Saturday, May 28, 2005

Pondering Potential

My son exclaimed, "Hey Dad, watch me jump off the couch!"
"Be careful." I replied.

Be careful.

It's usually the first response out of my mouth when my son's about to attempt something that I think could remotely harm him. But it struck me recently that "Be careful" may be the least constructive bit of parenting that I could conjure at any point in time.

I contemplate if that canned automatic response, though certainly well-meaning, is slooowly prodding my son down the well-traveled path of mediocrity; if my intentions of raising a child that has any chance of thriving in an ever-scarier world are actually being undermined by such an insipid response.

When I think of Great people, "being careful" is definitely down the list of personality traits and practices that I'd attribute to their greatness.

What about Happiness? Obviously Greatness and Happiness are significantly different. But I think the two are entwined in a way that is affected by a child's upbringing.

Is my son destined for Greatness? That's nearly impossible to answer. But is my son
less destined for greatness after growing up on a steady diet of stale notions and empty advice? My careful mind is telling me yes.


Anonymous said...

you are brilliant!

Webster said...

The best thing that you can do is to let your son know that he *is* destined for greatness - that there is no obstacle too big or no circumstance too difficult for him to overcome. If he knows his father believes that and believes in him - he will be great.

Mom said...

"Be careful" is not really meant
for your son..although you say it is really for yourself
Think about you say "Be
careful" you are saying it for
YOU..."if" he gets hurt in the
process of jumping off the couch
in your mind you are "guilt" free
because subconsciously (sp?)you
feel as if you have done all to
prevent him from getting hurt..
just by those two little "words"
Your mind says to you "I told him"
not to jump...this is all coming
from a mom who knows only too
well the fears of childhood and
manhood too. So now you know
where those "words" originated.
You are only saying them with
love because your biggest fear
is that he will get hurt and
you as a parent have a huge
responsibility to protect your
children. Just a thought....