Teach your Children To STAND UP FOR THEMSELVES; ESPECIALLY your Daughters!

indexWhile at the airport dropping off someone this am, happened upon a young woman, who was out right crying and sobbing, while frantically trying to call someone on her cell phone for help. I instantly thought of my own grown children, who were close in proximity to her age and wanted to reach out and help as I figured she didn’t have the proper tools to deal with whatever it was that was clearly upsetting her. I walked on over to her and asked her if she was alright and as expected, she stated “no” through her sobbing. Here was my cue to take over and help guide her.

Being the early hour that it was, my dress code was for a drop off only, yet there was someone in need in front of me, that I couldn’t ignore. I asked her if she had asked for help at the counter and she in turn stated they told her to call the 1-800 number to re-book her flight. Her hands and body were shaking from crying so hard, so calling this number was not an option at this time. I told her to follow me and proceeded over to the counter where the agents were standing, with no one in line at the moment. I merely asked one of the agents to help this person as she missed her flight. The agent in turn told me she needed to call the 1-800 number.

I looked the agent in the eye and asked her if she could do her job and assist this person in need. I really didn’t care if I offended the agent as she was getting paid to help customers, not chase them off. The agent then gave me the information in detail and I turned around and told the young lady to follow me. During our short walk back across the room, I told the young lady that she needs to stand up for herself and ask these people, reminding her that she is helping to pay their salaries. Also told her to stand up for herself and to not back off until she gets help. Explained the ‘squeaky wheel’ theory to her–they will want to oil the squeaky wheel right away, to quiet it down.

There were two TSA agents standing nearby who had witnessed the whole scenario and thank God, they stepped up to help. The young lady finally got an agent on the toll-free number we had been given and fortunately, the agent was very helpful; unlike the agents at the local counter. I asked the TSA agents if they would mind helping this gal out and make sure she got on the plane and since they weren’t busy, they more than obliged to do so. I was most thankful as I could now disappear back into my car and no longer display my car only outfit.

I proceeded to drive back home and while driving, thought of all the young people out there, especially girls, who don’t have the tools or know-how, to navigate within the real world yet are dumped into the system at a regular rate regardless. My hope is that parents will quit trying to be their children’s’ best friends and be parents; full well knowing what the real world is like and what their children should be prepared for when they cut the cord.

Examples of such parenting would be to include your children in dispute resolution of all types. Teach them how to look at the big picture, assess the situation, look out the available resources/answers and select the appropriate direction that would bring about resolution and help one to move forward. Parents must teach their children that crying/sobbing/whining etc. won’t help (maybe after resolution has been achieved) and that one must think clearly during these times and take charge.

Dispute resolution isn’t easy for anyone, but in these situations, they won’t go away or get better unless addressed head on. Besides, once one takes on ownership and deals with whatever the situation, they will be empowered and able to complete the task. Educating oneself, no matter the topic, always empowers the mind and helps one find the necessary answers. My message is to all you parents out there–teach your children how to think on their own two feet–don’t do their work for them. Let them experience the satisfaction in being able to care for themselves!!

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