How do you turn off of your children? When does a parent say, ‘they are on their own?’ Now I am not judging any parent because I can only imagine the pain it takes to turn your back on your child, but I have to ask who then becomes responsible? Is it me? Is it society? I recently lost a cousin. He died homeless and abandoned. I think I heard he was living under a bridge. How could I have so much and he have nothing? This haunts me. How do you end up under a bridge? I have always had nightmares as a child about being on soup lines. I have always believed I lived through the Great Depression in a past life. As a Christian I do believe many of us have lived before. How else can you explain these dreams? And maybe it is these dreams that have always driven me to be successful. And that doesn’t mean author, tv producer, or radio host… I have worked in fast food, auto shops, restaurants, retail, and I have even cleaned houses. I have been earning money since I was 12 years old. I went to college and then graduate school but then I lived at home until I got married at 28 years old. I could have gotten an apartment but I spent all my money on designer clothes. Actually, I didn’t start to make the big six figure salary until after I was married. And then a few years later I had a baby and gave the paycheck up. So with all my talk about being independent and making money, I have never had to support myself. I went from my parents to my husband. And to this day on my own I have never saved a dime. Where would I be if I didn’t have the support of my parents when I was younger? Where would I be if I didn’t have such an amazing husband? Did the supportive parents lead to the supportive husband? Does giving your child a good start lift them to a great life?
Last night we took our son to watch a basketball game at Dartmouth. He loved it. Now he has his sights set on going to Dartmouth. It’s an Ivy League school and if he can get in there his path is set. But what if I don’t push him. What if I don’t save for college? What if I couldn’t afford to send him to college? What if he pisses me off one day and I kick him out? The next five years in my home will alter the life of this young man. Could he do anything to cause me to turn my back on him? If he ended up living under a bridge in twenty years would it not be completely the failure of my husband and I as parents?
I know this economy is a nightmare. A lot of parents cannot put money aside for college. But there is financial aid, and there are student loans. And if college isn’t the thing for your child, the top ten non export jobs are electricians, plumbers, mechanics, carpenters, and you can make sure your child has a vocation. But their future is your responsibility now. It is up to us to make sure our own children have a good life but to make sure all of our children have good lives.
We need to create a loving and supportive environment at home so our children have the tools they need and the self esteem to go out and live their dreams. We need to demand jobs for our children. We need to make sure they have a future. It is your job. If your child fails, you are a failure. It is as fact. You cannot say that you did everything you could. If your child is living homeless under a bridge you did not do everything that you could.
I ask you, what does it take for a parent to either disown, or kick their child out of the home?