The Biggest Secret About Parenting You Were Never Told

“The road to success is always under construction.” — Lily Tomlin

Thursday, 8:10 a.m.
Boulder, CO

Here’s the biggest secret you’re seldom told:

It is possible to do everything right as a parent
and still have bad things happen.

That’s right.  It is possible to do everything right and still have bad things happen.

No one ever talks about that. We like to pretend that if we just do what we are told, if we just follow the latest fad or formula then things will work out for us. It’s simply not true.

So why do the right thing if there are no guarantees?

It’s like driving your car down a winding mountain road.  The curves are tight and blind. You must believe that the oncoming traffic is going to stay in its lane.  But there’s no guarantee. There’s no guarantee that the car coming toward you wont swerve into your lane at the last second.

Most of the time they don’t, yet sometimes they do.  Either way you can’t control it.  If you’re going to drive that road, or any road for that matter, it’s the chance you take. It’s the same deal with everything in life, even parenting–especially parenting.

You could say it is one of life’s little ironies.

Don’t stop doing your best just because things may not turn out how you planned.  What doesn’t work today, may work tomorrow. You can only consider yourself a failure once you stop doing.  You know those parents down the street who seem to have it all figured. They’re probably getting it right 51 times out of hundred. The one thing they are doing right, is continually working at it until they get what they want.

You’re no different from them. You may think you are, but you’re not. Maybe no one ever taught you how to talk to your teen after she’s been arrested for shoplifting. Maybe no one ever sat you down and gave you advice on how to talk to your son or daughter about sex.

That’s OK.

As long as you do it, you are doing the right thing as a parent.  It may not keep your teen out of trouble, but you did your part.  That is part of your, no our, responsibility as parents.  Our job is to hold up our end of the deal.  Even if we do there are no guarantees that something bad wont happen–but we have no control over that.

What we can control… what you can control is your part of your relationship with your teen. You can control what you are responsible for as a parent. If you do just that, then consider yourself a success. You can consider yourself among the few who do.

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