No Fool - The Joker Emoji
Now let me preface this with that I don't fully believe I'm the greatest father, however there has been one stroke of genius that I implemented...
Let me to start with a bit of background, I didn't have much help from my parents when I was a teenager because well basically my dad died when I was 16 and my mum wasn't much help to herself let alone me, so I had to find out some hard truths... life is heavy and when your friends are the only people you can speak too, but that feels a bit weird because 'social hierarchy' it's hard to get shit off your chest. So as a dad I decided that when my kids got to the awkward ages in the teenage years, I would listen without judgement. Now this has its own challenges because you want the best for your kids, you also want to be their friend and lastly you want them to figure things out themselves, and lastly much like you guys and myself also, kids are going to do what they want that's just life and as a father of daughters the saying 'Ignorance is Bliss' plays out pretty strongly here, But I digress, So being a hip new dad (so uncool I'm sure) I had one final present for my daughters 17th birthday...
*The Actual Message
So let me tell you about the one time this card has been used, and it wasn't even that 'bad' by my standards, it got used when life was all a bit much She had felt overwhelmed with her job and her friend was mad at her for not covering his shift and that same friend helped her get that job so she wanted to quit but felt that if she did she would be letting him and everyone down, again nothing major to an adult who has gone through all these things before but when you first struggle with all these thoughts and the possible implications it gets a bit scary a great first use of the Joker in my opinion.
My advice was simple, Don't make big decisions when you are feeling down and other peoples feelings / interpretations of your actions aren't yours to control.
So she agreed and listened for a week or so and then quit that job anyway (so teenager)
With that in mind what has the Joker card taught me.. well it's hard to say because its only been used that one time and there just isn't enough data but, I hope that beyond myself that joker card has taught her something, I hope it taught her that we are all just trying to figure it out and life is scary sometimes and hard and all those things but, there is someone to help most times if you need and the old adage plays out of not listening to your parents because they are old and don't know anything there is a chance they can help.
My take away from this is if you are a parent / uncle / aunt / brother / sister - reach out and extend the option to talk without judgement.
It could save a life.
- Ricky P.S - Let me know your parenting win below!