I have no doubt that I exasperated my mother and father at times as a teenager and even as a young adult. I know this because I can recall particularly my mother saying to me the phrase I’m sure every parent says at one time or another, “It just goes in one ear and out the other”. Which as we all know is just a frustrated way of saying, “you don’t listen to a word I say”. Whether it be advice, instruction, whatever, you haven’t had to parent if you have never felt like your words are completely ignored by your children.
The one that my mother used to always say to me that she felt I never heard was, “do first things first”. I was extremely gifted in the art of procrastination. No one had to teach me how to procrastinate because I was a natural. My gift got in the way of me reaching my potential academically, and my grades suffered. This went on through all of High School and most of college
One day frustrated with the hole that I had started to dig for myself after being granted a tremendous second chance I finally decided to put into practice the thing my mother had been telling me for years, do first things first. I would actually begin to prioritize and order things so that I would be successful, and successful I was.
The reason I tell this story is not to laud praise onto my parents or even myself for finally raising the bar of academic mediocrity and failure that had dogged me for years. The purpose is to encourage any of you parents that find yourselves as exasperated as my mother and father must have been. I want to encourage you with this simple fact that I shared with my mother when she asked what I did differently to turn things around. I finally put first things first. In other words contrary to their belief, their words of advice, instruction, wisdom and encouragement did not go in one ear and out the other. I heard every word. It just took a while before I decided to put it into practice.
You may have reached the point where you hear yourself repeating the same thing over and over to your children and thus feel like a broken record. Don’t lose heart and keep repeating these things that they are too hardheaded or stubborn to do, but don’t believe for one second that they don’t hear you. I’m sure if your honest with yourself you can think back on the things your parents use to tell you all the time much to their exasperation because you too, like your teenager, took forever to apply it. Just as you remembered what your parents said and delayed to apply it, more than likely they will too.