As a parent we have to understand the the next generation of children are going to be nothing like us. It’s just the way things go. However they do have our genes, some of our good qualities, a lot of our not so good qualities and a whole slew of what is presented to the them via media, piers and classmates.
However, what I have found over the years as a single dad is that no matter what, being honest with your children is the best way to harbor a well rounded and adjusted child.
As a single dad, I find my back against the wall when faced with hard questions and situations, with no live-in back up. With my oldest child I found that there were times where I would bend the truth or tell half truths with him. That was up until he was about 7. Thank the heavens that my mom came in like a super hero and told me, “No matter what you are going through or what happens, act like everything is normal”.
This is something that I remember as a child growing up, and I have to say that my life was less than normal, way less than normal. But I have no qualms with my life, nor do I hold anything against my dearly departed schizophrenic father. And I do have an uncanny feeling that it was because I felt that it was just a part of growing up.
I think the worse thing in my life would have been not knowing the truth about my family or being left in the dark whilst finding things out in my late 20’s, because that’s when we are most emotional about our family lives. After that, it’s kind of like, “Oh I have a family now, I get it”. But try to hash out any problems that you have before you get to this point because it’s just going to cause generational passed down drama. Ugh.
They will hear their own truths, be the one that empowers
Currently, I have 2 young boys, a 14 year old and a 6 year old. Both are going through their life crises, but I’ve noticed that things are a lot more serious and convoluted than when I was their age. And at there age we had no idea what a conscious kid was.
For example: My 6 year old’s teacher, let me know that my son is behind in class and that he may exhibit ADHD or ADD. Been there done that. I was a teacher myself, and I know for a fact that sometimes these things are misdiagnosed or over-diagnosed. Also, my oldest kid had a speech impediment and was also possibly classified as possible learning disorder, mainly because he was so quiet.
I found that whatever they classify or condemn my kids to, I as a parent must do my part in rectifying the problem. That is change diet, learn stillness, extra time spent on assignments, motivational pep talks and understanding what my child is thinking. And the most important thing!
Tell him the truth.
I did not pull punches when I told my child that his teacher thought him behind and or with a disfunction. And he is a pretty sharp 6 year old. I asked him questions if this is what he wants to be? He said no. I then told him that the only way to get away from this stigma is to be at the top of his class and that we would work towards this together, with lots of hard work.
So now starts lots of meditation, better eating, work outs, structure, less than 2 hours of media, tutoring and understanding the best way. Our parents should be our first teachers. And just remember when telling your child the truth, you have to back it up.
The saddest thing I ever heard from a 14 year old as he went from sleep to conscious
My 14 year old has been away for about 5 months do to the fear of covid. We spend a lot of time on the phone. But, because of his busy school schedule and uncertainty about the future for the past few months I have received no more than 2 phone calls from him.
The last phone call shook me to my knees but I had to be strong.
He called me late one night around 2 am, and said he needed to talk. upon speaking with him, I found out that home life wasn’t going so well and that his mom was stressed out because of work, he was uncertain about the future because of covid and that a friend of his only 2 hours prior had attempted to commit suicide and was unsuccessful, but after, she ran away from home and got hit by a car. She survived both, but my son being the stand up man that he is called the parents to notify them. It was a rough night for him.
The only words for him was that we all go one day, but to be there for his friend and tell her that he loves her. It would be such a shame to lose her because we are all part of humanity and to take one’s own life is akin to murder. Hey it hurts but I believe this.
Also when dealing with the not knowing the future, I think a lot of our preteens are missing the bigger picture about what’s going on with covid. That we have an opportunity to do things differently and change our lives and look within even if it hurts. This is the best part of going through trials and tribulations and for my son it is the best time for him because he will understand this sooner than I did.
I told him and worked out with his mom that he needs a huge change, that yes his life pretty much sucks right now, not because of him but because of the blocks that has been put on all of us. And that these things can be overcome in a safe way. “Let’s go camping, let’s go to the beach, let’s take a trip across country with our face masks.”
I could have told him that everything would be okay in his situation, but I couldn’t lie to him and because I couldn’t lie to him I have to back my words up with actions.
Don’t be embarrassed about your past – it could come in handy
I’ve found that even with my own idiosyncrasies that I have to be honest. Just as my mom told me that she did every drug imaginable in her youth, but was able to educate me about the perils of drugs when I went off to college. I trusted and adhered to every word of it, because she had been there. Remember, that you don’t have to blurt out every truth of your life during a child’s upbringing but allow each of your past truths to be a anecdote for situational lessons.
I think when my kids go to college or leave the nest, I’ll be able to tell them many of lessons from my past. Life wasn’t perfect nor was I, but It’s been a great life and it can be better for them from my mistakes.
NOTE: If you are dealing with a potentially suicidal youth or anyone please seek professional help. One of the best resources is the suicide prevention center. https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/suicide-prevention