Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Road to Glory

Dr. Ruth Peters of the Today show dishes advice to a single mom whose ex-husband does fun and exciting things with their pre-teen son during their visitation time. Dr. Peters' advice misses the mark though. To begin with, who ever said parenting was about getting glory--especially from 11-year-olds? Parents start getting "glory" from their kids after the kids are grown and raising families of their own. That's when they start to realize the sacrifices their parents made, the challenges they faced, and the smart choices they made. Dr. Peters advises Mom to ask Dad to tone it down. Really? "Please don't have so much fun with him?" That's kind of a shame. Mom would do a lot better to suck it up and celebrate with her son the great experiences he's having with his dad. She should try to send him off to Dad's with a big smile and a cheerful and honest, "Have a great time, honey; can't wait to hear all about it" and welcome him back with a genuine interest in how it all went. Let him enjoy the time and share his excitement with her openly and without reservation. Her son will get to build a solid relationship with Dad without feeling guilt from Mom, and eventually he'll look back and realize how hard that must have been for his mom and he'll respect and love her all the more for her decision to let him fully enjoy his dad.

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