Regrets, Parenting, and High School

As parents we always try to make sure our children avoid the miscues and mishaps that we made. A few days ago; I encouraged my oldest son not to “leave anything on the table”
regarding high school. I told him to work as hard as possible in the classroom, to hustle beyond his potential on the court, and be a good friend and make valuable relationships. All things I weren’t good at.

For four years of high school all I had to show was a 2.0 grade point average. That’s it. I gave a 2.0 effort and that’s what I was rewarded with. I was your typical “C” student. I also played football, but was far from a regular contributor. Though I’m happy overall with how my life turned out – I do wish I would have worked harder.

Regrets.

We all have them. Maybe you wish you would have tried harder in a relationship, maybe you slacked off in college, or you missed out on a promotion because you never worked hard enough for it. Of all the various types of “Woulda’, coulda’, shouldas’” – the ones that didn’t materialize because you didn’t give the best effort are the ones that will haunt you the most.

I also told my son that on graduation day he wants to be one of the kids that has all the “prefixes” before his name is called such as National Honors Society, Class President, Class Valedictorian, or Graduated at the Top Half of his Class. I told him he wants to have options when he graduates: University of Michigan, Michigan State, etc…. All things I never had. My choices were all community colleges. I mean, where else do you go with a 2.0 GPA?

Regrets.

But as a whole; the lacklusterness of my early years proved to be tough love lessons for me. Maybe I work harder now because I know can’t afford to make the same mistakes? All parents see certain elements of themselves in our children. All of us hope and pray that our children will inherit all of our assets and none of our faults. All of us want our children to listen to us, avoid the bad wrong routes and dead ends and find their own personal version of the American Dream as mistake free as possible. But in reality – those are all unreal scenarios. So we consistently talk, preach, lecture and pray – and when our children stumble, we or our words will be there to lift them back up as our parents did us.

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