April 28, 2013
Your parents are the most important people you will ever know.
Get things right with them, and you’ll be poised for success.
By “right” I mean embark on the ongoing journey to develop your skills by loving, honoring, enjoying, and negotiating with them.
If you don’t, if you settle for on-going conflict, you will probably spend a lifetime engaged in conflicts large and small with others, especially with those whom you love.
Your parents are the springboards for everything.
Treat them well.
Of course I am well aware that not all parents are committed to their children or deserve the kind of respect and effort I am suggesting.
In very unusual circumstances, parents have been particularly evil. This is so unusual and I’d encourage young people from such families to communicate with me directly.
Yes. Your imperfect mother and father, with all their faults and failings, are the perfect training ground for you to learn and discover almost everything you need to know about how life works.
Get what you can, while you can – in faith, in humility, and with grace.
The rewards are timeless.
April 24, 2013
A man responds to the column of April 22, 2013 about being a stepfather…..
“You are correct. You will never replace you step children’s father. The children did not ask for the divorce or for you to be in their lives. Their mother will never put you ahead of her children, nor should she.”
I hear often that a mother will never place the new husband (in fact even the children’s father) before the children.
This is often touted as “good mothering.” While no counselor would suggest a parent ought to neglect children, there is a distinct difference between being a parent and a partner. It is a very healthy parent who exercises the difference.
There are conditions under which it is a healthy for parents to allow their primary commitment as a spouse to take priority over their commitments as a parent. Yes, you read correctly!
Just as it is a travesty to neglect a child, it is also a travesty to neglect a spouse, especially in the name of “putting the children first.”
I’ve seen parents hide behind “putting the children first” as a means to avoid the bravery required to be a full and functioning partner.
Sometimes it’s good for children to be in second, even third, or fourth place!