Lots of things going on in the undercurrents these days:
Health Care Reform * Global Warming * Invasive Airport Scanning * Political Lies * Creeping Socialism * Racial Profiling * Failing Economy * Impending Terrorist Attacks * Gay Marriage
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other topics to concern us. Some of these may be of little concern to some, and be grave issues for others. The fact is, we can’t really be sure how someone else feels about these issues, unless we talk to them about them.
Which brings me to the point of this post. I’d like you to do a little mental exercise. Review the nine topics I listed above, and ask yourself whether you have had any meaningful conversation about each of them with your kids. ‘Cause don’t kid yourself… if your child is more than ten years old, there are at least two or three, probably more, of those topics, that they are aware of, and have questions or doubts about. If you have a teen, 16 to 18, it’s highly probable that they have some strong feelings about several of them.
If you didn’t share your feelings on these issues, then you can bet they formed theirs, based upon the statements and opinions of people you don’t even know!
I’m not saying that your kids need to parrot what you think. On the contrary, they need to learn to analyze issues and form their own opinions. But I DO think it’s reasonable to hope that they’ll at least have the opportunity to hear your feelings, before they do so. They may not agree with you… but is that so bad?
The father of a 23 year old acquaintance recently passed away, and during a visit to our home, this young man confided to me that he had no idea what political bent his father had. He knew he was Catholic, because they all went to Church together on Sundays. And he knew he’d graduated from university. But he didn’t know if he was liberal or conservative in his leanings; he didn’t know what he had gotten his degree in; he didn’t even know where his office was located!
I was absolutely floored! How could it be possible for a family that lived under the same roof, sat at the same table, and attended the same church together, could possibly be so ignorant of each other?
It made me think about my relationship with my 18 year old daughter, and wonder how many questions she’d be able to answer about me. And I didn’t like what I came up with. It appalled me to realize that she would probably have no idea of my stance on most of those issues, because we’ve never talked about them.
She’s entering medical school next semester. She’s a bright kid. She’s involved in the world around her. I know she’s aware of, and interested in, many of those topics, and the idea that she had to form her own opinions, listening to strangers, rather than her own father, disturbs me a lot!
They say it’s never too late. I sure hope that’s true.
How about you?