Episode 158- But He Started It

So the month of December for us, it’s probably our most frustrating month as parents. Let me explain why. We’ve been homeschooling now for four years and all the preconceived notions about homeschooling, about socialization, how are they going to meet other kids? That all, just a crazy rumor perpetuated by, I don’t know who, because our kids are crazy social, there is so much stuff going on. So many different activities. Sports, they play with different kids outings at the museum or rollerskating, co-ops and just regular get-togethers. So trust me when I say that homeschooling is not sitting in our living room with desks lined up while they do traditional school every day. And we’ve been fortunate that after Christmas, every year we leave for a couple months and we go out West or we go South to explore the countryand get out of the cold to Pittsburgh. And we do a lot of the people like to call world schooling.

And to me that’s the best type of schooling- you’re learning outside with your hands in these places. Doing and seeing things instead of just reading it in a textbook. But December, I don’t know why actually I do, but December has been rough on us because not only are we preparing to leave, but it’s the first month where the kids are just jammed inside. That’s the month with the activities really slow down and we are home together in the house more than any other month. And for those of you with kids, as they get bigger, our house seems to be getting smaller. Our 14 year old almost doubled in size the last year and everybody’s getting a lot louder and December is the one month where we kind of start going stir crazy and when this starts happening there’s a lot more picking on each other. Arguing he said, he said, and just little problems that don’t happen when they’re outside in the yard or outside and open air and they’re running around a lot more.

And a few weeks ago, it was a Thursday afternoon, the kids got into an argument. It was our two oldest kids. They both came back to us. They said he started it, the other one said no, he started it and then one of them retaliates and gets in trouble and they go back to the argument of he started it and I tried to teach my kids even when we would watch sports, sometimes you look at hockey, the person that goes into the penalty box is not necessarily the person that started it, but they’re the person that retaliated. And to me that’s a life lesson. People are always going to start something, but how do you respond to it? That’s what really matters and that’s going to determine what are the things go well for you or they don’t. So that night I took our oldest son to go to a pet store to get a new scorpion.

Yes, I said scorpion. He’s got scorpions and tarantulas and that’s a whole different podcast. But on the way back, we remember that the Steelers were playing the Browns that night. It was a Thursday night game and we watched the first half. We got the kids ready for bed and we all went to sleep. And even though I’m a Steeler fan, I’m not going to stay up till 12 o’clock watching the game. So I went to sleep. It was probably at the end of the third quarter and I woke up to this crazy news that there was this big brawl in the game right near the end and one of the players on the Browns, miles Garrett ripped off the helmet from Steelers quarterback, Mason Rudolph and proceeded to take it and to swing it at his head and a huge brawl came from that. Garrett got kicked out of the game along with Maurcise Pouncey from the Steelers who then attacked Garrett and it was just a big giant mess.

So this dominated not only the sports headlines but the news headlines for a couple of days. It turned out that Garrett got suspended for the rest of the season and then indefinitely they had to reinstate him for next year for him to even play again because of what he did. And then something quite interesting happened. That was a great lesson to teach our kids fans of the Browns or people that don’t like the Steelers started saying, well they started it because as you watch the replays after Rudolph was tackled, him and Garrett started scuffling on the ground and Rudolph was pulling at Garrett’s helmet. And quite honestly, it’s a ridiculous defense and it truly is an awful lesson just for society to teach because what it’s basically saying is, well somebody started something so it’s okay for us to do something much worse. And there truly are people defending somebody who swung a helmet and another guy’s unprotected head that could have caused serious damage because they say that he started it.

And even though I’m a Steeler fan, this isn’t a Steelers-Browns thing. So then as it is with the news cycle, it never ends. And someone is always looking to make money off of something. A couple days later, t-shirts are printed in Cleveland saying Pittsburgh started it. And it was around the same time going on with our December craziness that the kids were going at it with each other again saying he started it and I got to sit them down and tell him the entire story and get to show him the video. And they were like, Whoa, that’s crazy. And I said, yeah, but can you believe there are people actually saying that that’s okay because this other person started it. And they were like, no. I’m like, truly, there’s always somebody looking to defend something and not take the blame. And I said to them, that’s what you sound like.

And when you leave this house, as you grow up, I want you to constantly take full responsibility for your actions. People that blame others never succeed. Now they feel good in the short term, but you know, nobody’s going to trust them because they’re never going to take responsibility for themselves. So after the years of trying to teach this whole, he started thing, that was the thing that finally got through to them. Seeing it like that and seeing the video of that. And the best part for me as a football fan is Steelers played the Browns about two weeks later and the Steelers won. So now guess what? There’s t-shirts being printed in Pittsburgh and people are already wearing it that says, Pittsburgh finished it. I’ll be back with you tomorrow.

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