We wish her health, happiness, and a refund check from the I.R.S. on her birthdays!
But seriously, yesterday, as I was going on my usual walk with our dog, I started thinking about what can I do to be a good parent. I came to the conclusion my goal should be to prepare her so she makes more “good decisions” than “bad” ones in life, and to prepare her for “survival” during the bad times.
This requires preparation and the sooner the better. This means judicious discipline, frequent pep talks, and spending enough time with her so she feels comfortable discussing her “issues” with us.
When I was much younger, I was a pretty good chess player. I haven’t played in years, mainly due to time limitations, and more interest in other hobbies. However, what I learned was a good chess game is the accumulation of small, but calculated moves, combined with occasional risks (if the opportunity should arise). Of course, playing against a human, there is always an element of luck, and we hope the other side will make a mistake so we can capitalize on it. Life is also like chess, in that success in life is rarely due to sheer luck (such as winning the lottery). If you have not done the “small steps”, winning the lottery may not necessarily mean happiness, as you will be unprepared for this dramatic change.
I have also learned the value of patience. When I was much younger, I was impatient and sometimes arrogant. It took a good “verbal beating” by a girl to whip me into shape! I have realized rash decisions rarely lead to anything good. I have also learned to try to think before I open my mouth, especially when angry. Fortunately, I rarely become angry! I think these are valuable lessons for my daughter.
Ultimately, I hope my daughter will learn from her mistakes and set-backs and evolves into a better human being. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are born as a donkey and die as a mule! They are stubborn, never admit to their mistakes and as a result never improve. I hope she is not one of them!
Michael A. Jazayeri, M.D. is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 10 years of experience in both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. His office is located in Orange County, California. To schedule a consultation, please call 714-834-0101.