I can remember the day my parents drove me to Atlanta for college. I had received a full, four year scholarship, so they used a the extra money and rented an off campus apartment for me. I was such a spoiled brat. I think back and wonder if things would have ended differently for me, if I had chosen to stay on campus.
As a parent, I reflect on the choices I made during adolescence. I would say that 95% of those choices were wrong, and like many adults, if I knew then, what I know now, I would have made better choices. My bad decisions, are in many ways, what molded my parenting style. I’m honest with my children. I don’t sugar coat life. There are no rainbows, and cupcakes when it comes to their futures. I want them to know that they must work hard, and it won’t be easy. There will be obstacles, and distractions along the way, that will be tearing away at their concentration, but they must remain focused.
I didn’t remain focused. I got distracted, and almost lost my life, and while I’m grateful for the life lessons I learned, I don’t want my children going through any of the things I went through. I hope that my son, who is a college freshman, takes heed to the lessons I’ve taught him. I hope he understands the sacrifices that were made for him to be where he is today. And while I can’t be there to pick him up whenever he falls, I will continue to make sure he has the knowledge he needs so that those falls aren’t detrimental.
For those of you who have sent your blossoming seeds off into the world, continue to teach them life lessons, even though they are not in your home. College, as fun and exciting of an adventure it is, is also a jungle full of predators, waiting to prey on the naïve, sheltered and gullible children. Kids, who think they know everything, and have never experienced anything. Check on them often, kick some knowledge to them even when the conversation doesn’t call for it, and always keep them encouraged!