A Tribute to the letter "P"
It was last day of the week before Father's Day and all the ladies were wishing the men, "Happy Father's Day" and some of us were telling each other to enjoy Father's Day with loved ones. I turned to one of the guys, around the same age as my son and asked if he had planned out what he and his siblings are doing for Father's Day. To my disappointment he said that he was not talking to his father. I was shocked, because he seemed like a young man who was raised with a lot of love. One more year and he would be out of community college then he would go to a SUNY school nearby. I asked him what he was talking about. Then he told me that his father was angry at him for working an odd job and not going to college. It turned out that he had started working right out of high school and his father wanted him to go to college, finish off studies and then get a "white collar job" if not a career. So, this was the reason this young man was not talking to his father?
He said that that was not the only reason. His father was accusing him of wasting time with hoodlums and gangsters etc, when all he was doing was working hard so he could be independent and save up some money. He called him names that he was too embarrassed to talk about.
I then came to a conclusion: it is best to avoid accusatory language, when talking to kids about any issues. Also avoid calling names.
Then I convinced him to give his father a call, and tell him that he was heading for some kind of decent job. He is not going to offload trailers for ever. Last time I spoke to him, he said that he was going to North Carolina to spend his vacation with his father. This was great.
The I realized that while talking to your kids about anything, it is best to start with facts and not judgment. Also never call them names or label them.
I come across a lot of kids who are not happy with their parents and sometimes I wonder whether my kids are happy with my husband and me or not. Kids are open for some reason, with outsiders and can talk to them. Friends can be of any age. So I hope that if anything is bothering my kids about my husband and me, they would talk to their friends. Ease up a little then talk to me. So far they seem happy (Thank God!)
From a conversation I had with yet another young man, I gathered that as parents, we not only have the responsibilities of providing food, shelter and clothing for them, we have an unspoken relationship of friendship as well. That young man had a fight with his dad, over bad manners at the dinner table. He said that his father always demanded a lot of respect and gave none.
I think it is best to set a positive tone. Show respect and respect will be given to you.