I've been married for almost twenty-two years, fourteen of that as a parent. I am in the camp that can't believe that much time has gone by. It really feels like yesterday for all of the roles-husband and father.
Maybe like you, you have a child that participates in an activity or two. My two, are into dance and basketball. It's in those environments that I observe much. What has struck me in this new year is the impact of parenting. Specifically, when it fails and damages the child. No psych analysis here, just observations that are vivid if you look close enough.
Many children are trying to thrive in the midst of chaos and pain.
We here in America place a lot of pressure on children. From education to athletics, we want them to succeed. Even though most adults have a difficult time defining what true success is. Just the same, we put a lot of pressure on them.
Now add a broken family to the insanity.
For the life of me, I have no idea how we will survive this. I pray often on this. Most cultures don't survive what we've laid at our children's feet. A thirteen or 16 year-old is supposed to be able to handle divorce, grades, hormones, and the list goes on? And as you know, many of these children are alone in the management of the list.
Here's what I'm doing with my children:
- Pissing off a business partner when I have to take my son to basketball practice
- Sending myself a note via my iPhone everyday that reminds me to affirm
- Showing them how much I love their mother
- Laughter and humor
- Pray everyday for their needs
By the way, the above list used to be very alien to me. It took serious change in my life to move me forward. I am thankful.