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Blind, Crippled, and Playing in a Marching Band
Blind, Crippled, and Playing in a Marching Band

The bond between a father and his child can be powerful enough to overcome almost anything, even crippling birth defects.

Patrick Henry Hughes plays in the marching band at his school, the University of Louisville.  However, he has never walked a step in his life or even seen a football game.

Patrick was born with a birth defect that both blinded and crippled him.  His parents suffered the daunting realization that their son would never be able to completely stretch out his limbs, or see.  However, that overwhelming cloud was lifted on Patrick’s first birthday when he sat down at the piano and began to show an interest and natural talent.  His father, Patrick John Huges, took this as an opportunity to connect with his son in an difficult situation.

When he went to the University of Louisville he was invited to be a part of the marching band.  Patrick Huges Sr rose to the challenge yet again and did what he could as a father to help his son.  This involved him attending every game to push his son’s wheelchair, as part of the formation, in the marching band.  He took the graveyard shift as a UPS deliverer so he could attend every class and practice with his son in order to make this a reality.

When both a father and a child remain an inspiration for each other it is possible for them to overcome anything.  While the challenges most parents face are not as extreme as Patrick’s situation it’s still important for parents to tech their children to overcome hardship.  All Pro Dad lists some ways that parents can teach their children to overcome obstacles:

1) Be a Role Model: Kids learn most of what they know about problem solving by watching their parents deal with difficulty. So demonstrate the deep satisfaction that comes with negotiating a challenge.

2) Equip them with the right tools: Tools such as motivation, self-confidence, perseverance, faith, strength of character, sound judgment, and experience in solving small problems.

3) Play problem-solving games as a family: Scavenger hunts, board games, word puzzles. This helps kids understand that obstacles are an important element of a rich and fulfilling life experience.

4) Understand the difference between “childhood” and “irrelevancy”: Too many parents offer children neither responsibility nor the respect of expectation.  If you expect nothing from your children then that is what they will give you in return.  Keeping your child from contributing to family life will likely result in them developing other, typically destructive, skills.

5) Provide children with practice: Introduce obstacles that kids can deal with; teach them how to develop strategy; encourage them to persevere; and then make a big deal of it when they succeed. Involve children with planning family outings, working out details on vacation, and handling the logistics for other family events.

While there is no simple answer to the challenges that life can place before you fathers, and mothers, are uniquely equipped as parents to help children persevere through life’s pitfalls.

Jeffrey Feulner and the Men’s Divorce Law Firm aggressively represents husbands and fathers because we stand for fathers’ rights in a family law setting.  If you are a father and you have questions on your family law matters contact us today to see how we can help your case.