As a foster dad, being a provider is expected but being a teacher is mandatory. The other night, my son was in a car accident.
As we looked at the totaled Ford Taurus, my son kept apologizing to me – “Dad, I’m so sorry!” He said over and over. I hugged him and calmed him down; trying to deal with my shock in the mean time.
I tried to explained to him that I can replace the car, but I couldn’t replace him. In that moment, I realized that I loved him more than anything.
He wrecked my car and, in doing so, he thought that I would be upset and condemn him. He was instead affirmed with a hug and reminded that he was valued. He now knows what unconditional love feels like.
I used this opportunity as a teaching moment. After I got him to calm down, I asked him to replay the events leading up until the accident.
Did he have a plan (route) as to where he was going?
Did he take all safety precautions to protect himself?
Did he eliminate distractions? (cellphone, music, friends etc.)
I told him, “Son, you have to make a plan, take it slow, and eliminate your distractions. If you do this, it will help you to lessen the chances of a car accident and help to save your life.”
The same applies to your life – all of these traits give you a road map to get to your destination.
There were some valuable life-lessons that could be taught in this situation. However, what I didn’t take into consideration then was the bonding experience that came out of it.