This is not my first time around the block with parenting teens. I raised a step-daughter during my first marriage. Yeah, that was real fun (he says with lots of sarcasm). Springing from my step-daughter came four grandkids – all before I was 40! At various points of time I was responsible for raising all of them as my own kids. Not like the storybook version of family life but it was family nonetheless. Looking back I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else.
Sure it was hard. Being a parent is the hardest job there is. There is no one-size-fits-all way to parenting. Everyone is unique and I made and continue to make mistakes along the way. It’s a lot of trial and error, lots of apologies, lots of tears, some regrets but always lots of love.
Parents try to instill values in their kids. Honesty. Hard work. Courage. Faith. Responsibility. Self-confidence. Integrity. Self-worth. Forgiveness. I am no exception. I tried not to just tell them about values but to show them values in the way I lived. I wasn’t always successful but I think I did an okay job at it. Honestly, there were times when I didn’t think I had gotten through to them. I wasn’t sure that they heard the message. But they did and he does.
Case in point: Kris’s English teacher was telling me about an incident in class a few weeks ago. Kris had unintentionally hurt another student’s feelings. Kris looked at the kid, took a deep breath, apologized for hurting his feelings and shook his hand.
And all was right in the world.