For lack of other ideas, more Billy Graham

This issue (and others like it) is one that probably plagues many families.

We did our best to raise our two sons in a loving home, and we always took them to church and urged them to follow Jesus. One has turned out very well, with a fine family and active in his church, but our other son was always rebellious and now is in prison for dealing drugs. What did we do wrong? We must’ve been terrible parents to have such a son

Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information here. It’d be better if we knew how old these boys are, which one (first or second) is the druggist, where they grew up, what kind of hobbies they were into, whether or not they did well in school and what kind of friends they had in and out of school.

Parents are the source of primary socialization and perhaps they probably did try to treat their boys equally. That said, brothers aren’t clones, they’re individuals. Even if they were twin boys, they won’t wind up having identical experiences every second of their lives. And personalities between siblings can vary to extremes. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered what they did for the one boy, he was going to get into trouble regardless. That’s nothing a parent wants to consider, obviously, but why would they assume they sucked as parents if the other one is doing well? They don’t take any credit for him having his life sorted out?

I suppose that boils down to the fact that people like to dwell on what’s wrong or what they think they’ve done wrong in a situation, rather than give in and acknowledge the unpredictable nature of life as we know it. “We should have seen it coming…” is a popular lament. “I should have seen the signs…” Why? Why does anyone think they’d automatically recognize an act or behaviour as a sign of a major problem? How many people would be that observant and also know enough about that problem to guess right?

Most people don’t even notice what’s going on in front of them. Even people trained in drug use prevention fields might miss the signs that a loved one is using. It’s not something people want to be looking for, right? Plus, most people are so bogged down in the shit going on in their own lives to really notice trouble happening to someone else.

I don’t know why children from the same family can turn out so differently; in heaven we’ll understand, but not now. But you need to remember that your sons chose the ways they would take. You did all you could to point them in the right direction, but they alone are responsible for the decisions they’ve made and the different paths they’ve taken.

Except for the heaven part, Billy and I are on the same page for a change. By a certain age, the onus is on the individual to know how to make good choices in life. Ideally parents will have helped make the choosing a little less complicated by giving their child the knowledge and tools to do that. They will have led by example. They will have taught right from wrong. They will have encouraged and disciplined and advised and been there to help if needed. Above all, they will have shown they love and care.

What happens after that will be up to the child, and the child alone.

About 1minionsopinion

Canadian Atheist Basically ordinary Library employee Avid book lover Ditto for movies Wanna-be writer Procrastinator
This entry was posted in Advice Avenue and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.