Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

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I am wrong.


I was wrong, I am wrong, and I’ll be wrong in the future. I have made mistakes and I’ll continue to make mistakes. I’m not perfect. And I’m sorry that I have made mistakes that have hurt people and the mistakes I’ll make in the future that will hurt people.

One of my greatest regrets is my failed relationship with my stepson that has lead to his current path of destruction. I’m not perfect and I made mistakes in how I raised him. However, I do remember that I had a very tough relationship with my father when I was a teenager. My brother also had a tough relationship with our father when he was a teenager. Mind you, my father and I never came to physical blows and I never had any physical confrontations with my stepson either. It was a verbal disagreements and heated discussions between my father and me. I think my stepson just doesn’t believe that I do love him; I just don’t love the choices he is making.

Am I to blame for all the problems my stepson has? Did I cause him to do poorly in school? Over the years, I went to a lot of parent teacher conferences, paid for math tutoring, sent him to summer school, and encouraged him to switch schools to complete his schooling. We went to Cub Scout camp together and canoed on Cooper Lake. We had some really times over the years.

One of my favorite moments I have of him is when after three years of his basketball team loses every game, they won! You would have thought they won the NBA Championship! It was a wonderful game to watch.

Was I to blame for him blowing off work? Did I not set a good example as an owner of a small business? Where did he think our home came from? How did he think we paid for his bedroom? He never had to share a room with his little brother or sister while he was growing up. He had his own bathroom and didn’t have to share it.

How did we pay for our family trips to Disneyland and Hawaii? Did we do it by skipping school, sleeping in, and not having a job?

So now I really have to dig deeper to find the answers. How did he come to hate me so much? Am I really that bad of a parent? Should I have put my foot down harder? All I asked was to pass high school and have a job (any job). When that didn’t happen, I wasn’t the one who kicked him out of our house. I must admit, I didn’t lobby for him to stay either. Seriously, one has to make an effort to do something…complete school, find a job, etc.

Tough love is hard. I can still love him but I refuse to accept his bad behavior. Things will improve and he will turn his life around. I have the belief that he will become a better person.

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One response to “I am wrong.

  1. Melanie September 2, 2010 at 9:02 am

    We tend to beat ourselves up for the failures, but forget that we’ve also been the positive example in a kid’s life. Kid’s choose their own friends and path no matter what we do. We see the train wreck coming, but we can’t stop it until they figure it out for themselves. Someday the light will suddenly come on and you find out they were paying attention after all. They do grow up eventually but in the meantime we have sleepless nights and grey hairs. You learn to pray a lot! I have a friend I grew up with (the pastor’s kid) who has a son that was raised cutting his teeth on the back of a church pew. He was a handful. Very intelligent but strong willed & no common sense… got into drugs & alcohol. They finally had to kick him out so he lived on the streets for a couple of years. The light bulb came on so he asked if he could move home. He kicked the drugs, got a job and seemed to be on the right track, but he’d go party with his friends every weekend. He got a DUI and had a breathalyzer on his car for quite a while. Again he seemed to pull it together, but one night coming home from a concert at the Gorge, he drove across the line and killed a motorcyclist. He spent time in Walla Walla… now that’s a wake up call. He’s coming out of this with such an appreciation for the parents he has and the example they set. You might like to read his blog – it gives a parent hope in the face of despair. http://prisonblogger.com/?page_id=2 Hang in there Kevin… this too shall pass.

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