If you could have 3 Parenting “do overs” what would you do differently? Part 2.
Results from our Informal Survey…
A lot of Doug’s advice struck a chord for me- the 3 things I took from his memorial service were:
1.) LIVE FOR TODAY. Do not dwell on the past, learn from your mistakes, but do not let them haunt you. Do not get caught up in the future. LIVE for the PRESENT! If you make today a success the success will continue into the future.
2.) COACH/MENTOR- take an active role in your children’s interests. Doug coached his last lacrosse game for his younger son’s team just a few weeks before he past away. His boys did not win that day, but they still felt like winners. Doug taught them that what was important was that they played their best, had fun, and had love & respect for their teammates and their competitors. Doug was in the habit of asking his team- “What is my job?” They would respond- “to love us.” “What is your job?” “to love each other.” I am not sure where Doug got these mottos but the point was- teaching & mentoring kids is great for the kids- but was also incredibly rewarding for Doug.
3.) LET GO OF REGRET’S! As tragic of a loss as it was to lose Doug at such a young age- he did get an incredible gift- his diagnosis forced him to let go of regrets. Every man has things he wishes he did differently but we are forgiven for our mistakes- and we should not dwell on them.
Anyhow- sorry for the long response- but these are some of the things I learned from my buddy Doug. And even though he was a “Man’s man” he was never embarrassed to say- “I love you Man!’ and neither am I.
Being a grandparent of two provides remarkable insight into my parenting background. Between my wife and I, we have grown daughters and all that comes with it.
1. I would be more relaxed about encouraging my offspring to explore and think for themselves.
2. I would instill less fear of uncertainty
3. That’s it because, while parenting was a “surprise” for me in my mid-thirties, I can’t imagine life without having at least one child.
Nothing! That doesn’t mean that I was a perfect parent. I simply would go through that season with the faith that carried me through it the first time. I believe that each child has his/her own spirit, soul, mind, emotion and will. I’d to my best, with the help of the Holy Spirit, to guide that child in the direction of their bent. I have noticed little consistency between what we may consider “great” parenting and how kids turn out. Raising a child is such an act of “trusting God” and a daily dose of humility as those little innocent creations remind us that we are not God and that we need to depend on Him all the more. What a terrifying responsibility…to bring a child into the world via birth or to parent via the blessing of adoption. Yet, having said all of that…I’d do it again in a heartbeat.