Author: Paul

Why Can’t You Be a Responsible Parent Without It?

Why Can’t You Be a Responsible Parent Without It?


Rural climate skeptics are costing us time and money. Do we keep indulging them?

by Randal Robinson

Photo by The Washington Post

A couple of years ago, as I sat with my daughter and her husband on the last night of my son’s junior high school semester, I was talking about how parents can be a force for good in this world.

“I’m trying to be a good parent by being a responsible parent,” I said.

“But that’s not so easy,” my daughter said. “You know that, Dad. Sometimes people say stuff you don’t agree with.”

After I had taken this particular child to task for the many times she has said or done something that wasn’t in line with her beliefs, she asked me, “But why can’t you be a responsible parent without it?”

I thought for a second.

“Because then I wouldn’t have anything to do,” I said. And since I was looking at my daughter, I added, “I mean, there are things I’d rather not do.”

“Like what?” my daughter wanted to know.

I’m an old guy. I’ve done things I’m ashamed of, and I’ve done things I now have to live with forever. And the thing is, I don’t know exactly what I’m ashamed of that I haven’t done a better job of. In my head, there’s a long list of things I shouldn’t have done. Things I’ve done that at the time I thought they were really great. Things I wish I could take back, but I can’t. I’m so ashamed of them I want to die. That’s not a confession you want to hear, I know.

“Well, how about you try to be someone different for once?” my daughter asked. “Just try. You’re not the only one with opinions.”

“But there’s nothing I can do about what I do that will make a difference,” I said.

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