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Email of the Day

Childhood Victories

My 13-year-old son aspires to be a motorcycle mechanic and saved up to purchase a motor kit for his bicycle.  I found him in the garage one Saturday, hunched over his bike, frustrated to the point of tears.  The new bike chain that came with the kit was not cooperating, and this was his third solid day of working on it.  I said to him what I wish MY dad would have said to me: "Son, I can see that this is important to you, and that you're frustrated.  In moments like this, I wish I had someone there beside me, so I didn't feel alone.  So, if you like, I'll just be here with you.  I won't take charge, touch a tool or tell you what you should do.  This is YOUR fight, and I wouldn't dream of stealing this win from you.  But I can be an extra pair of hands, because sometimes one pair isn't enough.  Or I can be quiet and listen if you need to vent, talk things out or bounce ideas off me.  But know that you are on the right path to becoming an expert mechanic.  The best ones in the world put in their time just like you're doing now to become experts."

He stopped and said, "can I say a curse word?"  After a little PG-13 comment, he led our two-man team and overcame that chain within an hour.  You wouldn't believe the boost of confidence that win gave him.  And all I did was just be there and listen to him.  To do anything more would have stolen a victory from him and a golden father-son memory for both of us. 

Tags: Behavior, Character-Courage-Conscience, Motherhood-Fatherhood, Parenting, Stress, Teens
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