I am quite the melodramatic fellow, with a hearty dash of doom and gloom and pessimism thrown in to boot. I’m noticing this trend and I’m making some gains in nipping this kind of negativity in the bud. One way it manifests is in my perception of other families and the quality of life for the children.For the longest time, I’ve been saddened when I think of the kids who end up in the OHL, playing hockey in a city far away from home. I could only think of those boys being away from their moms and dads for months at a time, and how lonely that must be. Of course, I’m really projecting my feelings about the idea of Max being away from me, which is a little premature since he’s only 3.
As I was watching a Knight’s game last week and babbling on about this to my buddy, I took a moment to stop and look at it from a better perspective. Instead of focusing on the distance from hometowns (and for the Russian players, the language barrier), I realized how much of a positive experience it was for the kids. They get to work on their skills and live with other hockey families as they expand their horizons and play the game they love.
And last night, I was overly emotional and sad over my very myopic view of one of Max’s friends home life. I had weaved a sad-sack narrative that I needed to spend a lot of time with him to improve his quality of life, when in actuality, his home life is fine. Just because his parents handle things in a way that I wouldn’t, it doesn’t mean that I need to swoop in a rescue the boy. His parents love him, and they’re giving him a fine upbringing without my butting in.
That isn’t to say that I don’t believe that my parenting style is better. You have to believe your parent-fu is strong, to do a good job. It’s all subjective, and there are a million ways to raise a kid, but I am very happy with the way we talk things through and work together. I like listening to Max and giving him a say in how we accomplish our goals.