Advertisement

Smith: Raising the best kids you can

February 28, 2013|By Steve Smith

When my kids were 4 and 6, I self-published a parenting book called, "If You Can't Make Time, Don't Make Children: How To Spend More Time with Your Kids."

Don't bother trying to order it, it has been out of print for a long time.

In the book, I tried to convey the importance of spending as much time with kids before they are grown and gone, and I included real-world examples of how working parents could carve out more time at home. It wasn't "chicken soup," it was meat and potatoes.

Now, 16 years later, the book seems premature and bordering on arrogant. After all, my parenting experience had started only a few years earlier and did not include any parenting of pre-teens, teens or young adults. As I have discovered since through on-the-job training, there was still so much to learn.

Advertisement

Today, at 57, I am a single parent, though the parenting part of my relationship with my children, now 20 and 22, has become more of a management status to ensure that they continue on their paths, rather than help them create those paths.

Parents never really know who their kids are until the kids are tested; that is, until some event happens in which they must exhibit the strength of their character. Earlier this week, my son, Roy, 20, was instrumental in bringing a family back together. Thanks to him, a teenager who chose to leave home for an unspecified reason and time was reunited with her parents. The parent-daughter relationship is still not as healthy as it could be, but at least they are now face-to-face and able to talk things through.

At the same time, my daughter, Kaitlyn, 22, began a new job with a large company. She went through three days of training after which she received the location of her new position. She called me minutes later to tell me that she was not happy with the area in which she would be working and I told her come home so we could talk about it. When she walked in the door, I asked her to sit down to discuss the job and she said, "Honestly, Dad, I'm over it. I was depressed for about 15 minutes, then I realized that I was just going to have to work hard to prove myself, then request a transfer."

Daily Pilot Articles Daily Pilot Articles
|
|
|