Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Today's lecture

I'm rotating through a department right now that involves interviewing troubled teens. During a presentation by one of the attendings today, several cases were presented and we had to go through the motions of taking a history and trying to "uncover" the real problem. As we went through the process I felt pangs of regret and worry anticipating my turn as a parent of adolescents. I've had multiple close relatives who responded to a parent's ultimatum, "As long as you're living under my roof...," by leaving home and living with a friend. One such episode is happening right now in our family, and it makes for some sad drama.

It reminds me of the difficulties of communication. Will my kids know how much I love them and how much my advice is based on wanting them to be happy? Or will they think it's all arbitrary and my way of keeping them under my thumb? How will I be able to convey when my advice is just opinion and when it's a matter of life-or-death safety? How will I manage to be frank without pushing them further away? I suppose such melancholy speculation is unwarranted for a father of mere babies, but it's on my mind today.

So, my post today is no lecture. I know I make my posts sound like a fatherly lecture at times, but today's lecture is canceled. In lieu, please accept my love and hope for all that's good for you.


Marmoreal said...

Thanks L - I'll take wholesome love and hope anywhere I can get it (and if you continue on the path you seem to be headed, you'll be one of the best fathers ever (throughout the entire life of your children).

drex said...

I wonder the same thing, and I'm not even fully on the path to having children yet. :P I think that while many parents do worry about striking that balance, many don't actually work on accomplishing it. If there were no other benefit from SSA than the introspection it typically incites, it might be worth it - that introspective ability allows a much clearer perspective on our actions, and clearer internal perspective lends itself, at least in part, to a clearer external manifestation of our true intent.

And I wouldn't say not to worry about your future success as a parent, but it seems to me that you're pretty much on the road to pulling it off pretty well. A lot of people would love to have a dad like you. (:

Samantha said...

There's no magic formula to parenting. The fact that you're thinking about the type of parent you'd like to become is a good indication that you'll be a better parent than many others.

I read everything I can find, then decide how I can use the things I've read. I attend parenting seminars--most of the time it's worth it. I play with my kids, work with my kids, and make certain that they know I love them. But I also know that even with all that, there's no guarantee that I'll be a good parent.

I appreciated your thoughts today--as always. :)

salad said...

I worked at an Alternative High School last year and just spent the last 8 months working at a girl's group home. Everyday I would walk into the home and wonder how much of an influence those girls' parents had on their life choices. Some of them were so irrevocably messed up while others have some chance of having a real life when they complete the program.

One of the girls we had suffered from DID as a result of her parents being in a vicious cult when she was very young. They put her through terrible things and it makes my skin crawl just thinking about it.

I, like you, hope that I will be the type of parent that will love their child enough that they won't make the choices that those girls made. I want my children to grow up in an amazing environment where they know their parents love them more than life itself and would do anything for them. I think we all have that dream. As for you, I don't think you'll have many problems. You are a great guy with a whole bunch of great perspectives.

Oh, and no worries, I like your occasional fatherly lectures ;)

Scot said...

I suppose such melancholy speculation is unwarranted for a father of mere babies

If you find how to never experience that, you will let me know, won’t you? ;-)

I think drex is right, the added introspection is a plus. Think of all the folks who never worry or dwell on those questions, those who don’t anticipate bumps or, worse, those who don’t care. You’re certainly more than a couple steps ahead. No, you’re the ideal here :-).

If all else fails, I just keep in mind teenagers will age too.

Mormon Enigma said...

Will my kids know how much I love them?

As a father of four (now grown) children. I can say, with at least some degree of authority, that if you truly love your children then they will know.

They may not realize it until they are 20 (about the same time that you miraculously become smarter), but they will know.