Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Wholesome Parenthood: Is It Worth It?

Posted by Thomas on January 12, 2011

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Have you ever wondered if your parenting efforts, specifically, your efforts to be a good father are worth it? I mean, we know our children will disappoint us—for we disappointed our parents. Ever feel like throwing in the towel? Because you’re certain your child will bump their head on something foolish, real soon.

I’ve been there. I don’t like the idea of investing in something without the prospect of a decent return on that investment. Sometimes, I see my efforts in fatherhood through those same lenses. It is scary. I’ve said before, that being a parent is hands-down the hardest job I’ve ever had. And often times I wonder if my ranting and raving; and talking and talking and talking, is really making a difference in the life of my now teenage son.

We’ve seen in recent years, families close to us, struggle deeply in dealing with their young adults. And I’m not talking about kids reared in broken homes. These are kids—from families with involved moms and dads—making bad decisions; engaging in frightening behavior.

Is wholesome parenthood, particularly fatherhood, worth it? Why worry ourselves throughout sleepless nights over ungrateful and foolhardy children? (Sigh)

When I feel like this I try hard to remember the hell I put my mom through as a young adult. I try hard to step into the shoes of the young person. I try, despite the difficulties, to see things from the young person’s perspective—remembering where I came from.

When you start feeling down as a parent, second guessing your choices, your rules, the guidelines you’ve laid out for your child—exhale. Look in the mirror and say aloud “It’s worth it. It all will pay off in the end.” Trust that.

Remember, the ups and downs we experience with our children are only for a season. Have faith that you’ve done the best you could with what you had. And yes, from one parent to another, “YES!” it is all worth it. Your child will be a better person for all of your efforts. And that friends, is one of your positive contributions to the world at large.

God bless you!

May the Year of our Lord 2011 be very good to you and your loved ones.

I just finished reading Denzel Washington’s book A Hand to Guide Me. He makes a case for the Boys and Girls Club of America organization. He gives a compelling tale of how his own life was changed by the caring adults at his local club growing up. The remainder of the book is filled with personal testaments from other successful people (and not all are celebrities – which is great). Get the book and be inspired as a parent or a caring adult doing your part to make the world better by positively impacting the life of a child. So, this post could be titled: Wholesome Mentoring: Is It Worth It? You tell me…

Peace!

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2 Responses to “Wholesome Parenthood: Is It Worth It?”

  1. Rites Inc. said

    Jeff, thanks so much for your insights. I’ve visited your blog and plan to frequent.

  2. Jeff said

    I would certainly agree! uneqiuvocally yes! Totally worth it!

    One thing I keep reminding myself and my friends who are Dads in the same stage as me: “Fatherhood is NOT motherhood.” Wholesome fathering is different than wholesome mothering (though they fit so perfectlty together!)

    Sometimes being a wholesome father means showing your kid the foolishness of certain decisions without buttering it up and making it easy to swallow. Being tough, not abusively, but allowing things to be hard so proper character and gumption can be built.

    Moms will typically rush to their child who fell and scraped their knee. Typical fathers may say “You OK? All right, now be careful and let’s figure out how to climb up the junglegym the best way.”

    My two cents! Thanks for your writing.

    Jeff
    feel free to visit me at:
    http://www.mybowsandarrows.wordpress.com

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