“Whoa! What do you do when a person is out of control? I mean, really?” Yes, these were the opening sentences posed to me by one of my children this week, kicking off a fun discussion. As not to misrepresent or misquote, I’ll offer my Cliff’s Notes version.

After having just gotten off the phone with his girlfriend, my son was seeking advice about what to say when a person is overcome with anxiety, and being totally irrational. After giving him a mini presentation embedded with some strategies, summed up with the idea that there is no reasoning with crazy, he asked me if the suggestions work. “You tell me,” I said; he having been the recipient of many of these strategies. He walked away scratching his head. At which time, I believe an “ah-ha” moment was had.

There is no substitute for experience; and often it is life’s experiences, coupled with natural and logical consequences, that do the most to shape our children’s behaviors. When they do inevitably encounter struggles, we have to pray our kids feel comfortable in coming to us for support. This is why parents have to guard against destroying a relationship with their child in an attempt to discipline.

Parenting has been one of my greatest life challenges. But alas, I seemed to have caught a break. I am quite thankful that a bit of life karma intervened today, reinforcing behavioral lessons I have tried to instill in my son for the past two decades.