New York City 365 199x300 POSITIVE PARENTING   RELATIONSHIPSOne of the most challenging things I find as a positive parent is the way I handle relationships.  Over the years, I work hard to develop good relationships. I always felt that “being cool” with people is the only way to be. I didn’t come up with this philosophy on my own. Ever since I was a little kid, I watched my dad and how he reacted with people.  In all these years I have never seen him walk by anyone without saying “hello. He favorite saying is that everyone is someone’s loved one. This has helped the three of us (my sister, brother and I) to be compassionate with others. His other saying is that there is only a hair line that can separate one from being on the positive side or being on the negative side. This has helped us to be more in tune with the human condition.

These sayings rang in my ears during some of the dark times of my life, when I was trapped in alcoholism and drug abuse. It was during these times that he really had to put these saying into practical use. After all I was his loved one and just the wrong push or pull could have sent me farther away so that I may not have ever seen the possibility of stepping over that hairline into the light.

I am a firm believer that whatever a kid sees his/her parents do he/she will do the same things. After watching my dad over these years be the mayor of his surroundings, I have found myself following in his steps and have become a mayor in my own right.

His underlying lesson, I feel, is that every relationship is an important one. It doesn’t matter how deep that relationship is.  Something as simple as saying hello to someone could make the difference between that person stepping over that hairline on the positive side or the negative side.  In my own personal life I can’t tell you how many times that someone saying hello to me has snapped me out of a negative trance.

One day I was in a MacDonald’s with my #2 son and there was a guy begging for money so he could eat. It didn’t make any sense for me to give him $.50 or $1 so that he could get enough money, over time. I asked him what he wanted (I think it was a Big Mac meal) and I bought it for him.  He was very polite. He thanked me, ate his food and left the restaurant. I had watched my dad do that with people many times over the years and he always explained that that act could have kept that person from doing something desperate in his quest to feed his hunger.

Many months later I was with this same son in a different fast food restaurant. I had given him $5 to keep in his pocket in case we got separated he’d at least have some money to make a phone call. In this place there was also a person begging for money so he could eat. I wasn’t paying much attention to him.  This time I was very hungry.  It was crowded and I was only focused on picking something from the menu so I could sit down and eat. There was a lady standing next to us and she said “That’s very nice of you to do, young man”.  She was talking to my son. He had taken the $5 I had given him and gave it to that person. It was clear that he was doing the same thing he had seen me do some time before.  I watched my dad do it. He watched me do it.

Just imagine. Supposed my dad had cursed at those people and pushed them out of his way. I’m sure that when it was my turn, I would have cursed them and pushed them out of my way. I wonder what my son would have done.

My dad has always stressed that every relationship is important, especially those that are short term. He always has felt that these short relationships give us the chance to positively affect people’s lives.

I LOVE BEING A DAD!!

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