“Decisions determine destiny.”
Thomas S. Monson
A couple of weeks ago I went to the high school open house for students entering high school next year. Although Gabe already attends that school, being the wicked Stepmom, I had to bow out of attending such events for him as it likely would have resulted in some stressful, conflictual, “who does she think she is” kind of thing that I would inevitably end up hearing about.
So this was my first time going. As I toured the school, we came across the arts area, where they talked about all these cool photography classes the kids could take in grade 11 and 12. I knew Zach would be completely keen on that. However, he was planning on following Gabe’s lead and taking band in grade 9.
When we got home, we sat down with a cool program that the school has that helps you map out your academic career. What we found, was if he wanted to take photography later on, he had to take the grade 9 general arts course. If he took band, he would be missing the prerequisite for the photography course. We then played around with some other ideas, including looking at whether or not he would even have room for a course like photography given his academic focus. He will, and since it is a course that interests him now, he made the decision to take art in grade 9, rather than band. ( I wish he could do both, as I am so torn because I think the value of music and band is very high…but I also know that he already has a passion for photography…)
Now, of course, he may change his mind, many, many times.
But the point is, had he not taken the time to do a bit of the research to help him make his decisions, he would not be on the path that he thinks he wants to be.
It’s kind of amazing the number of life changing decisions you have to make when you are the least prepared to make them. You are the least experienced, most vulnerable, and let’s face it, most immature. And yet we ask teens to make all sorts of decisions that will impact the rest of their lives!
It’s hard to make decisions, even when you are an adult! It’s hard to balance your short term and long term priorities (which is where 10-10-10 comes in).
What’s harder though?
Letting go and allowing your kids to make their own decisions – decisions that you know (but they may not necessarily believe) determine their destiny.
Gabe this week had (or has) a big decision to make. In fact, he has a lot of decisions to make, since he is at a pivotal age in terms of deciding many things for his future. Rob and I have talked a lot and decided it was time to let go and let him make these more important decisions on his own. We have taught him what we think are good decision making strategies (both rationale and spiritual) and need to now have faith that he he makes the best decisions for him. We’ve also told him, as he’s becoming an adult, he needs to learn how to make choices that he thinks are good for him, but others may not necessarily agree with – and that is ok. We all have different paths to take. We will support his decisions – even the ones we don’t necessarily agree with (which will happen of course; who has not made a decision that their parents likely would have advised otherwise? It’s part of growing up, being independent and exercising our free agency). However, he needs to also learn to own his consequences. He gets to have pride in the good ones, and deal with the bad.
So this quote was timely as my kids are learning about making decisions and taking steps to make big ones. Decisions do determine destiny; so choose wisely and prayerfully.