The opportunity we have been waiting for is always present in our lives.  Being aware and knowing when to take advantage of them is at the heart of all life lessons.

As a parent of 3 boys (age 7, 6, and 3), I am lucky to be presented learning opportunities everyday.  Part of being a parent is to provide our kids with a safe loving learning environment.  As parents, we are responsible for doing the best we can to nurture and guide our kids through their own life lessons.

Truth is, our kids are equally guiding us through our own life lessons.

I awoke this past Monday morning to quiet and darkness. I started to drift back to sleep. Feverish panic began to set in.  We were late for a very important date. Clock read 6:07 and my son Riley (age 7) was due on the ice at 6:45 for his hockey lesson.

I rushed to get dressed and headed downstairs to hustle us out the door and to the rink.  To my surprise, early riser Riley was still asleep.  Further panic set in.  I don’t like to be late.

I feel I am breaking my commitments when I am.


With our amazing super human powers, we made it to the rink and on the ice by 6:43. Two minutes to spare. I went to get coffee while Riley casually warmed up. Peace and harmony re-emerged.

10 minutes passed and I returned.  Still no coach. In an effort to maximize our ice time, I game Riley some drills to work on.

10 more minutes passed. Riley was steaming mad.  The first words out of his mouth were...

“He is a good coach, but he is not committed to me”

WOW….all those conversations with him about committing to his school work, guitar, and skating skills were really sinking in.  He understood and was applying the concepts to the present moment. I have never been more proud of him.

Before we could continue the dialog, another coach invited Riley into his group. This diversion was perfectly timed. I needed to reflect and formulate a plan to help Riley through this moment.

How can we both learn from this opportunity?

Learning is not accomplished by telling or doing for. Learning is best accomplished by immersing our selves in the moment, communicating our feelings, and doing for our selves.

Instead of providing solutions or answers, I allowed Riley to arrive at his own answers.  I let him share his feelings. I let him decide what he wanted to do.  I let him make his own decisions.

In the process, I honored my commitment to him to provide a safe loving learning environment.

Together, we turned a potentially harmful experience into a wonderful learning opportunity.  We learned a few valuable life lessons from each other.

What opportunity does this story present you?