Got Problems?

Everyone I know has problems.

Life is like that.

Seriously, there is not a person that I know rather well who does not have some kind of issue that stays with them daily, and usually throughout their entire life. The problem may change, but we all seem to carry something in our lives that can make our heart heavy.
Those problems can be of many different kinds.

  • Drugs
  • Divorce
  • Death
  • Disease
  • Disabilities
  • Disasters

Some problems jump into our lives through no fault of our own. The wildfire that destroys our home and possessions is not within our control, but can create massive difficulties.
An addiction to alcohol can be our choice, and the problems that follow are the result of personal decisions either to indulge in momentary pleasure or fail to seek professional help.
In either case, it is likely that you or your friends have something that must be dealt with on a daily basis. Life is not always easy, and the normal problems of being alive can make good parenting even harder to attain.

Deal with it.

It almost sounds harsh, but when facing those seemingly impossible problems, we need to make the choice of confronting the ongoing problem in a way that the rest of our life is disrupted as little as possible. Those choices are not always easy, but they are choices.
Our mind matters most, and the attitude we choose to adopt will affect the entirety of our life.
For instance, one of my friends lost an arm in a farm accident when he was a young child. Rather than bemoan his fate and stand on the sidelines of life, he chose to deal with his loss as simply a modification of some normal activities.
He became a pastor, build buildings, repaired cars, built grandfather clocks as a hobby and was an excellent pitcher and hitter on our softball team.
His problem was always there, but his mindset transcended sympathy and depression.

Defeat depression.

When your problem becomes your passion, the risk of depression sneaks into your life. Emotionally healthy people are not immune from problems. They deal with them in a way that either solves the problem or makes it bearable. Even if the problem continues to exist, they acknowledge it, but put it in such a perspective that the rest of their life continues in a normal and productive manner.
Strong emotional and mental courage enables you to confront a problem appropriately, yet not be consumed to the point of defeat. You do not have to pretend the probem does not exist; you simply have to keep it in a place where you continue to function properly in the rest of life.
That is not always easy, and you may find the need for some strong friendship support or even professional counseling, but it is possible.
Be patient, be strong. Overcome.

What does this have to do with grades?

Whether you are the one with significant problems, or your friend is the one dealing with these things that can upset normal living, the approach you take to the problems has a significant effect on the level of success (or failure) in the normal activity of life, school included.
Perhaps you did something really stupid and are in trouble with the law. Court cases are coming, perhaps even juvenile detention or problems you face for not controlling your child.
You may have a problem. A big one. And one that is going to change some things in your life.
Yet life still happens.

There is a long way to go. There is even tomorrow to deal with.
You face serious decisions in how to deal with the situation, and those decisions are going to impact the actions and relationship between you and your child for the rest of life.
Are you going to defend those stupid teenage actions or choose strong emotional and physical support as you deal with the consequences?
The memories and realities of that problem will be continuing, but there are other areas of life that need to be completed successfully.

Preventive Decisions.

Just being alive gives you the right, indeed,the obligation, to make the choices that help in creating proper behavior and diminishing actions that you know to be detrimental.
Bill Cosby, the comedian and activist, summed it up nicely when he said, “Kids are like homeless people – no job, no responsibility, no house.”
You are living in your parents’ house, supported by their income, thus you are their responsiblity. And they have the right to demand certain actions.
Too much TV? Turn it off.
Video games all night? They have the right to confiscate the equipment.
Caught “sexting?” Goodbye smartphone.

Have you had “The Talk?”

Speaking of sexting and big problems, there is one stupid decision that inevitably has life-long ramifications.
Two teens, one boy one girl, at home alone or out on a secluded date… and the pregnancy happens.
Now what?
Chances are the guy disappears into the oblivian of wherever teenage boys go after becoming a baby daddy. The girl now has the big questions to face.
Is abortion an option, with the likely life-long guilt or wondering what will follow?
Should the child be put up for adoption?
What about raising the child as a single, teenage mother?
Even if the boy stays around, questions of marriage or living together, maybe even with Mom and Dad arise.
Obviously, a new set of problems that radically change lives are now on the scene.
This is one of those issues where “The Talk” becomes crucial. There is no magical right time to address this issue, but one principle is generally quite appropriate. Don’t be afraid to ask your parents the question that deserves an answer.
Chances are pretty good that as the you get older the questions become more specific. Each time your inquiry can expand into the reality of the wisdom of waiting for marriage for sexual relationships.