Is it all a crap shoot?

So, tell me how you turned into such a great person when your back round and home life stink? “Good question” he answered with a small smile. “I had an older brother who was a good influence and I looked around at my environment and decided this was not how I wanted to live, I just decided to make different choices” he finished. This from a sixteen year old young man, who is friends with my daughter Jessie.

The phone rings, a good friend is on the line. Her daughter got into Meth and has been ‘lost’ for a while now. Would I pray for her and the family? The parents are amazing people, loving, kind, involved and yet this young woman made different, destructive choices.

My sister is bi-polar. She is an amazing person, brilliant and kind. Currently she is in a manic stage of destruction and blame. My dad is getting the brunt of her anger and all of the blame for what he did and did not do as a father. He knows the truth; that she is not herself and this disease is causing her to react this way. Still, the questions linger in his mind causing him to doubt himself and interrogate his past.

Kids from good homes make bad choices, kids whose parents would not be writing any parenting books, change the world for the good. It does not seem right, it does not follow my logical, fair way of thinking. Is it all a crap shoot?

I have some pretty great kids. The four, all teenagers, are doing well. They are happy, active, and get good grades. People often tell us that we are great parents. It is humbling and confusing. Can I take credit for them when they are making good choices but not take the blame if they do not? Do we really have anything to do with it?

These questions run through my mind as I search for answers and try to encourage other parents. I am nowhere near out of the woods so to speak, as our kids are still young and have lots of opportunities in the future to make decisions I will not agree with or like. If they do, do I then become a bad parent that others will judge and take pity on?

I certainly do not know the answers and I am not trying to ‘borrow trouble’ as my mother would say. It’s just a conversation, and a topic worthy of discussion. My humble opinion says we make a difference, our parenting matters but in the end our goal is to raise independent thinkers who will make choices. Those choices are not our responsibility, nor are they a true reflection of us as parents. We all just do our best, hope for the best and thank God we have choices to begin with. What do you think?


8 Comments so far
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I shouldn’t even comment because, as you know, I have much to say on this topic! Good parenting is always important, but it in no way guarantees the results. That was an eye opener for me. Yes, we do the best we can and, ultimately, our childrens’ choices are not up to us.

Comment by Barb Stoefen

Oh barb, you know I want your feedback and comments always. You are the one who helped me learn this important lesson.

Comment by Kari

How we raise our kids impacts their decisions. That being said, they have free will and unfortunately not all decisions will be thought out. I can only hope and pray that when poor decisions are made that they will not forever impact their lives or anyone else’s for that matter. Only time will tell. Parentingg is like a roller coaster, sometimes it’s a whole bunch of fun, thrilling, exciting, scary and other times you just want to get off. :0)

Comment by Cathy Walther

Cathy, thanks for your thoughts on this. Too true about the roller coaster ride, nice analogy. Love to you and yours

Comment by Kari

This was such a timely topic! Thanks for your thoughts, Kari!

Comment by Anonymous

You are welcome, let me know who you are so I know who is reading these posts!

Comment by Kari

I’ve been thinking the very same thoughts lately – especially with one in High School & one in Middle School. How can I be sure I am doing the right things to ensure they grow up to be happy, healthy, engaged, respectful, loving adults? And how does a parent compete against the dual pressures of your child’s peers and their crazy hormones? We try to repeat the same messages over & over and to ‘force’ family time, which the kids resist (but I think ultimately enjoy). Is it enough? Will it work out? I guess we all have to just stay tuned! – Kelly

Comment by Anonymous

Thanks for your thoughts and for joining me in this journey. I guess if you and I made it through we have hope!

Comment by Kari

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