Dear Mac and Barbara,
Thought you might enjoy this little piece by Paul
Harvey. Many parts of this really touched my heart and had me thinking
that even though it's so hard not to shelter my kids, they really do a
lot of their growing by experiencing...My question is how do we know how
and when to protect and when to let them experience life?
Here is a pretty neat little thing from Paul Harvey.
Paul Harvey Writes: We tried so hard to make things
better for our kids that we made them worse. For my grandchildren, I'd
like for them to know about hand me down clothes and homemade ice cream
and leftover meatloaf sandwiches.
I really would. I hope you learn humility by being
humiliated, and that you learn honesty by being cheated.
I hope you learn to make your own bed and mow the lawn
and wash the car. And I really hope nobody gives you a brand new car
when you are sixteen.
will be good if at least one time you can see puppies born and your old
dog put to sleep.
you get a black eye fighting for something you believe in.
I hope you have to share a bedroom with your younger
brother or sister. And it's all right if you have to draw a line down
the middle of the room, but when he wants to crawl under the covers with
you because he's scared, I hope you let him. When you want to see a
movie and your little brother or sister wants to tag along, I hope
you'll let them.
I hope you
have to walk uphill to school with your friends and that you live in a
town where you can do it safely.
On rainy days when you have to catch a ride, I hope you
don't ask your Mother to drop you two blocks away so you won't be seen
riding with someone as uncool as your Mom.
If you want a slingshot, I hope your Dad teaches you
how to make one instead of buying one.
I hope you learn to dig in the dirt and read books.
When you learn to use
computers, I hope you also learn to add and subtract in your head.
I hope you get teased by
your friends when you have your first crush on a girl, and when you talk
back to your mother that you learn what ivory soap tastes like.
May you skin your knee climbing a
mountain, burn your hand on a stove and stick your tongue on a frozen
I don't care if
you try a beer once, but I hope you don't like it and if a friend offers
you drugs or a joint, I hope you realize he is not your friend.
I sure hope you make time to sit
on a porch with your Grandpa and go fishing with your Uncle.
May you feel sorrow at a funeral and joy during the
I hope your
mother punishes you when you throw a baseball through your neighbor's
window and that she hugs you and kisses you at Christmas time when you
give her a plaster mold of your hand.
These things I wish for you - tough times and
disappointment, hard work and happiness. To me, it's the only way to
appreciate life. Written with a pen. Sealed with a kiss. I'm here for
you. And if I die before you do, I'll go to heaven and wait for you.
Boy, your statement about kids learning
from experience is the truth! The only time when we must not let kids
simply learn by experience is when it is illegal, immoral, or life
threatening. At those times we must be the adults in the situation to
protect them from self-destruction. Drugs, alcohol, sex, violence, and
driving or riding in a car with someone who has been drinking would be
the most obvious situations that come to mind where it would not be good
to let kids "learn from the school of hard knocks".
Lately, I have come to believe that
unsupervised use of unfiltered Internet access might be another I might
throw in. In every one of those cases, the danger of the experience is
too great to allow them to learn by experimenting. The way that I always
tried to keep it straight in my head while raising our sons was by
imagining one of our kids running toward the street with a truck
approaching at a high rate of speed. Would I act to stop my kid?
Absolutely! Would I be particularly concerned at the time if I offended
my child by acting on their behalf? Absolutely not. Would I care if the
neighbors or their friends were disapproving? Not in the least. I would
act to save them first!
Drugs are a vehicle
that will take them out more certainly than a speeding truck! I include
alcohol as a separate item on the list even though it is a technically a
drug, simply because it is viewed so differently by society. It is
legal. But, a more important distinction is that it is lethal. In my
experience, it has been the #1 killer of kids who sat in my classroom,
44 of whom are now dead. 3 died of natural causes that probably could
not have been prevented but the other 41 were all either stoned or drunk
or both at the time of their death. The overwhelming drug involved in
all but two of the rest of the cases was the legal one… Alcohol.
I just cringe every time I hear a parent
say, "Oh, well, it was just alcohol!" My gosh, would they casually watch
the truck rushing toward their kid and say, "Oh well, it is just a
enjoyed reading this article by Paul Harvey's. Please keep me in mind
with other bits you have like this because, via our newsletter and our
website, we can pass it on to thousands and thousands of people.
Mac and Barbara Bledsoe