March 23rd, 2009
10:58 AM ET

Excerpt: Parents, your kids aren't that special

Here is an excerpt from Jack’s new book, "Now or Never"

I never presumed to have any more answers about being a parent than anybody else.

There are no perfect parents, perfect kids, perfect families - only degrees of dysfunction.

You get up in the morning and do the best you can. At the end of the day you say, "Okay, that wasn't so bad, let's try it again tomorrow." Some of my instincts were pretty good and some of them were awful.

I did stay engaged and didn't say to hell with being a father when my first marriage ended. With the younger girls, I eventually made the choice to clean up my alcoholism before I pushed things to the point of no return. But most of the credit does to my second wife Carol; to the girls; and to God Almighty. Ultimately, I've just been very fortunate.

I don't know the status of parenting in America. But I know a little about the status of education in America. Parents' growing inability to impose manners and limits on their kids when the kids are in school is reflected in record dropout rates, as well as teen drug and alcohol abuse, teen sex, and unwed pregnancies. Maybe it's parenting that's on the decline, more than the schools.

Click here to read the entire excerpt

Don't miss this other excerpt: Cafferty: My battle with alcoholism

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