As I read Tracy’s piece this morning I was reminded how we are so effected by what our kids do and say.  We take personal responsibility for everything.  Now one might think, well yeah you should, you are their parents.  But…if you are a parent, you know that no matter how much you parent and think you have said and done all the right things, kids still have their own minds. 

My neighbor and friend told me about a situation that occurred with her son when he was in 8th grade.  He normally makes good decisions, but not this day.  He and his friends thought it would be neat to take some caps off of car tires.  Apparently there was a specific car that came with gold or silver caps which were a hot commodity. How much more perfect could it get? There was the car parked at Dunkin Donuts with the special caps.  So, they decided to take them and run. Even the best planned hoists run into snags sometimes. The owner of the car caught them.  The police and parents were called but no charges were filed.  Whew!  Though just like in the good ol’ days, the wrath of his parents were much more punishment than even the police could give.

After his mom was done with him, it was his dad’s turn. He lectured him and told him how embarrassing it was to him and his mom. At that point, mom jumped back in and said, “Oh no, he didn’t embarrass me, he embarrassed himself.  I didn’t raise him like that.”

Genius!  She’s right!  There is only so much we can do.  I know it’s easier said than done, but I am trying to keep that in mind at every turn, especially as kids get older, experiment, get silly, do stupid things…

I just thought I would share because I think it’s a story worth repeating.  Though things seem small now, they will get bigger.  What is it they say…smaller kids=smaller problems, bigger kids=bigger problems.   We try so hard and do our best as parents and no matter how well we do, some things are beyond our control.  Place blame where it should be placed.  Try not to beat yourself up too much. 


9 thoughts on “Parenting

  1. Excellent advice! I am already worried about how things will be when Aubrey is older…but I think you and your friend are absolutely right. We can only instill in them our values and beliefs and then hope and pray that they make qwise decisions.

  2. Your message is spot on. I think I did a pretty good job with my kids, but I always tried to keep this thought in the back of my mind: Never say never! We raise them, but they do have minds of their own and they do make mistakes. Mine did. Every kid does.

  3. This is so true!! I have to remind myself that they have a mind of their own as well. I can only give them the best advice possible. They will decided when to use my advice. Great slice!

  4. This is great advice! Hopefully I won’t have to modify this line, “Oh no, he didn’t embarrass me, he embarrassed himself. I didn’t raise him like that.” that often, but I’m glad I have it in my back pocket so I don’t blame myself when my daughter eventually does something that I don’t like. I know I’m teaching her well. It’s important not to beat ourselves up. Thanks for the reminder!

  5. I think this advice can be taken to many other levels. I strongly believe we need to be able to tell ourselves, at all times, that we did our best. Best parenting, best work, best loving, best playing, and on-and-on. After that we need to sit back and let things happen as they will. I can see this especially in the parenting realm. Definitely!

  6. He embarrassed himself. Wow. I hope I have the steadfastness to keep my cool if my boys ever pull those stunts – which they totally will. I hope they fail but learn and don’t get arrested… Great end message!

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