We've arrived at our last pair in the series based on a little printout fridge list to help keep us focused on principles of healthy parenting in the new year. We hope you've enjoyed it and found it as helpful as we have! The final pair is a big picture perspective, and a big deal.
We have all heard, "Give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime." Not only is this true, but it is never more relevant than in parenting.
Have you ever asked yourself what your primary job description is as a parent? At it's most bare-boned, it is about training and preparing little people to be big people who can thrive in a very big, very real adult world. And the goal is, to have done it well enough to release our child into that adult world ready to be independent, responsible, and able to contribute to society in a positive way. Yes, there is love and snuggles and protection and nurturing, but that is more about HOW we do it, rather than WHAT we are actually doing.
And it won't happen automatically. We have to choose it. We have to be intentional. If you're unsure about this, take a look around and note how many individuals are walking around in physically adult bodies, yet are unable to consistently provide for and take care of themselves without lots of intervention from parents, employers, even the government.
So we have to regularly ask ourselves, "Should I rescue here, or should I empower?" Now, the younger our kids are, the more rescuing is appropriate, especially in areas of safety. But most of the time, even after a rescue, there is opportunity for empowerment.
What do you think you'll do next time?
What are your options?
Why do you think that's the best choice?
We have to get ourselves out of the habit of thinking and problem solving FOR our children, and instead focus on training them to think and problem solve FOR THEMSELVES.
We won't do it perfectly, and we certainly won't do it every time. We'll be busy and tired and might not even recognize the opportunity when it presents itself. No matter. Life can be trusted to bring about challenging circumstances at nearly any moment. Congratutions! Your chance to try again is just around the corner.
We hope you found this series as fun and helpful as we have. If you've joined us mid-series, please go back to the beginning of the year and start with the first pair. There are only 7 principles, and they are practical, concise, and worth the 5 minute investment of your time.
Here's to Better Parenting in 2014! (More or Less)