Mac Bledsoe holds on to the parenting tip he got from the doctor who delivered his first child.
“As he handed that child back to us, he had tears running down his cheeks,” Bledsoe recalled, “he said ‘kids, I want you to remember something; this little fellow here is not yours, never was, never will be. He’s just on loan to you for 18 years’.”
Bledsoe is known by many as the first coach for NFL star Drew Bledsoe, Mac is his dad. His own fame is spreading as a parenting guru. Mac underlined this “loan” concept at a recent parents meeting at Bigfork High. Parents filled a section of the blue bleachers of the BHS gym. He looks at child rearing as an 18 year loan; at 9, the kid is half his own, half paid off, so to speak, and should be making half his decisions. By the time they’re 16, they only have 2-years left to “pay off,” and a parent is in more of an advisory role. Decisions are up to the teen, especially when it comes to drugs, violence, and gang activity. Bledsoe says as a parent, you won’t be around for all those choices your child will make.
“What they’re going to use is the ideas already in their heads,” Bledsoe explains “what you taught them.”
“Parenting With Dignity” is a non-profit foundation aimed at teaching parents essential parenting skills giving them the tools necessary to create an encouraging, and loving home for their children, according to www.parentingwithdignity.com. Through the organization, Bledsoe has produced several movies and books aimed at teaching parents to instill a sense of responsible decision making in their kids. Alongside increasing kids’ responsibilities for their choices, Bledsoe talks of unconditional love from home as indispensable in creating a confident, dependable young adult.
“You take gangs, drugs, violence, sex,” Bledsoe lists, “you can take all that back to an unmet need to be loved.”
Mac and his wife Barbara live in the Flathead. He has a daily show at 10:40 in the morning on The Big Fish Radio; www.whitefishradio.com.
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