One of the most painful parts of being a parent is having to watch your child make bad decisions. We all make bad decisions from time to time; hopefully we learn from them. What do you do when your children continually make bad decisions? What do you do when your child seems to make more, way more, than their share of bad choices, and they're not just sort of bad decisions, but they are decisions that are colossally bad? What do you do when your child has, since about the age of 13, made decisions that have made it seem like they're hell bent on their own destruction? What do you do when your own son or daughter has made decisions that have sent deep, painful repercussions reverberating through the core of each and every other person in the family? And all you want, all any of you want, is for your child to be happy, or at least on a road that will eventually lead to happiness. But when they make choice after choice after choice that you have accurately predicted would lead only to frustration, misery, and dead ends, then how do you react? How do you react when your child does not ever seem to learn from his or her mistakes, despite the misery that these choices have caused?
And now, this weekend, as I sit here, a child that I diapered and fed and bathed and taught to ride a bike is in the midst of making yet another decision of large proportions that most likely will lead to heartbreak, anger, frustration, and loss.
When does a parent draw the line, especially when a son or daughter has become an adult? How do you help when they have their own lives, responsible for themselves? What do you do when you have been there for your kids when they needed you, when you have helped them through countless, unspeakably rough times? Dreadful times. Times that have left scars on you soul. What do you do when your child embarks on another series of decisions? When do you just stand up and say, "No! We will not support you in this in any way. Your last bad decision of this sort nearly shattered the whole family into a billion tiny pieces. We will not take part of this at all!?"
What would a good parent do? What about unconditional love? Are you loving unconditionally if you reject their bad decisions and in the process push them away so far that they may never return?