Parents teach life lessons

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 24, 2016

What are parents really for? That is a question I asked myself several times over the past few weeks.

That five-word question seems simple at first glance, and the answers could vary in a range as wide as the Grand Canyon.

But if you really start to look at the question more closely, there are more layers than you would find when peeling back an onion. As a parent of a daughter quickly approaching her teen years, some days it is even more questions than answers to that question because her needs can change from day to day.

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I can remember that, early on, my role was to teach the basics while seemingly changing diapers, which I give my wife credit for most of that, and making bottles every five minutes. As she got a little older, the influence grew to helping learn to walk and say her ABC’s.

But now that she is growing older, I’ll admit much faster than I would like, and understanding more about life, my role is much larger in helping shape her future.

As parents, we must always be preparing our children to make decisions and be someone other people want to be around.

For me to ultimately realize that goal, my answer to the question is three words, and those are accountability, responsibility and commitment. Are those three difficult words for an 11 year-old to fully understand? Sure. But if I follow them myself, she will be better prepared in the long run.

When talking about it, the explanation was simple: Be responsible enough to make an informed decision and look at all the relevant information from as many side as possible. When you commit to something, see it through to the end and don’t waver back and forth. Finally, be accountable whether the outcome of those decisions is positive or negative, and the same to those who are counting on you. Whether it is in her personal life, sports, school, faith or professional career later on, these principles are applicable to any situation.

For me, other than providing unconditional love, teaching her these life lessons is the best thing I can do as a parent.

So what are parents really for? While the answer and focus for each parent can be different, two things should be same for everyone. And those are to make sure our children are good people and a productive member of society.

Whether we as parents like it or not, the development of our children in every aspect will be directly impacted.

Decisions made when it relates to our kids aren’t always popular, or fun, for that matter, but each one is equally as important as the next.

Looking back, I know I am extremely grateful for the things I learned from my parents and grandparents as it helped shape my future.

And I hope to do the same for my daughter.