Enabling Our Children to Fail
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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively – often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts – he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Enabling Our Children to Fail

Son,

Please forgive me. You mentioned in an earlier post that you “…occasionally found myself in trouble.” I share in the fault. I will give you the notion that you were an adolescent, seeking independence and control of your own life. I will give you that adolescents make some bad choices. But I have to own the idea that I kept rescuing you from your troubles – trying to prevent you from suffering the consequences of your choices – It is difficult for a parent to watch their child fall. The Navy rescued you from me.

When you called me from your ship to report that you were in trouble again, I was beside myself. I wanted to help – but I knew that the help I had offered in the past had sometimes been to your detriment. Hamlet surfaces again, “To call or not to call?” That was my question. I called the Department of the Navy and asked to speak to the Captain of the USS Carter Hall. I was surprised when they transferred me to your ship. I could not get past the Executive Officer. We had a nice conversation about maturity, mentoring, rescuing, and enabling. I confessed my sins to that man – I was acting out of faith in basic human integrity. He was very polite and professional, though not very reassuring. Then I waited.

Two days later you called to report on the outcome. I asked myself, “Have I rescued my son again? Should I stay out of my son’s life? Am I the main hindrance in my son’s growth?” On and on – the song of parenting.

We stumble along. Trying to do the best for our children. Sometimes we just make mistakes – sometimes our own craziness gets in the way. Sometimes we do the right thing. But we always love our children.

Dad

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