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Posts Tagged ‘raising grandkids’

Back in October, my oldest son broke his arm while playing high school football; and what I thought would be a relatively quick run to the emergency room turned into days of hospitalization and multiple surgeries.  Late on that first evening, while under the influence of some pretty strong pain medication, he said, “I wish this had never happened”.  And as he drifted off to sleep, I thought about how often life presents us with situations that we wish had never happened.  Sickness, injury, car trouble, divorce, unexpected bills, loss of a loved one, bad grades, getting laid off, missing the game winning shot, identity theft, unplanned pregnancy, a traffic ticket, betrayal, addiction…  It seems that the fabric of our days has many such threads woven into it. 

 

In light of that fact, I began to wonder how well we’ve prepared our kids to face that kind of adversity.  Unwittingly, and in the name of protecting them, we can run out in front of our kids, removing every obstacle from their path, and at times, even going back to clean up their messes behind them.  We rationalize that we’re trying to give them every advantage, and get them off to a good start.  But too often they emerge from childhood totally unprepared to cope with the inherent struggles of adult life.  While the instinct to protect our children, and to do for them, isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it must be balanced with the need to prepare them to go out and make a life of their own.  Too many people of my generation are raising their grandkids, and/or paying their adult children’s bills; and often times that is simply the fruit of seeds that we unintentionally planted along the way.

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There are a lot of philosophies out there about the best way to raise children, but I’ve noticed that the fruit of many of them isn’t particularly worthwhile.  In that vein, I offer the following bit of satire. 

 

 

Homegrown

I tried to give them all the things I never had

And now they feel entitled to everything they want

*

Anytime they were hungry, we’d run through the drive thru

And now they can’t seem to endure anything that’s not fast and easy

*

Whenever we went to the store, I’d get them a little something

And now they struggle with spending money that they don’t have

*

When they played sports, I made sure that everyone got the same trophy

And now they expect the same pay as the people who actually show up to work

*

I taught them that every person gets to decide what they accept as “the truth”

And now the only thing they seem to believe in is themselves

*

Every time they had a bad coach or teammate, I pulled them off the team

And now they refuse to work for or with anyone they don’t like

*

Anytime they struggled in a class, I’d storm the doors of the principal’s office

And now they blame everyone else for their problems

*

I taught them that freedom was their unalienable right

And now they feel like nobody can say anything when they’re wrong

*

I made sure that they didn’t have to work like I did

And now they’re not willing to work like they need to

*

I did everything for them

And now I’m raising their kids

*

I gave them every advantage

And I can’t understand how they turned out this way

*

I wonder what’s going to happen if I ever need their help

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