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Dads2Dads: Some of it is just plain luck

Dads2Dads: Some of it is just plain luck

Posted: Thursday, May 30, 2013 8:00 pm

It is painful to read about news stories of teens and tragedy. It is disheartening to see the tragic consequences of youthful, careless behavior. It jars one’s senses to see photos of car crashes or find stories of missing children and know that some parents are bearing up under incredible pain and anguish. We shake our heads in dismay and disbelief at the sometimes horrific consequences of poor choices. And we find ourselves, as probably many other parents do, thinking how blessed we are when things go well. We also attribute much of it to luck.
Making it up as we go
So much of parenting is improvisation. It is trial and error, and one only hopes that errors leave room for do-overs. So much of rearing kids is planting seeds and uttering incantations over them. (Or are we just muttering to ourselves?) Moms and dads also have to turn their attention to other things. They have to make a living, pay bills, buy groceries, clean house, do taxes, keep appointments, get some sleep and, oh yes, maintain a marriage.
Make sure they know they matter
We parents know our kids pretty well. But none of us can control or predict the behavior of others who enter our kids’ world. In this age of social media, who doesn’t step into their world somewhere along the way? Most of us can recall a really good boy or girl who stepped over the line out of youthful exuberance or curiosity and paid the highest price. That’s why moms sit up at night and wait for that key to turn in the front door or garage door to grind open. That’s why dads hop in the other car and cruise the hot spots when curfew has expired. That’s why the state police get those frantic calls from parents in the middle of the night. We think every parent should be prepared to do any of the above and more.
Maximize love
to minimize luck
So much of good parenting is blind luck. But if luck is blind, so is love. The most effective way to keep the luck factor to a minimum is to increase the love factor to the maximum. And it must be unconditional. You can’t shadow your kids 24-7. You can’t pull strings and make them dance to your tune. You absolutely cannot control others who may trespass into your kid’s life. All you can do is make sure your children know you love them. Tell them. Show them. Reinforce it every chance you get.
Loving our kids
regardless
Even in the worst of circumstances, reflected often in the news, in which otherwise decent kids act without thinking, causing unbearable grief and guilt, one can only hope they have the loving arms of a parent to hold them. That may be the only thing that can save them.
Editor’s note: Tom Tozer of Nashville and Bill Black of Murfreesboro may be contacted at Dads2Dads@comcast.net. For more information, visit www.dads2dads.wordpress.com.

Published in The Messenger 5.30.13

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