Little One (photo: cwarnercarey / flickr)

Being someone who has more grey hairs than Clairol™ can cover these days, along with a grandson to match, I look at my kids and ask myself on numerous occasions, “Did we do the right thing by our kids?”

Some days, I think the smartest thing we ever did was to get them involved in 4H, which gave them a lot of experience in having to get up every morning, no matter how shitty they felt or how cold it was, to go out and feed the sheep and feed and milk the goats. Considering the amount of nostalgia they express about those experiences (which all seem to take place between May and November; no one remembers slopping buckets of water down their pants when they were going out in 0-degrees F), that decision gets a tick mark in the ‘good idea’ column.

On the other hand, I’ve asked myself more than once whether our emphasis on academics and going to college was the smartest thing. There are days when I think we should have enrolled at least two of them into voc tech and gotten them settled in plumbing or being an electrician. Some parents we know say that their greatest decision was in encouraging their kids to become computer programmers, but they’ve also said that their kids are generally miserable. Not that my kids are miserable – our eldest is a business development specialist for the local cooperative extension and our youngest has what passes these days for a pretty good job locally – he works in the facilities department of our local university and has full health and dental.

I’m not sure that any parent knows what to encourage their kids to do these days. What do you think?