Recently I was tooling around online and stumbled across the story on ESPN about the upcoming NBA Draft. But more importantly the UCLA player Lonzo Ball who is expected to go high in the draft if not #1.
BIG DEAL you might say we get these stories 3-4 times A YEAR… pick your professional sport. However this year this young man is really a metaphor or symptom for perhaps giving people who work with children and youth the best job security in the world.
Not by the wayward choices they might make but by his father LaVar Ball.
It appears that Lonzo has very little opportunity to make decisions on his own, and every decision made is either by his father or for his father and in the name of his father. I’m all about upsetting the apple cart however this “gentleman” is something else. He reminds me of Napoleon Dynamites Uncle Rico in the movie Napoleon Dynamite. Rico never made it past being a famous high school quarterback because of someone else and it appears to fit the description for Lonzo’s dad. Mad at the world I missed my opportunity and so this is how I’m going to make up for it. Lonzo’s dad does it all.
It becomes apparent very early on that “dad” speaks… talks… represents…deals… organizes… maybe he even poops for his son. Almost every time I see the two, Dad does it all. Now admittedly my sample size isn’t great, however I have seen enough to get that picture.
So to my point.
Thanks for the job security LaVar because its my observation that from this approach I think about the resiliency and coping skills of his son and frankly a whole generation of youth that aren’t put in enough positions to develop those skills through the worlds best teacher… experience all because a parent or parents have literally done it all.
Case in point. A man in a Tennessee bar this week poured kerosene all over himself, set himself on fire and ran into a bar. All because his girlfriend broke up with him.
This story is an absolute tragedy. However the focus appears to be on the method, the tragedy and Facebook. Who once again is been held to task for seemingly every evil action and act of violence that occurs on this platform. Its like suing a car manufacturer for a drunk drivers actions.
The story I hear hear is why he did it.
“He believed that suicide would be the ultimate revenge on her,”
How bad had it become for this man that this was an viable option. How unable was he to cope with his mental health that this occurred. This is not a statement about how people had let him down, or how we should have given him medicine, or that his family should have tried harder.
Children, youth & young adults are increasingly expressing their mental health to anyone who will hear and respond. But perhaps the real challenge is where have skills like resilience, coping and problem solving gone. Many of us have been through a bad break up, parents going through divorce or struggling with our or anothers sexuality. However what goes hand in hand with these are the above mentioned skills. Not thats its the gold ticket to jettison us away from pain, heartbreak or loneliness. But there appears to be a rise in younger generation type problems that aren’t meet with skills of coping etc.
Were they not taught? Not experienced? Not allowed to experiment with failure and growth in far more digestible problems in younger years so that where those real storms of life come, like divorce, breakup and sexuality that there is at least some foundations of skills to begin to process and get help.
Its well documented that people die by suicide because of a loss of hope and/or loss of social connection. And I wonder if some of that could be minimized, not “fixed”but minimized by looking for more opportunities to put into practice those life long skills.
And while we/parents everyone continue to not expose our children and youth to manageable challenges of life by speaking for them, making all their decisions, even living vicariously through them we are also providing people who work with children, youth and young adults the best job security in the world. But for all the wrong reasons.
What happens when kid has to make his own decisions
What does that mean when dad isn’t around
Another picture of no coping skills no resiliency
Follow what so what now what model
LaVar & Lonzo