Dad’s trust helps teenage son build con­fi­dence

Miami Herald - - FRONT PAGE -

While I’m away, read­ers give the ad­vice.

When I was 16 and driv­ing, I asked my dad if I could go out with my buddy Jeff for the night.

Jeff was a tough, strong­willed trou­ble­maker, and I ap­peared strong but was se­cretly meek.

Af­ter I re­turned, Dad told me that it was up to me what I did, but if I asked in the fu­ture, he would give me a “no” to get out of it.

I never did use it, but hav­ing that choice gave me con­fi­dence, and the com­fort in Dad’s trust.

I of­fered the same to my kids at 16.

You can’t af­ford to travel? Get a sec­ond job or a week­end job and start sav­ing.

Don’t like the fam­ily you were born into?

Join a church or a club or an ath­letic team and cre­ate a fam­ily of like-minded friends.

You feel that you are stuck and life is pass­ing you by?

Make a list of pri­or­i­ties and take the first step to­ward mak­ing num­ber one hap­pen.

In a dead-end job? Train for a bet­ter one at the lo­cal com­mu­nity col­lege.

You do not have any job at all?

Vol­un­teer, make crafts to sell, post of­fers to clean or do yard­work at the lo­cal gro­cers.

Spouse drinks too much? Join Al-Anon.

De­pressed? Start eat­ing bet­ter and walk­ing a mile or two a day.

Not close to your fam­ily? Make the first move, call of­ten, and build your side of the bridge.

Quit wait­ing to win the lot­tery, to fall in love, for a pill to bring you hap­pi­ness or for mir­a­cles to para­chute into your life.

Each of us is given a life, a brain, and a cou­ple of decades to make a dif­fer­ence on this planet.

No one else is re­spon­si­ble to bring hap­pi­ness to us; it’s each of our re­spon­si­bil­ity, and what we cre­ate out of our time on earth is up to us.

Thanks for let­ting me sound off!

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