Sometimes it’s really hard to be a parent and not necessarily just because your kids can drive you nuts — especially your teenage kids. No, I think it’s really hard because the letting go process, the process of watching your kids growing up, involves such heart tugging for parents. It is very difficult for most parents who genuinely care about the adults that their children will become to sit down or stand by and let lessons be learned however difficult those lessons might be and how much you see the hurt that comes from them reflect in your child’s eyes. It is difficult to teach your children to advocate for themselves, especially when the system might be stacked against them. It is very difficult to sit back when every molecule of your parental instinct makes you want to jump in with both feet and scream your head off about something that is not only inequitable but also inherently flawed. Let’s face it, it is something that most of us have been doing for the better part of a decade and a half or more — standing up for kids who may or may not have been able to stand up for themselves and make sure they are not hurt. It is very difficult for kids and parents alike when hurt can no longer be fixed with kisses and hugs and some lessons fall completely outside of any parental control whatsoever.
In a few of the recent situations it would be easy and less painful for the parent to throw around parental weight, especially when this parental weight comes with a law license. Easy to go in guns blazing, spewing threats of litigation and violations of due process and other legalese. Easy, but not then again not so easy. Sure, exerting pressure may have changed the outcome. What lesson, though, does my son learn when his problems were fixed by his mother or his father in that situation? What lesson, indeed. How heart wrenching for the parent-part of that lawyer to see what could be construed as an injustice being done and having to sit by idly.
Faced with decisions as parents we sometimes made a difficult choices looking out for the long term good of our children and the men or women they will become. The short term ramifications of the situations and those decisions can haunt us in the short term and cause us, as parents, to second guess what seemed so apparent at a specific moment in time.
Sometimes, however, we need to step by from the situation and not get wrapped up in the “hype” of all of it and realize that in the long term, it may not be as important as it seems this moment, but the decision that was made that preceded it and the lessons learned from that decision, may have an endless ripple effect throughout the child’s life — that is the real test, not some silly accolade, or title or piece of material.