For once, I could actually empathize with my teen son.
Bruce Sallan: I just visited my best friend, who moved from L.A. to a small town in the Northwest. He built a home, from scratch, supervising every detail, and -- with his wife -- created their dream home. I found myself feeling a tad of envy as he took me on the tour of the house, pointing out all the beautiful details.
As we've been renting for several years, the pride of ownership is just not part of our lives, and our belief is that the practical choice is to stay in rent for the near future. Our choice, certainly. But, as I reflected on my own bout of envy, I thought about my boys and how often they're comparing themselves to their peers.
The biggest area in this regard, for my teen, is with his friends getting their licenses and, in some cases, their own cars. He knows our rules -- no "B" average, no permit, no license. And, he's not there yet. We're sticking to our guns, in spite of his pouting and relating every exception he sees in his friends. The same holds true for other possessions and privileges that both boys see their friends have that they may not.
Again, we face the fact that being a good parent isn't necessarily being their best buddy. Our job is to teach them values and good habits, regardless of whether they like it or not. But, my brush with envy on seeing my friend's spectacular home was a reminder that it isn't easy for my boys. But, what do I know? I'm just a guy.
|Bruce Sallan gave up his showbiz career a decade ago to raise his two boys, full-time, now 13 and 16. His internationally syndicated column, A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW, is his take on the challenges of parenthood and male/female issues, both as a single dad and now, newly remarried, in a blended family. Join Bruce's A DAD'S POINT-OF-VIEW fan page at Facebook. To contact Bruce, visit his new website brucesallan.com.|