I’m wondering if it is becoming an epidemic.
In the aftermath of the Brock Turner conviction and his dad’s response, on a walk last week I saw a dad and his son driving through the neighborhood putting flyers in mailboxes. Since I typically look at situations from multiple angles, two thoughts resonated in my head.
- “Hey, don’t they know what they are doing is against the law?” was my first thought as they opened another mailbox putting something inside. Then–
- “It’s awesome that dad and teenage son are out doing something together.”
Dismissing the first idea since what they were doing was relatively harmless, I kept thinking about the relationship that dad was obviously building with his son. It looked awesome from my view.
The next day I found the flyer in my mailbox, so naturally I assume that it was from the same kid. My first thought was “this is great–an entrepreneur starting his first lawn mowing business.” But as I started reading the flyer, I had an uneasy feeling.
I realize that it is important for our kids to be able to ‘sell’ themselves in the real world. I whole-heartedly encouraged my kids to find ways to earn money. Whether it is a pet sitting business or shoveling driveways, a good work ethic is good for kids.
But this flyer seemed like overkill.
The kid was touting his GPA as being well over 4.0, his ability to handle five advanced classes while being All-American in sports, as well as the many honors that had been bestowed on him. Then he told about all his volunteer work and the Foundation that he set up and was managing all on his own. He made mention of websites he had created and all the ‘good’ he was doing in the world.
For some reason I decided to check out his websites and his Foundation. There was his picture in his sports uniform and all the wonderful things he had accomplished in his
32 16 years of life.
Please know that I’m not ditzing this kid. I admit that I don’t know him and he could be a great kid. He could be everything that he says he is–and more.
Know too, that I think it is great when moms and dads do ‘life’ with their kids helping them to succeed.
But as I was grappling with all I was learning about this young man, I started considering what I would really want if I was looking for someone to mow my lawn. Availability, reliability, attention to detail, ability to see the job to completion, and trust came to mind. Trust was a big one for me, especially since he was offering to mow my lawn with my lawnmower.
On paper this kid looks like a superstud. He can do anything. I’m guessing he’d whip through my lawn faster than I could ever mow it.
But what about his character? Could he easily take correction if I wanted him to do something a certain way? Would he be willing to work around my schedule or would I have to be dependent on his?
I realize that there are kids out there who seem to have it all. They are bright and talented and when put to the test seem to able to accomplish anything. But my question is are we encouraging them to set themselves up on a pedestal to think they are above the pack? That they are demigods? Invincible? Are we telling this generation that they are so awesome that they are above the rules? Are they full of pride and arrogance that comes from a feeling of superiority?
Are we teaching them humility?
I realize that as a parent it is easy to wrap ourselves up in our kids and their success. It is natural to want to spur them on to be the best of the best. But at what cost?
Sometimes there is a fine line between encouraging our kids to do great things and setting them up as an all successful superstud.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.
Dare you to take inventory of how you are parenting. Are you focused on accomplishment or character?
“Let go…and let God”,