Do it when? Do it now? I believe in handling challenges before they become issues. This was true especially when my children were teenagers. Several incidents occurred with my children, Paul and Julie, which tested that belief.
One day a child at Paul’s junior high school committed suicide. I felt a sense of urgency and telephoned the guidance office. My appointment with Mr. Brink was heart rending. He typified a savior in the midst of a storm. He told me that the suicide was over a relationship and then advised me.” Love your child. Always be there for him. Get him involved in athletics, as that is a deterrent. Be sure that he has religion in his life. Keep a watchful eye.” Then he said” You are the first parent to come to my office without a problem with your child.”. I did not know that an incident with Paul would soon remind me of his advice.
Paul became despondent over a relationship with a girl. It was somewhat of a crisis, but it never really escalated. In this case, his friends were his support system. The conversation with the guidance counselor had been so helpful, that I will be forever grateful to Mr. Brink and all his wisdom. I believe that it pays to “Do it when? Do it now” Prevention is everything to me. Before long another challenge crossed my path, this time with my daughter.
Julie began to do some binge drinking due to peer pressure. We talked, and I made an appointment for her with her pediatrician. Julie’s compassionate doctor talked with her about the dangers caused by alcohol, dangers such as accidents, deaths, alcohol poisoning. The impact on Julie was earth shattering. When we left the office, Julie remarked,” Mom, that doctor was so amazing. She really listened to me and cared about me. She told me that I could die from too much alcohol.” After that visit, her behavior showed great improvement. My daughter, like others, I am sure, are so vulnerable and unaware of the consequences of their actions.
My belief in being a proactive mother resulted in blessings. I picture my children when they were young, as I hold their hands a little bit as they run through the fields of buttercups and then I gradually release my tender grasp. They run carefree away from me. I have a smile on my face as they run as fast as they can into the sunshine with their hair blowing in the wind. They look happy, and they appear prepared to take on the challenges of life. I turn away and thank God for my blessings.
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