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Tommy Tucker

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Twitter: @ttuckerWWL
Email: tommy@wwl.com

Parenting - There ain't no book

I heard that quote from a dad talking to Dave Cohen during a news story about adult kids moving back home, and it I thought to myself…how dead on accurate that father was.  When you bring your baby home from the hospital you get a bracelet and a blanket but NO INSTRUCTION MANUAL.  Rookie parents soon master feeding, burping, sleep schedules and colic.  They feel pretty good about themselves…but they have NO idea about the learning curve they’re about to face and the throng of things they’ll have to deal with.

Things like a pre-schooler coming home after slapping another student.  Mom’s horrified, but dad has a hard time hiding a smirk knowing his child is aggressive and might be showing tendencies that could serve them well in the “real world.” Things like how to make sure they’re doing their very best without pushing them so hard they feel like a failure if they get anything but an “A”.”  Things like remembering that while we live in a very competitive world, a very important part of being a kid is having fun and, as a parent, that needs to be part of any healthy, happy kid’s schedule. 

As a parent you’re the protector-in-chief, but what do you shield them from?  You have to get them ready for the world, but you don’t want to end their innocence any sooner than is absolutely necessary.  What TV shows are appropriate?  What’s the right age to begin dating?  How do you teach ‘em to be safe without being afraid of their own shadow?  Here’s a toughie.  What happens when mom or dad makes a bad decision?  Do you back your spouse and make your child suffer, or do you recognize the bad decision for what it is and suffer the consequences when the kids aren’t around? And then there’s the 1.3 million dollar question.  That’s the difference in lifetime earnings between somebody with a high school education and a master’s degree.  Do you encourage them to pursue a dream and reach for the stars, however remote that may seem?  Or do you preach practicality and steer them in the direction of higher pay and stability and risk a sentencing them to a lifetime of security…and what might have been?  And then when you think you’re just about done, they meet that special person, fall in love and decide to get married.  One problem.  You CAN’T STAND the person they’ve picked and think they’re making the biggest mistake of their life.  Do you voice your opinion or trust your offspring’s judgment and support them?  You raised them so they should know best, right?

All of these questions are tough ones and I wish I had answers for you but, like most parents, I’m figuring it out as I go along.  I think, I pray, I worry, think some more, pray some more, worry some more and then trust my mind, my heart and my gut to do what I think is best.  There are only two things of which I am absolutely certain and they are these.  When it comes to making decisions about your children it helps to begin by starting with unconditional love.  And, as that dad told Dave Cohen, “there ain’t no book”.  

09/19/2011 5:06PM
Parenting - “There ain’t no book”
Please Enter Your Comments Below
11/10/2011 8:50AM
You live and learn
I'm thinking I'll write a book just on my experiences of being a child and raising children. My life story alone would be very entertaining, as it was my parent's sense of humor that got them through raising 6 children and that inherited sense of humor that helped me make it through 2 chldren raising them as a single, widowed mom.
12/26/2011 10:50PM
Ignorant Greg from Atlanta
Mr. Tommy. I bet he won't call back. Ha ha. I'm so glad we stomped them
02/11/2012 8:11AM
5 girls and 1 boy
Tommy, i have 5 girls and 1 boy and i can honestly say that i am truely blessed even though sometimes i ask God " why have you done this to me?". I am often ridiculed publicly and with no doubt privately for having so many children. But as itry to make the best possible decisions for my children and teach them the right path sometimes i think it is God who is teaching and molding me. Bottom line: pray hard, be faithful, do your best and God will take care of the rest.
02/29/2012 8:26AM
Queens over Kings
3 girls and 2 boys in 7 years. discipline, discipline,chores, chores, love, love, cleanliness, manners.great kids.
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