sideline parenting (12 of 12) — batteries not included

Parenting Advice from the World’s Greatest Coaches (with a charlie’s house challenge)

Success without honor is an unseasoned dish; it will satisfy your hunger, but it won’t taste good. (Joe Paterno, Penn State football coach)

Have you ever encountered someone that is so good at lying that they actually start to believe their lies themselves? I always wondered if there is a specific day that they actually choose to leave our planet in search of one that better suits their needs? Or do they just float away unknowingly. I wonder if some of them find that they must leave our solar system entirely, because they found another that actually revolves around their needs, wants, and ideas. They obviously must have scoured the universe in search of a galaxy that was missing a Sun , so that they could apply their version of a gravitational pull on an unsuspecting civilization.

AhhhhhhhhhI wonder when people like Roger Clemens, Michael Vick, Pete Rose, Marion Jones, Ben Johnson, Barry Bonds, and OJ Simpson decided to leave our planet. When was the exact point that stuff got so bad, here on earth, that they set out on their “Three Hour Tour”?, and who was it that taught them to put all common sense aside as they rose to the top of their profession?

Why did they ignore good judgement? How could their avalanche of bad choices be avoided?

The answer is not only simple, but it is single handily the most important thing that you can do for your child as a parent. It is the one gift that you can provide them that will insure that they make GREAT decisions for the life that they choose when they leave your fiefdom and set out to rule their own. It is only one word but it comes with great responsibility.


I promise you that everyone that makes a mistake does it when they lack courage. Every time they lie in court, kill a dog in front of their friends, take a performance enhancing drug, or hurt a significant other, they do it engulfed by cowardice. It is no different than a teen that chooses to drink, smoke, do drugs, or engage in sexual activity before it’s time. They are scared. Scared of being alone. Frightened of the possibility of not being accepted. Terrified that they are not loved enough.

You see, their is a huge difference between “Having character, and BEING a character”. It is the same space that exists between security and insecurity. Has it ever been revealed to you that the more “verbose” a person is, the deeper his insecurity lies? The more”flashy” a person is, the greater the need is to feel noticed? The more “egotistical” a person appears, the more desperate their life appears?

The Tao Te Ching states that courage is derived from love and explains: One of courage, with audacity, will kill. One of courage, but gentle, spares life. From these two kinds of courage arise harm and benefit.”

Parents need to understand that although Courage is the greatest gift we can hope for our children, we are not the best person to be taught from. After all, we are the same “broken an torn” individuals as they are. We have the same root insecurities and the same doubts. We seek the same approval and long to be loved. We long to be justified and we lie, cheat, and steal to insure it.

Would you give your child a second hand birthday gift if it was missing pieces and parts. Could you buy them a remote control race car but refuse them the batteries? Should you provide them with a trampoline that is missing more than half the springs?


Do we simply teach them to find peace, love, acceptance, light, understanding, hope, fulfillment, and most of all ….COURAGE, in God?

There is only One that is of perfect intentions that can show our children that they are loved, accepted, and appreciated. There is only One that is our perfect example of love and understanding. There is only One that loves our children more than we could ever imagine. So much that he gave the life of his only child to insure their protection.

Go ahead and give your kid that remote control car. It is still your job to provide what you can. Take them outside, clear the street, keep them safe, watch their backs. Then, when they ask you for the batteries… …show them God.

Then get off the race track.


One Response to sideline parenting (12 of 12) — batteries not included

  1. Chantal says:

    Thank you, Charlie, for this light in my dark winter morning. The challenges of parenting are great, but no greater than God’s unfailing love for us. You mentioned that children turn elsewhere when they are scared of being alone & terrified of not being loved enough. Sometimes we think we’re giving our children all they need, but we neglect their emotional needs, and we’re surprised when they’ve turned to other people or situations to fill up that need. I pray everyday for courage to be the parent my children need, and even if I often fall short of being that parent, I continue to put my trust in God for myself and my family, that He’s given me what I need to be the parent of these children that He’s entrusted me with.

    Great post, great series, your thoughts stir the soul…..and happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! :)

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