Waking the Walker

A mother's quest to survive her son's "zombie" years – aka his teens.

Tag: Rick and Carl

What Would Carl Do?

It was these very words that sparked a new way of parenting for me fours years ago, and became the catalyst for this blog.


As any parent knows, dealing with a teenager creates a whole new level of challenges. As the hormones kick in, that once sweet, little, abiding child becomes a disconnected, zoned out, somewhat disrespectful foot-dragging walker. Testing you at every turn.

One has to get creative when approaching such a creature.

Zombie Teen

Just as I was at my wits end, it entered my mind that maybe, just maybe, by using “The Walking Dead” (our new found bonding agent) as a tuning fork, I could break through the teen brain fog and make a connection that my son would understand.

My Son had already connected to the character of Carl Grimes, the teenager on the show, so that was where I turned first.

With that in mind, I thought what better a way than then to ask, “What would Carl do?” at the times my Son was slacking and not carrying his share of the load. Or just plain not making wise choices about how he uses his time, particularly with schoolwork due.

The first time I said it, my Son heard me, immediately, and gave me a strange look, like “what are you up to?” I just smiled, said think about it and walked away.

Over time these words have evolved based on what Carl was up to on “The Walking Dead.” Some seasons Carl has been a beaming example for my Son, other seasons he proved to be “What Not To Do” and I used both to my advantage.

Yes, at times my Son got annoyed, but because he was annoyed, I knew he knew what I was getting at.

Of course Carl wasn’t the only character that made for great examples. There is a huge cast on TWD, with characters behaving badly and saintly, all of which make for examples. The subject matter of the show, surviving a zombie apocalypse, sets up for a plethora of behaviors ripe for the picking.

Some may think I’m crazy for even considering such a notion as to use fictitious characters as examples of what to do or not do in life, but I can honestly say I’ve seen growth with my Son since adopting this tactic.

Read the rest of this entry »

It’s a Matter of Trust

With third marking period grades in, it’s obvious my son has pulled himself up and out of the ashes of last marking periods troubling report card. Yes, even kids with gifted IQ fall off the good grade wagon, especially as the subject matter gets more challenging and they’re use to not having to put in much effort because school work always came easy. This issue has caused my son to hit the wall quite a few times in middle school. Add to this the issues of poor planning, not willing to ask for help or distractions, particularly of the electronic type. As with all kids, when my son applies himself he does quite well. The problem is getting him to apply himself when his mind keeps wandering to the world of Minecraft, Pokemon or Skylanders. His desire to live in the electronic world, whether it’s simply surfing the great wide web or playing video games, far exceeds his desire to give more than the minimal when it comes to his school work. Not that he doesn’t like school. He loves learning. His mind is a sponge. He just doesn’t want to do the work that comes with it. He wants to learn the info, process it and move on. Especially anything that involves writing. Go figure. A kid who loves to read and whose Mother loves to write, hates writing, even though he has great potential. Sorry, I’m meandering. As you can see, this subject brings me great frustration and is well worth a post unto itself.

Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_9031682_an-image-of-a-three-children-mesmerized-while-playing-video-games.html'>cteconsulting / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Zombified Video Game Players

Back to the troubling grade issue. My sons poor report card lead to a complete ban of all things electronic. Mom became the keeper of his laptop, iPod Touch, wii remotes, and DS’s. (He has 3 – regular, 2D and 3D. Why? Who knows, when he went into a long dissertation about why he needed the 2DS in addition to the other two, my eyes glazed over and I began to drool like Patrick from Sponge Bob. My only response was, “Whatever, it’s your money.”) Sorry, meandering again. During this ban, he was only allowed to use his laptop for school work and when I was present. There was much whining at times, particularly during his down time. He would infer there wasn’t anything to do. At that point, I would tell him I would get rid of all his Legos, art stuff, books, guitar, African drum, board games, etc… I’m sure you get my point. My goal was to hopefully have him reconnect with the things that motivated him before video games entered his world. Note, I tried hard to keep these “brain sucking” devices out of our home. My son was 7 when he got his first game system, a DS, which in gamer years is old. The wii didn’t enter our home till he was 12 and I was hesitant because I had already seen addictive behavior rearing it’s ugly head when he played the DS. All the other devices were purchased, in the past two years, with money he saved from birthdays and Christmas. That in itself is a worthy trait, it’s just too bad the money is usually spent on electronics. Read the rest of this entry »

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