Learning About Parenting

I have no idea what I think my life will be like after the first week of November when Heather and I are expecting our first child (or for the next 18-20 years following). One thing I am oconfident of is that I have much to learn about being a husband and a father.

Over the course of the last several weeks I have contacted the parents of four different middle school boys who have been having some problems during our Open Gym program. Each of these young men knew that I was going to be contacting their parents. My hope was to visit with the boys and their parents about my dissapointments in behavior and to talk more about expectations at Open Gym and in life.

Family #1 scheduled an appointment, rescheduled it so their son could go to a baseball game, failed to show up for the rescheduled appointment, never followed-up to reconnect.

Family #2 acted interested in getting together, needed to check the baseball schedule at home, was going to call me to set something up, and never did.

Family #3 just gave me a few minutes on the phone, never even acted interested in getting together to visit.

Family #4 set up an appointment and mom, dad, and the son all sat down with me to talk. There wasn’t any kind of life-changing-come-to-jesus moment in the conversation, but I appreciated the family’s time nonetheless.

The sad thing is, of the four boys, I’m least concerned about the young man from family #4. I have some serious concerns about these other young men and the decisions they will continue to make as they move into high school in the coming years.

Again, I don’t know much about parenting, but it seems to me that one of the most important things a parent can do is to be attentive to the concerns about their children held by other adults in the community. I’m definitely filing this one away for the future.



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3 responses to “Learning About Parenting

  1. Dustin

    It’s sad the way things like that happen, but they are definitely learning opportunities.

    I haven’t been much on parenting books, but I’ve really enjoyed “How Children Raise Parents” by Dan Allender.

  2. John

    “The sad thing is, of the four boys, I’m least concerned about the young man from family #4.”

    I’d wager there is a causal relationship between the parents of number 4 being more attentive, and you not being as concerned about him.

    Sheri sees this all the time. The good students usually have attentive parents, and the bad ones either don’t care or are too busy.

  3. Anonymous

    You just got a crash course in parent-teacher conferencing 101. It is the MOST frustrating part of my job! On conference days, the parents of good kids with good work habits always show up. The kids struggling with academics, behavior, and attitude issues rarely show up. At school, we always tell each other: Make a difference in the child’s life while he/she is with you – we can’t control what goies on in the home. Sometimes it appears that those outside the house care more than those inside the house. I always feel sorry for the kids who realize that their parents never come to open house, conferences, and school events. What does it tell them about how important they are in their parents; lives?

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