Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 7, 1999

ANNA MONICA / L’Observateur / July 7, 1999

Karen McGaff (Dr. Charlie’s spouse) couldn’t come out to play. Her children, Chasand Candace, were on the swim team at Belle Terre, and she was very involved with that. In fact, she named a number of other parents who were doing thesame thing with their children, so after the invitational, she said, please call her for tennis.

Rene Kurica (Dr. Phil’s wife) couldn’t play that day, either, because she wasdoing something with daughter, Jenny. Later I spoke to Hazel Lawless, anothergood tennis player and school teacher who was there to observe her son, Tommy, taking a tennis lesson.

This kind of scene repeats itself over and over again at swimming pools, tennis courts, baseball games, non-athletic events, etc., everywhere. I am alwaysimpressed when I see parents or guardians out there on behalf of their kids. I ama champion of children and of what they are entitled to – attention from their parents.

What this brings me to is the fact that I am also an avid “Dr. Laura” listener andfan. I believe in the principles and morals she professes. Sure, I am not inagreement with everything she says, because really, I have a little bit of “know it all” in me, too. But 99.9 percent of the time, to me she seems very sound.One day she told a story about a high school coach who had called in and was distressed about one of his athletes. His athletes were going to be honored (youknow, the way they do for the seniors at the end of the season), and they asked for the parents to walk up with their athlete when the awards were presented.

What upset the coach was that later he heard the athlete on the phone begging his parents to come to the event for him. They refused. Finally, the athlete founda friend to walk with him. The coach remained disturbed. I thought it was one ofthe saddest stories I ever heard, and I wondered why his parents had ever even wanted a child.

For years and years I have seen members of my own family and many other parents make sacrifices and really go out of their way to be wherever their kids needed to be, giving encouragement, relentlessly watching for any mishap and sharing in their successes or disappointments. Having so many nephews myself,I’ve spent considerable time at various ballparks and have come to know what parents would always be there without fail. Of course, I didn’t know them alland some parents had the right reasons for not being able to be present, but I heard one dad say he would quit his job before he missed one of his son’s games.

Responsible parenting is so inspiring to me, and the parent who makes every attempt to be there for their son or daughter, regardless of what they are involved in, earns every bit of my respect as well as credit for raising their kids’ self-esteem.

That frustrated coach will never forget that incident when the parents would come out to support their child. Neither will that young athlete.

Back to Top

Back to Leisure Headlines

Copyright © 1998, Wick Communications, Inc.

Internet services provided by NeoSoft.

Best viewed with 3.0 or higher