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Wednesday, July 25, 2012



The past four weeks I have had custody of my fourteen year old son.  It is hard having custody for only one month and occasional weekends or weeks.  As a father you need to keep an eye on a 14 year old.  You need to offer guidance, yet give him enough rope NOT to hang himself.  With limited custody it is difficult to not want to always be the good guy.

Fortunately the youngest crank does not try and take advantage of my situation and play the Mom vs. Dad card.  

He does know how to needle me.

When I correct his teenage behavior…sleeping late, not picking up, leaving dishes around etc., he invariably responds, “I’m just trying to be a good person.”  He says it with an impish country boy grin, so I know he is playing me, but it still always makes me laugh (I don’t know where the boy gets it from.)

The truth is he is just trying to be a good person.  Yanked from the only town and friends he has ever known and dragged to the land of the missing “R” where people paak theya caas and root for teams with red socks he is adjusting very well.

He is kind to others, never a bully.  He does not do drugs, does well in sports, gets good grades in school, has made many new friends and does what he is asked…eventually…after several requests.

He is a teenager.  He faces constant temptations to not be a good person and his brain is not yet completely developed to where he always knows the difference.

His job is to grow, to learn, and to try to be a good person.  It is not always easy to watch, but I believe he is going to succeed. 

I don’t think I can ask any more from him than to “Just try and be a good person.” 


  1. Exactly! And your job is to NOT be his good buddy/best friend, but his mentor/coach. As you said, let him make the simple mistakes and learn from them, while seeing to it he doesn't make any BIG mistakes. There will be a time later to be his best friend. But you already know that.

    Good job, dad.


  2. Can't put it any better that Scott. Ben Franklin wrote that the best way to raise a teenager was to seal them in a barrel, push food through an opening and let them out when they're no longer teenagers. Of course Ben never got any father-of-the-year awards.

  3. even though he pushes my buttons i'm gonna miss him. thanks for making me cry at work cranky !!

  4. Loved this post. I have to remember this for when my boys hit the teen years.

  5. There are, of course, many joys in being a parent, but, for my part, I am quite glad that I was a teenager and have never had to experience owning one :-)

  6. it certainly is NOT easy. I think we all have to keep our expectations and demands high.. good luck!

  7. Wise words - if they can try their best and be their best - that is all we can ask.

  8. Awesome, memorable words. And that's just the bottom line, isn't it? Why have these unrealistic expectations on our children? We just want them to be "good people"


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