Lessons Learned

I really hate it when adults, particularly ones who are over 30, blame their parents for all their problems. They say, “My parents messed me up so bad that I’ll never be able to live a normal life. I’m emotionally crippled and there’s nothing I can do about it. My life stinks and it’s all their fault. Waaaaaaah!”

Sure, you can trace some of your problems back to childhood. Your parents probably did do some things to screw you up royally. But as an adult, you have the capacity to change, to grow, to improve your life. If you stay in bad situations and continue to behave in bad ways, you have no one to blame but yourself.

And you are obligated to try to do better for your kids. After all, what’s the point in remembering the past if you don’t learn anything from it? Here are two things that I learned.

1. If you sense a serious problem with your child, you MUST fix it. You may have to try several different approaches, and you may have to suffer some failures, but you must keep trying until you resolve the problem. Children need your help. They cannot be expected to figure out everything for themselves, nor can they be trusted to behave in the ways that are best for them without guidance.

2. Application of force (using physical, emotional, or psychological means to overwhelm) is only rarely a good solution. More often it breeds pain, resentment, and stronger resistance.

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