His parents were addicted to drugs throughout his childhood, but when he turned 33, they did the most shocking thing of all

What would you do in this situation?

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  • Parents worry about their kids - who they hang out with, what they are learning in school and how many veggies they are getting seem to occupy the minds of many, many parents. However, among the worry and stress, parents sometimes forget that children are worried about them in return.

  • It might not seem like it all of the time, but children really want what's best for their parents. They want them to be happy.

  • Don't underestimate the power of example

  • Charles Cole knows this better than most. According to LittleThings, Cole was raised by his grandparents because his parents were in and out of jail. His parents were addicted to crack cocaine and Cole would go months without seeing them.

  • But when he was in middle school, his parents made a decision that would not only change their lives but also the life of their son.

  • They decided to get help

  • Overcoming an addiction is never easy. Among other things, it requires self discipline and hard work. But Cole's parents pushed through. After some time they were able to get clean - then they decided to make another life-changing decision. They went back to school.

  • Cole's parents were inspired by their son and his hard work as a full-time student. They changed their lives around.

  • My parents went back to college together and they graduated today. Together. #salute

    A post shared by Charzie (@ccoleiii) on

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  • Cole said that he didn't even know that they had gone back to school, but he couldn't be prouder of his parents. He wants them to be happy and seeing them change their life around makes him so proud.

  • Happy Mother's Day from my parents, B!

    A post shared by Charzie (@ccoleiii) on

  • We all want our parents to be happy

  • We need to remember that although we can't make decisions for our parents, we can still be good examples. Cole didn't ever give up on his parents, but he also didn't let their choices limit his life. He was able to keep focused in school and look how that choice inspired his parents.

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  • Don't give up on the ones you love

  • This can seem like the hardest thing to do. You have seen them make terrible decisions and you don't know how to help someone you care so deeply about. It might be better to put some space between you and them, but never give up on them.

  • Keep praying for those you love. Keep in contact and let them know that you love them, regardless of their decisions. You might not love the choices they have made, but they need to know that you still care for them. It's always easier to give up, but the ones you love are worth the temporary heartache or headache you may suffer by sticking around. Cole's parents weren't really there for him when he was growing up and he had to rely on other people for a time. Although this was a terrible situation, Cole never gave up on his parents. And when they were able to turn their lives around he was there supporting them - we could all take something from his incredible example.

  • People don't change quickly but that doesn't mean that they aren't trying. Like Cole, we might not know what they are doing to change. No matter their life plan, we need to keep loving them.

  • Our love and good examples will help our loved ones make better choices.

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Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.

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