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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monday Morning Quarterback

In recent days as part of my job as an attorney, I endured three days of hearings on a very specialized and technical matter.  An independent third party conducted a study and the subject of the hearing was second guessing the third party and disputing whether the determinations made by the party were precise enough.  There were numerous parties on either side of the issue, and a courtroom full of attorneys and expert witnesses.  It was mind boggling.

It reminded me a bit about raising my children.  There are many individual decisions and environmental factors that go into how my children are shaped and formed.  Long after those decisions and factors shape and form them I may look at my adult child and second guess why I did this or that, or whether I made mistakes along the way.  Why is my child an angry/impatient/apathetic/timid person?  What made him that way?  Did I do enough to address the issue, or did I create it?  Sometimes I’m not even waiting until my child is an adult.  Why does my child have ADHD/obesity/lack of respect?

“Monday-morning quarterbacking” is a waste of time and energy.  We all do the best we can, given the circumstances we are in and the child we are working with.  To reexamine every decision and event that occurs is counter-productive (and it doesn’t help our own self confidence going forward).  Wouldn’t it be better to deal with where we are today?  If an issue needs to be corrected, let’s correct it, instead of trying to pinpoint how it occurred.  The fact is, how something influenced or shaped our child may have nothing to do with things we did, but instead related more to the circumstances and time and place the child was in at the time they were influenced or shaped.  Maybe there is no explanation.

I’m trying to take the pressure off myself, do the best I can, and let the chips fall where they may.  I need to keep the focus on today and let my children understand that I am human too, capable of making wise decisions and capable of making monumental mistakes.

Whew!  I’m relieved, how about you?

P.S. As a footnote, at the end of the hearing, the Court directed the third party not to be guided by the opinions of the various sides, but to use its best professional judgment.  I guess I'm not the only one to reject Monday Morning quarterbacks!