Parenting For Dummies: The Call To Do Nothing

My teenager's math teacher called to warn us that our son might get an incomplete because of tardies.

"You could get them cleared up with a parent's note," she informed me, sounding like a recording. We live in a town where you can virtually hear the roar of parental heli-blades hovering over the heads of most of our high schoolers.

"No, thanks," I said. "He needs to learn to be on time."

The teacher was silent for a long minute. "I'm 100% supportive of that decision," she said, and her voice rang with conviction.

It's tough when our peers take moral shortcuts right and left to help their teens "succeed." To stand firm, we need to remember that suffering and failure can be phenomenal teachers. One great task of parents of young adults is to do nothing when they're in pain except stay beside them in silent prayer. And then cheer like crazy when and if they decide to totter back on the playing field, hopefully equipped with a bit more wisdom and strength.

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