The Holidays are a time filled with stress.
And one of the biggest sources of this stress is in the purchasing of gifts for ones family and friends.
This past week, I've been spending a lot more time at malls and shops with friends and cousins searching for the perfect presents for their loved ones.
This time has given me the opportunity to notice several things that I've seen but I never really paid any attention to (counterfeit money, unfit people in fitness gear, Purell on everything...).
But the thing I noticed most was the over-purchasing of gifts by parents who seemed as though they were attempting to compensate for their lack of parenting skills.
These parents were adults who spent less time with their children than they did watching their favorite reality television shows.
These were parents who spent less time helping their children with their homework than they did complaining about the results.
These were parents who spent more time at work related social events than they did at the kitchen table eating meals with their children.
These were parents who own the best brands they know of instead of paying bills on time.
These were parents who could name more characters on The Real Hoodrats of the ATL than they could the names of their children's friends.
These were parents who confused being a good source of goods with being a good parent.
I know, I know... every parents wishes to give their children the things which they felt they missed out on during their childhood.
But the thing these parents seem to miss is that it was the values passed from their parents or environment (not the goods) which allowed them to go on to attain a lifestyle which afforded them the means to make such purchases.
Often, when I engage these parents and children, the parents notice that these kids seem to snap to attention whenever I walk into the room.
The parents often ask why this is the case.
But the answer to this question is simple.
It's because I spend time with these kids.
I talk with these kids.
I relate to these kids.
I've built a reputation and rapport with these kids.
But I don't play.
Kid's don't run things with me.
It's odd, willful kids seem to respond to discipline.
Kids seem to respond to The Boss - as opposed to someone who is just bossy.
Kids seem to work for and with people who work - not just someone who gives directions from a distance without further input until something has gone wrong.
Kids do what you inspect, not what you expect.
Kids seem to need a leader who teaches them to one day become leaders themselves.
Kids trust honesty.
But these parents don't seem to get it.
These kids need parents who are responsible parents - not parents who are irresponsible friends.
Until these parents realize these things, they will always be buying gifts which are beyond their financial means.
They will always be spending more on their child's 5th Birthday party than they do on their rent.
They will always be in Make Up Mode but never get the results they desire.