I have been involved in parenting for the past 30 years. That’s how old my oldest son, Wendell Jr., will be in 2013. My other sons Deshawn and Jonathan will be 19 and 9 respectively. This time has been a great learning experience for me.  I’m also very glad that changing diapers and keeping a gallon of milk in the refrigerator are a thing of the past. It seems like yesterday when I and their mothers were going to the grocery store to buy these items. I also remember how the cost for these items had risen with each child.

In 1983 a gallon of milk cost $1.89/gallon. In 1994 that same item increased to $2.29/gallon.  By the time Jonathan was born in 2004 a gallon of milk was $3.40/gallon.

The cost for raising kids is constantly increasing. Right now milk is almost $4.00/gal. It’s easy to see that having kids is becoming an expensive venture.

Along with the costs also come the changing needs of each child. In the beginning they all could not be alone. One of us had to be with them at every moment. Now Wendell Jr. and Deshawn move around without any help. In the morning I could talked to Deshawn while he was at home in Long Island. A few hours later he could be in Mid-town Manhattan. By early evening he could be waiting for his girlfriend who attends a school in Downtown Brooklyn.

Since Wendell Jr. has been driving for the past 10 years, it is possible for him to call me from anywhere.

I realize that Jonathan, at soon to be 9, will be moving around just like his brothers. No one stays at their age forever. As I got older they got older. Before I know it he will travel about New York City on his own just like his brothers.

As I move into 2013, I am becoming aware that the way I parent is changing.  There is no longer a need for me to hold their hand at each traffic light. I still however only cross the street with Jonathan when the light says it is OK to cross. You will be surprised at how many people cross the street completely unaware that cars are coming towards them. I need him for him to be aware and not become a statistic.

They are all at an age where the scope of our relationship has changed. There are many times when I need them to help me. That help can come in the form of using their muscles to carry grocery bags or it can come in the form of them helping me to use my technological toys more efficiently.

Just today Deshawn and I had a problem down loading a book he needs for school on his Kindle.  We worked together to correct the problem.

It’s amazing how times have changed in the last few years. When I went to college, it was a workout carrying all those books. Now kids can carry 4 or 5 books as files in something that weighs less than a pound.

I no longer have to tell them what to do. They are all at a stage in their lives where they have a good idea of what is wrong and what is right. Their mothers and I did a good job giving them the basics. We agreed that we wanted kids that would use their minds to the fullest. Sometimes we regret what we created because they waste no time in giving us their opinions.

In fact I am now very interested in what their opinions are. After all it has always been my goal for them to be independent thinkers.

They are all at an age where I can challenge their creative process. It has never been my goal for them to fulfill my dreams. I need them to pursue what is in their hearts. Just because I wanted to become a professional athlete is no reason to put that burden on their shoulders

Wendell Jr. and Deshawn have an idea of where they want to go and it has become my goal to help them get there. Jonathan is still very young but I try to expose him to a lot of different things. At this early age I will try to push him to find his niche. I didn’t do that with the other 2. Perhaps by starting with him at this age he can reach his goals much faster.

The one thing that has been a bonus is as I watch them go through their experiences; it helps me with the challenges of my life.

Recently I began a weight loss program. Wendell Jr. is also working on his weight and he gave me an app for my phone that he uses to track calories.  Now we can help each other as we move to get thinner.

2013 has made me aware that I can no longer treat my kids as babies. It has become clear that these kids are becoming functioning members of society. It has also become clear that this year I will be going down a new road of positive parenting.


I’m the guy whose glass is always 1/2 full.










  • I loved this posting because it was cute and fun to see a father’s point of view of his children’s lives changing in front of his eyes. I too think at the beginning of each year how big my daughter is getting and it amazes me how the cost of everything goes up as the grow. When you think about kids being expensive you know this already, but when reality hits how the cost at the store and with age changes it can make you want to scream. I say that each year as times change we have to realize as parents that are kids will grow up one day and cherish each moment that comes. Great post!

  • Thank you so much for promoting the notion of positive(ly) [minded] parenting: a trend that is slowly gaining more momentum, but is still in terribly short supply. Just because something is challenging doesn’t mean you can’t look at it from a positive place!

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