This one is important to me and after trimming it for the 10th time it maybe needs to be just as long an article as it became.
Looking at my career as a father, listening to the echos of my work as attorney and coach and finally getting upset while listening to parents-talk in Cafes by chance I deem one challenge paramount: at least while parenting our toddlers, teens and twens we need to restart daring reality!
We should dare to look.
We should dare to tell..
We should stop guessing .
We should not not avoid others experiences by cowardly warnings. Instead we shoul console the ones who failed after trying.
The outcome may be worth it.
The adults may recognise what a brave, strong and exceptionnel child they are happy to be with. It may also give them insight about themself, their obstacles resulting in mislead conditionings in their childhood. This may give them peace, makes you relax. It may spare them worries. They can have fun and laughter instead. With their peers, kids and themself.
The youngsters may grow stronger by trusting their instincts, following their gut-feeling and go for what makes them smile rather than think of all the BS the naysayers warn about. Or be demotivated by the only-your-best-cheaters telling them who to become while being all too cowardish to even try for once themselves.
I am the antidote of a perfect father. This article’s shouts come from the heart of a struggling father, as experienced in real life as underperfoming for years on behalf of lovingly caring.
There were days, I felt like shit if it came to emphasizing me being the father of my beloved daughter. I did many things wrong. I confess this.
All this was connected to being divorced, kept out of the loop, not knowing how to overcome childish accusations and the bitterness of not being loved myself.
For this, I did my best and still do, to honestly ask for forgiveness by my daughter – 21 in age, going her way -, big time.
That said, there is another part, I am proud of, looking at her way, my life und our sweetheart-daddy-relationship: preparing her for the big game awaiting her being of full age.
That said let´s have a closer look on reality, responsibility – let´s dare it.
Times do not change, it´s the people’s attitudes changing
Believe me, if I tell you: As a lawyer you only can succeed if your client gets his act together.
When I became a lawyer in 1998 my leverage was knowledge, my USP was a stubborn-fighter-attitude to dare anything what may bring success. I told my clients what will happen and what they need to do, how to support me. The majority delivered – committed, encouraged.
Today doing it the same way today would be the recipe for desaster. Today I have to give prep-talks to my adult clients, coach them about taking responsibility, accepting uncertainty and – increasingly – explain them how communicate during periods of crises and day-to-day conflicts. Otherwise any attempt to win their case would be a non-starter.
This increasing lack of adult behavior, decreasing competence to adapt and overcome everyday´s life, avoiding individual responsibility and anxiety of tomorrow may be as it is. Until it endangers the prosperity of other, this is. The younger ones out there in particular.
Rejecting responsibility is violation of the parental contract you signed by having a baby
I read a quote once: The most important thing you are to do for your kids is to prepare them living a life without you.
Now, what makes me deeply angry at the same time is, how so many of the upmentioned people are overprotecting and patronizing their kids. Being a naysayer, giving warnings of flatly everything is not taking on responsibility – it is rejecting responsibility.
For me, it is cowardish and highly irresponsible to copy-paste one own fears and dreams and hobbies and values and some more shitload of unseen patterns on the shoulders and in the rucksack of kids and young adults.
I think it is selfish to transform one own fears into a matter-of-fact reality and make others, children in particular, believe this is the way the cookie crumbles. Thats education by lying, pure and simple. This is disgusting.
I was the criminal defense attorney of a 15year old, accused for assault. She wanted to fight it and by this also against the perpetrator she acted against in self-defense. She was so proud of being the one standing against this little a* * hole bringing terror to the classroom. A strong, young lady you may acknowledge her quite easily. Being not the parents, this is. The mother told me she herself does not want to have trouble with no end due to the conflicts in the class of the young lady. Only when I fought her attitude the daughter was able to exploit the dialogue. How bad she is feeling not to be supported to fight. To fight back. To be brave not a coward. When the police interrogator encouraged the brave young lady to not stand back, to not accept injustice and offenses, this external empowerment brought down the parental wall of refusal.
Some young pal, 20 years old, was loosing the grip on his schooling. His employer invited him and his parents to talk about support how to get him back on track again. Being 20 years old, the young man can vote, rent an apartment, meet any lady he likes, make a life of his own. But not if you have the doubtful experience of his mummy. Nobody should dare put any obstacles in the way of her son almighty. She picks up any fight for him. Neither herself nor the young man having the questionable luck being protected like a 5year old are aware that a theft is committed: The mothers steals the fight from her son. She picks it up so he can’t. The sentence? A guy who gets no chance to realize that it was only at home, that forgiveness, unconditioned love and no-matter-what-you-are-ok are granted.
Lately I came to overhear two mothers. Their sweethearts seemed to be 12 years old, secondary-school. You know it by now: The world is such a rough place. Without these mothers, their childs could not survive. Being so sophisticated and weak, an artist to be, mummy 1 has to intervene with the teachers he is absolutely not to play rough during the pause. Oh and mummy 2 – her son seemed to be a struggling with any food available in Germany, being in danger of any flew-bacteria targeting only him. Exec-sum: no mummies, no survive. Happily, I had not eaten – I may have thrown up.
I put it straight with a father some years ago. He was selfish enough to make it paramount he is the one and only instance for proper education-concepts and the like. Until I told him nature has the back of his nagger and grants the prospect of a happy life. Even in the unlike event, his father is out of the game by car accident or similar unpleasant ways to pass by, this is. Funny enough my insolence freed him to get his grip and find a affordable agreement with his ex-wife. Because I crashed his fear, covered up behind his overprotectiveness.
These are only some stories – I could continue for quite a length of words.
Maybe we want to recalibrate our attitudes
Since I am working with parents and youngsters in 1996 I only met 1 oder 2 Toddlers sitting at my desk: The parents.
All the young people were growing up, fighting with their emotions, struggling with their dreams and goals I met were heroes, brave girls and guys. Sure thing is, they were short of experience – at an age of 16 I acknowledge this as expectable.
What upsets me is the lack of
- willingness and
of so many parents to get their act together and prepare their kids for the reality out there. I am a strong believer that life is great.
What testimony is it of a caring mother learning her 15year old son started having sex with a girl he loves and got a knife to protect her – still lacking any knowledge how to fight only if the lawyer talks with her son in front of her? Begging for excuse of him after he confronts her that she only tells him what but never asks how he feels, whether he is well?
What kind of accomplishment of parental responsibility is it if a mother convinces the father to not take any actions against a perpetrator abusing her 4 year old boy with oral sex to avoid the glance of the neighbors?
What example a father are you really only chewing on the unfairness of life and claiming ifs and buts but never, ever stand up and fight for your own freedom, your rights, the bigger piece of the cake for your family? Yelling at the same time what a looser his own son is, only playing amateur football being 16?
Point taken, right?
Here they are: Great examples what daring makes of your kids
I am truly convinced one can only appreciate fun and success knowing and accepting life sucks as well.
Dare to tell the youngsters what life is about. That is the first and most valued insurance policy we, the elder, can provide them. For any unlikely event like loosing your job, feel jealous, experiencing betrayal, be afraid to ask for a job oder simple to try reach an objective.
I count myself a lucky guy having experienced first hand through my job, how great an enhancement of bravery and happiness parental support as in unshakeable believe, daring the truth and – for crying out loud – most of all accepting reality can have.
A mother lost her son to the father – he brainwashed the son for 4 f* years. Often the mother cried, called me, we fought at court, via private letters and she was so angry, so exhausted, so helpless. She kept going, believing her son will come back for her. It gives me a deep humble gratefullness I could support her. When out of the blue I received a text ‚My sons at my apartment‘. He fleed the fathers emotional prison 2 days being of full age. He explained, that he faught for his mummy and his sister, he knew only he could take his fathers psychopatic hatred. He felt like his mother took care of his sister and he took care of his family. Quite a guy, is he not?
Another young fellow was taking to prison at the age of 16 – a SWAT Team „came by“, took him at 6am, left the parents quite shaking. The parents did not recognize a thing. The police followed him for 2 years. Meaning the parents did not recognize their sons misbehavings for 24 months times 30 days times 24 = 17280 hours. Whereas it took the police to make a case about 180 hours in total (for a dealer comraderie of 3 teenage idiots dealing joints).
Now: The guy was rattled and shocked. Thus he had but one goal: Never, ever is this to happen again. He was willing to do whatever deemed best for him. Guess what? The parents accused the police, our laws and god the almighty. They were crying at my desk I should get him the out of jail card by any costs. And they assured me from now on they would take care of him.
Me being a professionell and a police detective being a professionell as well aimed for a concept what could work out for the young fellow, not the reflections in the mirror of his parents. We identified a withdrawal place for youngsters 600km away from home, no old friends, but social workers and the chance of distance.
The best part: Right before the big day at court the parents pushed it. Appointment. Big time. Father and mother giving their son the sweets. And this amazing guy said, he’d rather go to the withdrawal place for 6 month, puppet-dreams won’t help him change. He changed. Big time.
As a sailor once put it: Climbing the shrouts the only and best insurance is ones will to survive
Now, I think all of this marks my point: The kids, the young people, are not in danger if – excuse my french – shit happens. But they become weak and unsure if there is no one supporting their bravery, if the only narrative they are experiencing: watch this, take care of that – that´s bullshit and pals, nobody should listen.
That’s why I want to encourage all of us to have a proper look
1st at our younger folks, how strong, smart and powerful they are and how little of our fears and anxiety they should be poisend with
2nd at ourselves and what we make out of reality ignoring it completely by let our lack of capability misspell anything simply happening
3rd push us to dare to name what reality is all about. Fun, joy, beach, sports, sex and success as.well.as diseases, death, accidents, war and poverty.
Enjoy life – kick ass and stay tuned.