As parents we all want what's best for our children. The even bigger question is do we really know what that is? I mean, of course we know our children better than anyone...right? Have you ever sat them down and just asked their opinions about certain things? Life? Money? Pre-martial sex? Drugs? Alcohol? I've asked my kids about some of these things and I've been shocked (to say the very least) with their answers. They’re so much more in tune than we realize… well – at least more than I realized.
Ultimately, as much as we are the gate-keepers of all that we survey, we also need to take some time to listen to our kids' point of view. Young people want us to listen. They also want to be praised for who they are and what they accomplish. The sad fact is if we don't listen and give them the positive attention that they require, they'll get our attention another way...probably not the way we would choose them to.
Hey! Is anyone listening?!? !
Don't get it twisted... I don't have all the answers and I am frequently reminded of how much I fall short as a parent. That aside, I am a common sense person and even in writing this post, I am helping myself become a better father, coach, and confidant. I’m reminded of the adage, "it takes a village" to raise a child and to a point, yes it does. I would argue that it also takes a whole lot of patience and understanding of who our children are as human beings. Unfortunately sometimes the villagers (coaches, teachers, ministers, etc.) are more in tune with who our children are than we are.
At the end of the day, we get one shot at being the best possible parent we can be - I'm not a licensed parent/family-therapist/doctor/shrink/guru -person. I'm just a dad trying to figure it all out in hope that I'm giving my children the best version of me... they deserve that.