I’m currently in training. It’s for one of the toughest classes in life. It’s called Raising A Family.
Surprised? You shouldn’t be. In a way, we all are in training for this class.
Before you get any funny ideas, no, I’m not planning on settling down anytime soon. I still have many lessons to go.
Here’s the way I look at it. Everything I’m doing in my life, every trial, every tribulation, is a lesson towards being a good father and husband someday.
Say I’m dealing with an impatient, self-centered guy at work. He’s a real pain in the ass. My interactions with him could be seen as a waste of time. I don’t see it that way though. Instead, I view the experience as a learning opportunity.
This impatient, self-centered guy is like a newborn child. So dealing with him is like dealing with a baby. Looking at the situation this way not only trains me better, but also allows me to be more patient with this guy.
Plus, I sometimes imagine him in a bib with a pacifier in his mouth; that image always plants a grin to my face when he’s being especially annoying. It makes me want to reach out and pinch his cheek, “Daw, is da itty bitty baby upset again?”
Now say I’m dealing with an arrogant, self-righteous guy at work. This could be a lesson in dealing with a teenager.
So when my teenager comes home one day with tattoos and piercings and other bodily mutilations, I’ll hopefully have learned the patience and tolerance to look him in the eye, breathe a sigh, then smack him across the forehead, yelling, “What are you doing to yourself? Are you crazy?”
Nah, just kidding. I’ll hopefully have learned the patience and tolerance necessary to deal with my teenager’s rebellions and accept them.
There’s a nice layer of amusement in using child rearing techniques to deal with difficult people. Of course, some adjustments should be made. If the impatient, self-centered guy is upset about something, playing peek-a-boo with him probably won’t help.
Part of this training involves living my life consistently with the values I’d want to instill in my children. If I want to be a good role model for them, I must make sure I’m faithful to my values.
Habits that I consider bad should be stopped, lest I carry them over to my kids. So my fucking shit-awful cursing days should to a fucking close.
These lessons never stop either. Even after I have a family, I’ll still be going through these lessons daily. Maybe even tougher ones too. It’s an everlasting, never-ending education.
It’s certainly a tough class. Its lessons are harsh and sometimes unforgiving. But I believe they are truly worth it, if you want to raise a good family.
Are you in training for a family too?