Parents, children and teaching

Parenting on the go

Parenting is one of those professions where you get to learn on the job. It’s a profession where you’ve got to think long term. It is also one of the most powerful ways to positively impact the future. When we manage our families ‘professionally’, we create a legacy, a beautiful future. This involves looking around for signals within the family, signals that communicate something. That ability to pick up those signals and to interpret them successfully is the greatest challenge of parenting.

Time waits for no parent

Today the family is not together. The work schedule is hectic. People are working crazy hours and many work far away from home. Add the technology that has taken the 21st century by storm, people are in the same room but not together. Quality time with the family is either limited or nonexistent. Now, when and how does a parent find time to pick up the signals that are being communicated? It is easy to spend a whole year living in the same house with your children and not find a substantial amount of time to really connect. When this happens, a lot of damage occurs. And then we are surprised when our children are married and they behave exactly like us. And then we get agitated. Let’s find the space and time to bond, to be together, to connect.

What are the choices?

We’ve got to understand that parenting is a ‘forever’ profession. Once you’re in you can’t get out. You may neglect your family but you’re still a parent, a bad parent. Either way you’re still parenting. It is a profession that sticks with you for the rest of your life. One must choose the kind of parent they want to be, bearing in mind that we are responsible for shaping an entire generation of people. We are responsible for the future. Our choices are inexhaustible even though the profession itself is exhausting. The beautiful thing is that we can learn as we go, we can experiment, we can try different formulae, including changing our own ways. We’ve got to be flexible. We’ve got to remember also how we grew up ourselves. We’ve got to see our children as our responsibility. We cannot run away from them because they’ve turned up different from what we wanted them to be. We’ve got to learn not to judge and not to jump to conclusions.

Look and Listen

The number of times we are available at home, away from our busy schedules, must be spent handsomely with our children. We need to look out for signals that are warning us about our children. To pick these signals, we need to have an attitude of deliberately learning about our own emotions. We’ve got to look intensively at our own lives and listen attentively to ourselves when we talk to our spouse, our children and other family members. What are your actions teaching the children? When we eat the wrong foods but still expect our children to eat healthy. When we use ‘bad’ language in front of our children but expect them to be respectful. When we ‘spoil’ our children but expect them to be responsible. As parents, we need to take a good look at ourselves and objectively criticize ourselves. We’ve got to constantly realign our thinking and views with the current trends otherwise we will get lost in the huge space between what was and what is.

Being the best so that it rubs off

“How powerful would our world be if we had kids who were not afraid to take risks, who were not afraid to think, and who had a champion? Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” – Rita Peterson