Welcome to summer! We've skipped spring and entered directly into humidity heaven. Let the sweat commence!
I typically use this space of beautiful, contextual prose to try and enlighten lives in our community, or to make fun of myself, as a reminder that we are all humorously flawed individuals.
But not today. Today, you get a mild rant… fueled by ongoing frustration. And I bet you can guess what it concerns before you proceed.
I sometimes wonder if my column comes across as a “know-it-all parent who is just trying to make everybody else look bad.” If it ever has, please accept my apology. Believe me… that is not the intent. Even though I cover a diversified assortment of local and national topics, it is my parenting submissions that I probably question the most.
The reason is quite simple: I am not a perfect parent. And to be frank, I do not believe in their existence.
When I began writing this column almost five years ago, I was pretty much under the impression that by the time I was three or four years in, I would basically be a parenting expert.
Growing up, I despised losing. I was a competitive swimmer for nearly 13 years, and thank goodness I broke records, or I would have had a fit. Or two. Or three. On the occasions I received a medal other than gold, I would practice even harder, extending my five-day-a-week practices by swimming additional laps and sprints while at the local swimming pool with friends.
There are literally hundreds of events in our community during the month of April. But you may want to give special consideration to this one …
“Girl Talk: Overcoming Obstacles to Empower Women,” hosted by PRIDE of Tuscaloosa, will be held on April 26 at the Tuscaloosa River Market. This all-female event focuses on discussing taboo topics in an open, accepting environment.
I am privileged to have conversations with teenagers almost every day. We talk about everything from pop culture to relationships. Oftentimes, the relationship conversation goes far beyond their crushes, boyfriends, and girlfriends, and extends to family. Sometimes, things are great at home, and students are eager to talk. Other times, they would much rather talk about anything but their families. Either way, in my attempt to get to know them better, family will eventually be mentioned, because I believe that there are very few aspects of life that influence us like family.
Children need unconditional love. They need to feel safe. When they feel safe, they are more likely to go out into the world and explore. They will be unafraid to take chances, and even mess up a time or two, because they know love will protect, cover and “never fail.”
We are sharing with you some thoughts on resolutions, so this is a bit about looking backward instead of forward.
We all need goals, but we also need to be true to events that brought us to where we are at this moment. We can fight them, we can embrace them, and we can always change them.
As 2018 begins, I invite you to invest in the lives of the youth of our community. December was a fresh reminder of the desperate situations many of our young people face. The holidays bring many of these needs to the surface. Churches and other groups are more diligently looking to fill needs. Families are more ready to ask for help. But what many of us uncover can be disheartening. Families are often ill-equipped to guide their children through the teenage years. Neighborhoods bring bad influences. Peer pressure has never been greater. Teens have more people ready to feed them poor advice than ever before.