Thursday, July 2, 2015

How to raise your children to be good people

The title of this blog is deceptive because it implies an answer.

 Anyone who claims to know how to raise children to be good men and women is lying. Most parents do the best they can. Then, there are a few people who are living proof that a parenting license test should be implemented. Hell, the damage you can do in a car accident is minor compared to how bad parenting can wreak havoc.

The marvelously talented Hans Gutknecht took this picture today of Ronda, Justin Flores, who is coaching her  in judo leading up to her world title defense, and Josh Ramirez who was training with her.

Ronda, Justin Flores , Josh Ramirez and Me

It occurred to me that I remember when everyone in it was born (except me) and I was very happy today seeing what fine people they had grown up to be.

My four wonderful children are doing wonderfully well at the moment so people ask me for advice. To quote Shayna Baszler,

I will not share with you the answers that I have not got.

I asked Jake (Justin's dad) what he thought, and he said,

I tried my best. 

Which sounds a lot like Shayna's answer.

 Today, I was driving by a huge billboard advertising Special Olympics and I thought to myself,

I'm so achievement-oriented, I don't think I would be a good parent for a child with a disability.

It was several miles down the road before it occurred to me that I had one child who had epilepsy and another who had developmental delays and required years of speech therapy. Never for one second did I consider either of them to have a disability. I just wasn't having it.  This makes it sound like I thought things through, but not really.

 It just never occurred to me that my children were anything short of amazing in every way. That is one thing that I know Justin's parents, Josh's parents and I did have in common.

If you think all parents think that way, I can assure you that they do not.


Unknown said...


Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Yesterday I finished a book on parenting. Today I found your blog.
I'm not quite ready to go public with the title and the tag line. But I'm currently in the due diligence part of the process and there is a chapter on you and ronda.

I learned a lot about life and parenting from you two.
We worked fairly closely with you before Ronda went to Athens. I considered myself a journalist back then, incredibly unaware of the realities of the "broadcast news" business. I couldn't stay in that game. Luckily, I wound up in sports. I've worked with the NFL & The UFC over the past several years. And I've never stopped telling stories. Bringing me back to my book. It would be really helpful if you could take a look at the chapter about you and ronda. I feel I owe you that opportunity before I release it. Plus, I value your opinion. Is there any way you can contact me on a less public forum?

My email is attached to this comment. If not feel free to reach me here

Hope this email finds you well. Ronda has changed the game and succeeded in ways that make me proud. I can't even imagine how you feel.


Freddy J Weinberg

dustydog said...

The secret to good parenting is the exact same as the secret to judo. When Dr. Kano was asked what the secret to judo was, he said "Don't miss practice!" The secret to parenting is to parent. You can't half-ass either one.

The secret to bad parenting is to always be too busy right now for X, to protect your me time at the end of the day, to tell your kids to stop bothering you.

Kids need loving attention to grow up healthy. Kids that don't get enough parental love and attention are flowers trying to grow on parched sand. Kids that get yelled at, treated as inconveniences, get abuse heaped on them because they can't fight back- those kids grow up with demons inside.

Anonymous said...

Just goes to show where our species lies on the timeline of societal evolution. Your daughter gets paid millions of dollars to rip the arms off of other human beings while people cheer. My daughter gets paid 29,000 a year to teach people how to adapt after their arms have been blown off by wartime adversaries. Amazing in every way.

Dr. AnnMaria said...

Your daughter sounds like a gem. Ronda's sister teaches middle school in downtown Los Angeles, and you're right, she does not get paid commensurate with her contribution to the human race. I'm pretty sure it has always been that way and is not a recent social development.