Great Parenting Advice From A Guy Who’s Clearly Done it Well

             Parenting advice from a single guy with no kids?  Have you already clicked away?  Rest assured, the advice isn’t coming from me.  I traveled to Florida over the Memorial Day Weekend for the wedding of one of my good friends from college Jeremy Plexico.  I can say with the utmost confidence that Plex is in the top 1% of truly great people in the world.  Although I did not know his bride-to-be very well, all scouting reports from Plex and many others were that she is in the same category.  Among other things, this meant there would be some special people in a controlled environment for a period of four fun hours.  There were athletes, performers, long-time family men and women, authors, successful business people, and much more.  As someone who enjoys meeting different people and getting great advice from those who have done things well, the wedding was an opportunity to do both. 

One of the greatest of interactions took place in an unlikely setting: the men’s room.  Later in the evening, I was in there when the father of the bride came in.  I told him how great a time the wedding was and how everything was awesome.  There were so many happy people there, and the bride’s family included quite a few.  Clearly, there was a special bond present between father and daughters (bride’s sister too).  Among the many pieces of evidence of this was a fantastic father/daughter dance to “Uptown Funk” with clear choreography involved.  Having hopes of one day having a family of my own, I took the opportunity to ask him what piece of advice he had for having such a great bond with his children.  The bride’s father turned to me and said, “Give them your time.  Don’t get so caught up in doing this or that.  Just be there for them.  That is what matters.”  Wow.  Great stuff on so many levels, and sage advice for so many areas of life.  
In the world of youth sports today there are clearly a number of issues.  Much of the problems, in my opinion,  stem from misguided intentions of parents wanting what is best for kids.  Wanting what is best has turned into having the latest bat or a special pitching instructor when a kid is 8.  A simple reminder to just be there for the kids is something I think could help tremendously.  Just be there for them today parents.  That is what they want and need.

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