Wednesday, November 26, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Dawn Loggins’ story a great reminder about my own parenting

By
From page A2 | June 19, 2012 |

You may have read the story of Dawn Loggins.

Now 18, she was abandoned by her drug-addicted parents last year. Literally. According to news reports, the North Carolina teen was away at summer school when they just packed up and left town without her.

Of course, Dawn had a tumultuous life before then dealing with her parents’ addiction. She battled extreme poverty, often studied by candlelight because they could not afford electricity, found community showers to use and frequently had to wear the same clothes several days in a row. Still she dug her heels in and became a straight-A student. But suddenly last summer she was completely on her own and facing her senior year in high school. She didn’t melt down. She got a job as a janitor in the very school she attended. Teachers pitched in, and another janitor took her in to live with her.

Her advanced-placement classes came after arriving at 5 a.m. to pick up fellow students’ gum off the floor.

Dawn just recently graduated from high school. And she’s on her way to Harvard in the fall. Really.

This is not meant to suggest that every kid with a horrendous story like Dawn’s should be able to do the same. The fact that even one can do it is amazing. In a worldly sense, some people really do get an easier life than others.

I think it is, though, a great reminder to every parent like me who worries too much about his or her children when they have to face any kind of disappointment, much less adversity. I wrote a book, “It Takes a Parent” in which I discussed how we over-worry about every little scrape our kids deal with, from school cliques to not making the school play. We hate saying “no” to our children about anything, from a summer camp to a new type of shoes that everyone else has.

We simply overindulge their whining.

Some of us who are dealing with divorce or illness or the death of a spouse are tempted to go to even greater lengths to make sure our kids are happy.

Enter Dawn Loggins.

I may have written a book calling parents, including myself, to account on this very thing. But I still need to be reminded that when it comes to the routine disappointments of life, my kids will actually live to tell the tale. They will even probably be better off for it.

Dawn’s story helps me remember that most children in the West today, even considering the various “difficulties” they face, have life better and easier than almost any other children who have ever lived.

Perhaps not ironically, studies that have been done in the U.S. on young people and happiness show that they are far more depressed and anxious today than they were during the Great Depression. This is shown in psychological testing that has remained constant and has been routinely administered to samplings of high-school and college students since the late 1930s. (It comes from a respected psychological test called the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory.)

There are a whole host of reasons that this is true. I have to believe that one of them is we parents are too often terrified of letting our kids face and deal with disappointment, and letting them figure out that they will actually live in spite of it.

Of course, I never want my kids to experience the trauma that Dawn Loggins has. Nor is Harvard some be all and end all; it’s what it represents here that’s so important. Perspective matters. And when it comes to disappointments that are so much simpler, whether that includes problems with other kids at school, hearing me say “no” to a trip or some gadget, or even growing up in a one-parent family, if I believe that my kids will survive just fine — and they almost certainly will — they are more likely to believe it as well.

And they will be more ready to face the truly big disappointments and moments of adversity when those inevitably come along in life, too.

Best wishes to you, Dawn. And from at least this parent, thank you for a much-needed corrective.

Betsy Hart’s latest book is “From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports).” Reach her through hartmailbox-mycolumn@yahoo.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Soroptimists seek award applicants

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

     
    Science comes to libraries – for all to see

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

    Nichols plans free family concert in Napa

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

     
    Library schedules soap-making program

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

    Church’s holiday soiree on Vacaville calendar

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A7

     
    Vacaville PD seeks VIPS program volunteers

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

     
     
    Volunteers help Mission Solano pack for food giveaway

    By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: | Gallery

     
    Fairfield police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

    Fairfield police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    Suisun City police log: Nov. 23, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

    Suisun City police log: Nov. 22, 2014

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A9

     
    .

    US / World

    Incumbent Democrats lose in 2 close California Assembly races

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    VA fires Phoenix hospital director

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Iraqi troops take 2 towns from Islamic State group

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Iran nuclear talks stumble, extended until July

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Brown names assistant US attorney to high court

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Driver fatigue may have caused California crash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 1 Comment | Gallery

    Israel resumes razing homes to punish attackers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    GOP wisdom shifts on immigration

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 8 Comments | Gallery

    Under pressure, Hagel steps down as Pentagon chief

    By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    No charges in Ferguson case; chaos fills streets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2, 97 Comments | Gallery

    .

    Opinion

     
    Senate staff cuts reduce transparency

    By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Entertainment

    ‘Wizard of Oz’ Cowardly Lion costume fetches $3M

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Miller puts own spin on longtime ‘GH’ character

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    ‘Today’ looks to rebound from tough week

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Review: Turmoil helps AC/DC shine on new album

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    Guitarist: Leon Russell band’s instruments stolen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Sting tries to help his ailing Broadway musical

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    In wake of Spotify pullout, music industry debates streaming

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    Bill Weir’s new CNN series to begin in 2015

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    TVGrid Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Sports

    Forsett leads Ravens past Saints, 34-27

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Bills rout Jets 38-3 in rescheduled game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Even top NFL teams have taken steps back

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Aldon Smith helps lead in 49ers’ 3rd straight win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Rod Streater returns to practice for Raiders

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Taylor apologizes, won’t appeal NBA suspension

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Johnson, Martinez, Smoltz on Hall of Fame ballot

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    No. 1 Kentucky gives Kansas a Top 25 tumble

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    LeBron on Cavaliers’ issues: “I stink”

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Police: Manziel’s entourage attacked fan at hotel

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Giants set record with $388,606 postseason shares

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    Longtime NHL coach, executive Pat Quinn dies at 71

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

    Pablo Sandoval reaches multiyear deal with Red Sox

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    San Francisco turning to groundwater for its taps

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    South Carolina the new No. 1 in AP women’s hoops

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    .

    Business

    Budweiser gives Clydesdales holiday pink slip

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4, 3 Comments

     
    Redbox raising DVD rental rates by 25 percent

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    New FDA rules will put calorie counts on menus

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    Unidentified country likely behind spying software

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Honda admits failing to report deaths, injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    United Technologies CEO retires, succeeded by CFO

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

    Nike extends contract with USOC through 2020

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

     
    High-end home sales surge in Southern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Rose is Rose Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Peanuts Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Pickles Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sally Forth Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Get Fuzzy Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Bridge Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Cryptoquote Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Garfield Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Frank and Ernest Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Wizard of Id Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Word Sleuth Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Crossword Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baby Blues Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    For Better or Worse Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dilbert Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Blondie Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Zits Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Beetle Bailey Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    B.C. Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4