|In the Waiting Room — A new world|
|Thursday, June 05, 2014 8:03 PM|
I hit a deer last week while I was driving home on the freeway. There were two deer in the road: one saw me and continued to run towards the median, the other started to follow then suddenly reversed direction and headed back towards the side of the road and what it perceived as safety. That is the deer I hit.
I wonder about those deer. I presume they were headed towards what they thought must be a delicious feeding ground that was well worth risking their lives for. The irony that the food is the same on both sides of the road will likely not be noticed by the deer.
It is the opportunity that draws them, not the reality. I think of this because this is the time of year that many of our kids are graduating from school and making their next steps towards college and adulthood. Their choices must seem similar to the choices that the deer have. They can stay close to the safety and security of home or they can venture towards new towns and cities for new opportunities and experiences.
For some kids this move will be effortless. They will just take off for new pastures without drama, set up their new life and move forward easily. Other kids will try to move to new pastures many times, hesitate and return, sometimes once, sometimes several times before finally transitioning to their new life.
Allowing our kids, and in some cases pushing our kids, to move towards this transition can be scary and difficult. We are used to providing our children with a nice safe home, so the idea of watching them go towards some place that is not as safe goes against all of our parental instincts. It is also a step we have to take, and take with confidence. They have to know that we think that they will succeed.
You have already taught them everything they need to succeed, they just have to remember the rules that they have been taught since they were little. For instance, look both ways before you cross the street can transition to mean that you don’t rush into a situation until you are aware of the risks associated with it and decide the best way to proceed safely.
Don’t trust strangers with candy also means that they should understand that everyone is not looking out for their best interest. Many people will try to lure them into a situation that they know in their hearts isn’t safe but they want to be “part of the crowd.” They should know that “the crowd” isn’t always right. In fact, “the crowd” is usually the place where most trouble starts.
And, of course, treat others the way you want them to treat you. If they remember this rule, it can prevent a number of problems as well as help them find the friends that they can count on to help them out of a bad situation when they get into one.
The most important thing that they should remember is that their family is still there for them no matter how old they get or how far away they are. They are stepping forward into a new world for them, but it doesn’t mean that they have to leave their old world behind.
Dr. Celeste Lopez graduated cum laude from The University of Utah College of Medicine. She completed her Pediatric residency training at the Children’s Hospital of Michigan. She is certified with The American Board of Pediatrics since 1992. In 2003 she moved her practice, Wishing Well Pediatrics, to Delphos and is located at 154 W. Third Street. She is the proud mother of a 14-year-old son.