I can’t remember all the times and ways I’ve disappointed Mama and Daddy; I think there are “little disappointments” along the way, and then there are some really big ones that could be or develop into full-blown crises. I’ve done both varieties many times and I’ve seen the disappointment and hurt in their faces; BUT I’VE NEVER FELT UNLOVED. IF we are human, and if you are reading this, you are, we are imperfect and will always at some time(s) hurt those we love.
I think the video of Jimmy V’s speech in the post “UNCONDITIONAL LOVE” revealed a couple of things about his dad. The gift his father gave him was he believed in him; he said, “My father believed in me. He believed in me when I failed; he believed in me when I wasn’t as fine a son, friend, husband, father as I could be, and I’ve done all of that. But he’s the one person that when I didn’t measure up to my standard or someone else’s standard he’d look me in the eye and say ‘you’re gonna’ make it, I know you are, my bags are packed, you’re gonna’ make it.’” And Jimmy said, “He was one of those people that after I spoke to him I always felt better than before.”
Once again I offer the following recommendations to us (daddies) when we are disappointed in our adult children:
1. Know and accept the fact that there will be times when our children disappoint us. They are not living their lives for our approval (or they shouldn’t be).
2. Express our confidence in them; “you’re gonna’ make it; I know you are”. Our disappointment isn’t failure for them and we should not view it that way. We never know the whole story, yet we base our opinions and expectations on an incomplete picture.
3. I want to be the kind of daddy that my kids feel better after talking with me and that hasn’t always been the case. So we should choose our words carefully to be encouraging and supportive; we don’t have to agree with everything they say but unless our opinion is requested I don’t think we have to volunteer our disagreement.
4. Always choose love.
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.” Prov 17: 14
“Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Prov 22: 6