Don’t Make Excuses

As a blogger, I have to do two things a lot. I have to READ and write. I emphasize the READ part because putting stuff on “paper” is relatively not hard. Reading ideas, articles, books, blogs, and research is the heavier part of the job. Today I read an article on parenting during the “Trump Era”. I won’t quote the source and try to start a debate with the “Dr.” that wrote it. However, I must say that I was rolling my eyes so much I was losing my place. 

The author was talking about the “stress” that has risen due to political rhetoric. People can get emotional on political issues. Some people may cry. Seeing a parent cry can cause distress. OMG! There are some wonderful writers out there. They have wonderful ideas, encouragement, useful information and tools that can help build a parent into a resourceful strong individual that kids need. Some of these quacks do the opposite.

I don’t like writers that try kick an emotional hornet’s nest. I don’t want someone trying to install fear into the lives of readers and making something bigger than it should be. However, my biggest pet peeve is when writers encourage the blame game. We do not grow as dads my brothers if we ever embrace the blame game and or victim status. Crappy situations are everywhere…so are crappy people. However, we must own our own mistakes and DO something to improve our situation. 

In the book Raising Men by Eric Davis (the Navy Seal Sniper Instructor for Marcus Luttrell and Chris Kyle), Davis writes, “We must become solely responsible for what is going on inside us”. He was talking about things that “make us upset”. He was talking about the core of who we are. The core of who we are cannot be determined by others. Throughout history, children have witnessed and survived through horrors that I personally could not imagine. I think their mental well being can withstand someone getting upset or crying. We must teach our kids to let things like that go. We must also teach our kids to be responsible for themselves regardless of the words or actions of another.

Jordan Peterson, author/professor/psychoanalyst stated in an interview that “you can have your kids protected or strong”. We as dads obviously wish to protect our children from imminent danger, but must allow our children to wrestle and problem solve on an appropriate level. We must reject victim mentalities. We must reject the blame game. We need to embrace the idea that they are not helpless to waller in a “woe is me” because of the past or current contention. 

“Well, she has this condition…she can’t…”. What can she do? “Well, he was treated this way…”. So were many people. Many of them rose above it. We have to divorce ourselves from “can’t” and excuses. We must teach our kids “NOT” to accept a victim mentality. I use to ask my kids how “they did”…not the team. When my kids were in a bad situation, I asked them “what are you going to do about it”. I never want my kids to embrace excuses. I never what to hear that they are not where they want to be because of another person, or a law, or a situation. 

The last time I spoke about a matter like this, a very angry lady said it is easy to make statements like that if you never experienced anything traumatic. I asked her if she was referring to the abuse I received from a neighbor boy when I was 5 years old, or my drug use, divorce, or academic failures. “How much do you want to know about?” “None of it defines me. I am responsible for who I am. My past is the past”. She got quiet real quick. I’m not going to allow my kids to embrace excuses, play the victim card, or blame others. I want them to be strong. The first step therefore was to let go of all those things and move forward.

Please understand that I know people suffer. I know bad things happen. I am also not suggesting that I got over my own issues overnight. I did, however, “get busy”. That is the secret of success. Move. Do something. Get busy. How are you going to reach your goals? I love the mindset that author Eric Davis speaks of when he describes having to swim 5 ½ hours in SEAL training. “Inhale, exhale, keep swimming”.

Dads, to accept the blame game, victim status, and excuses are to make your kids slaves to someone or something. Let them know that they are responsible. They have the ability. Encourage them to move forward, get busy, and accomplish goals. Be an example. Be the best dad possible.