Irresponsible Parents Abound at Mall Play Areas
Should Tony Dungy’s Loss Be A Wakeup Call?
By Glenn Lawrence
By Glenn Lawrence
It is the worst news any dad can hear.
This time the call was to Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy. His 18-year-old son James had apparently committed suicide.
For many dads, Dungy was the epitome of fatherhood. He was involved in an organization called All Pro Dads. It’s a group that works tirelessly to bond fathers with their children. Many dads, through that organization, and because of Dungy’s leadership and inspiration, have, in fact grown closer to their sons and daughters.
Is the lesson for all us dads that if something like this could happen to Dungy, it could happen to any of us?
We don’t know.
Was Dungy aware of the depression his son had been experiencing?
After all James overdosed two months earlier in the very same apartment he was discovered dead. In that incident he’d taken the prescription drugs and called paramedics. He told them he did because he was depressed. He was “Baker Acted” for psychiatric treatment.
Then there’s a troubling blog created by James. One that uses racial slurs, guns as icons and images of illegal drugs. It’s troubling. And certainly, if James created it to be a reflection of himself, he was an extremely troubled teenager.
Was Coach Dungy aware that his son had a blog that was accessible by anyone on the internet? How much does any parent know about teen blogs on the internet.
You hear from experts the importance of knowing our kids. Their likes and dislikes. Their friends. And who they are as individuals.
Did Tony Dungy do all that, yet James still apparently feel alone. And desperate. And depressed. To the point that he needed to end his life?
Or was there something lacking in what Coach Dungy did or didn’t do as a father?
We may never know the answers to any of those questions. And I’m not even certain we have the right to know such personal, intimate interactions–even when it’s a public family.
But I want to know. I want to know if things can go so wrong even when you do everything right. Or if this image of Coach Dungy of the perfect father was not quite what it appeared to be.
Glenn Lawrence is editor of Interactive Dad Magazine, an online magazine offering news dads can use on a daily basis. From household finance to relationship advice, find out why Interactive Dad is the #1 Parenting Magazine for Fathers!