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Tindell Baldwin »

Comments please

This is my first sample blog for my dad’s communication ministry. Let me know what you think!
Whenever parents here about my rebellious past they always ask me the same question “what made you come out of it”. It’s a great question and one with many answers but today as I am flying from Houston to Atlanta to surprise my mom for her birthday I can only think of one answer, my family gave me the strength. It sounds cliché and I’m sure you are thinking it’s not true but I can promise you that I would have never found my way back to God if my parents hadn’t laid the foundation. It’s true that I wandered down the dark road because of two over achieving brothers but I came back for them all the same.
  One of the things I loved about my parents is they never tried to be the cool parents but they did always strive to have a relationship with me. Even at the height of my disobedience my dad and mom strived to keep communication open. They never bogged down my punishment with religious reasons because they knew that wouldn’t hold any weight for me. Instead my dad got on my level and just talked to me, we would spend hours at the kitchen table hashing out why I did what I did. He never focused on what I did but rather why I did it. He sought to understand me and my decisions before he threw his opinions at me. These talks were never about him and always about how he could help me. Blame it on his years of communicating principles but I never left the kitchen table without plenty to think about.
   Sadly I watched so many of my friend’s parents do the opposite. I guess they decided their teen was too hard to reach and many of them gave up or worse gave in. The parents who gave in didn’t care when they found us drinking in their basement or smoking in their closets instead, they shut the door and pretended like they saw nothing. What was worse was that those kids never came out of it, why would they when their own parents sent a clear message that they weren’t worth anything better.  They were but no one ever told them and we were all too deep in our own crap to bother with other people. I however, had two people who always communicated to me that they cared about me more than their own agenda.
   This past weekend I went to Dallas and beamed proudly as I watched my first Sales Training seminar, he has been doing them for years but I finally convinced him I needed to see one. As he stood up there it all came back to me, the conversations, the pain, and the relationship. Right now we are working on finding me a role in his company, my lifelong dream, and if it weren’t for my parents constant effort to communicate they loved me and they would fight for me I don’t know where I would be. 
Is this true??
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  • Kate - I think this is great! I hope it works out and God orders your next steps to achieve your dreams. 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Patty Griffin - Tindell,
    Do you want a parent's perspective? One who is going through what you describe? I am new to your blog and have only read a few entries–and, I have met your dad. I know that he is not your average parent because he is not your average human being. You are lucky, your dad has a special gift as a person–your mom probably does too– Oh how I wish parenthood was that simple and how I wish we all had that gift. We can't be so quick to judge those other parents as uncaring or misguided. Anyone who has ever held a newborn cares deeply about their child and none of us ever expected to find that child leading the drinking party in the basement. First, we live in a society that has norms for parenting. Unfortunately, children are not born into those norms but we are raised to believe that certain behavior requires certain responses. My child did something, therefore as a good parent, I should respoond with–name the punishment–say grounding. Watch mothers of young children who throw tantrums in public. Every single eye is on them judging how they should handle it. Oh, the road to raising these small humans to be compasionate, productive adults–we are so unprepared for it. One of the many "programs" my daughter went through had a simple philosphy: "Life is a walking. Sometimes we do forward walking and sometimes we do backward walking" As a parent, often my daughter's "backward walking" led to my own "backward walking". We are all just messy human beings on the path together hoping that our forward walking is greater than our backward walking. Your father's "forward walking" happened at the kitchen table. Others will do theirs silently in the kitchen preparing a meal, on that long car ride, or by quietly getting up on Saturday morning to go to an AlAnon meeting. The shouting, the grounding, the lectures, that is just well-intentioned backward walking by scared, hurt adults who happen to love that confused, angry child so much that they feel they need to do SOMETHING!.ReplyCancel

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