have a problem, do you have a minute?” YES YOU HAVE A MINUTE, if you don’t then to bad take a minute to find out if and how you might be able to help. Don’t put it off. Don’t make them wait, because you will find that your teen/s will lose respect for you as a parent. Now I know I just hit a button for some but it’s the truth. Respect from your teens is giving fully, as long as you’re the parent they need. Not any one way is right for all. Parenting as a whole is not one size fits all with anything, and no one is prefect.

So I think that’s enough for now, hope this helps at least one person. Teens out there, remember everyone has stress, and you are not useless. Parents remember teens are stressed out, and they want to talk but your busy, so slow down and give them a minute.

Until next time,

Dawn

via laffoonslagoon.

Hello world and welcome to The Laffoon’s Lagoon.

Hello and welcome to my blog. Please bare with me while I get started. This is my first time blogging. So first off a little bit about me.

I am a 37 year old, single mom of two wonderful young men. The eldest of which I recently got the privilege to watch graduate from college. Yes that is correct, I was a teenage mother. I also have a learning disability so I am sorry if my wording is not very easy to understand, and I am very long winded.

My vision for this blog is to talk about my issues, your issues, my thoughts, proud mom moments, and whatever else comes to mind. However I warn you all now. I can have some very strong feelings, and opinions on things.

Please feel free to comment, ask questions, share ideas, and follow me. I hope to make this blog fun, but hey sometimes fun can’t happen. I also hope to post regular blog posts, but I do share my laptop with my youngest son.

So until next time,

Dawn