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Parenting is like...

Before I finish the sentence, I wanted to reference the picture for this blog.  My oldest son turned 16 a few months back and, to his credit, he has done a great job on taking that privilege very seriously.  By the way, Life360 with a built-in GPS on your young driver's exact location is an absolute game changer - they don't have to 'call you when you get there' like our parents asked (and rarely did we remember to).  Jacksonville is spread out so even hanging with his friends or going to school or sports can put him in various parts of the city.  The other day he had been at the beach most of the day with his friends, and after I was getting back from my walk that night, I noticed a piece of paper on his windshield.  Initially I thought it might be an endearing note from a female friend, but instead it was a parking ticket he had received earlier that morning at the beach.  He had then proceeded to drive the rest of the day with the parking ticket flapping on his windshield!  As any parent can relate, there were many follow up questions I started to stockpile in my head for the ensuing conversation.  Later I came to laugh at the situation as I thought about how parenting is a lot like driving around town with a parking ticket flapping on your windshield.  Whenever you are cruising down the road of parenting thinking you are doing a good job, there is a ticket smacking your window trying to get your attention about one of your major oversites.  You never have it all figured out!

Last week, Jen and I were on a podcast hosted by a local child psychiatrist.  We talked about the psychology behind Grit Camp and some of the various ways we use a sports camp to help build more grit in young people.  We also discussed some of the intentional strategies we use in coaching and parenting youth sports.  I'll put the link later in this blog, but just to be clear, Jen and I realize we certainly don't have all the answers when it comes to parenting or raising kids.  We do, however, really enjoy the process of learning, adapting, and being intentional about the ecosystem we put around our kids, our camp, our teams, and anyone else in our sphere of influence.  We especially enjoy the 'moments' that arise from time spent with our kids and how we too also learn from our kids.

Young people always have new meanings to certain vocabulary words they teach us like 'lit', 'bet', 'gas', 'I am him', and the new latest move (the griddy, floss, etc).  But sometimes their perspective on everyday things can be extremely insightful for us as their parents.  For example, yesterday we took the boys to a sanctuary for big cats that we had never seen.  Some describe it as a nicer version of Tiger King, ha.  On our way to this adventure, we drove through some parts of town that we normally don't explore through.  As we are driving through a particular area, my oldest son said, "You can always tell when you aren't in a good part of town."  I was very curious as to what his reason would be so I asked, "What do you mean by that?"  He replied, "By the people".  Yearning for more I asked, "How so?"  Then he said, "By their body language.  Just in how someone carries themself, you can tell by their confidence, or lack of it."  The younger boys then started to point out some of the buildings that needed paint or looked run down and how the environment around someone could provide clues.  Jen further expanded talking about someone's choice of clothes in the context of what they are currently doing and who they are with.  I know it doesn't seem like a super deep revelation; however, in the moment and being curious in what your kids are learning as they grow up, it does amaze me how children's perspective is just honest and truthful.  Sometimes they don't see the parking ticket slapping them in the face, but they do see the bigger picture and they are taking in some of the wisdom we try and put around them.  

To check out Part 1 of our 20 minute interview with Dr. Elise Fallucco, check out:

Have a great week!

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