Parenting is hard. I'm in over my head. I'm not going to do everything right. But, I'm going to keep learning and keep trying. I don't take the responsibility lightly. I consider it an honor. And, here's a few things I've learned after being a parent for 20 years.
* I can't take the credit when my kids are a success.
* I can't take the blame when my kids choose their own path.
* My kids are not an extension of me, they are a unique God-created individual.
* I don't have all the answers; I have as much to learn from them as they do from me.
* Part of my job it is to help get them thinking, but not to tell them what to think.
* Dancing around and avoiding real conversations about awkward topics (like sex, mental illness, substance abuse, etc.) only sets them up for failure.
Let's camp on that last bullet for a minute. What parent looks forward to a conversation with their beautiful, innocent, cute & cuddly cherub about any of these topics? Our parental instinct is to protect them from all of it--act like it's not there. Our best intentions lead us to spend our time building a fortress of screens to shield them as long as we can. It's a lie many of us fall victim to. We procrastinate or avoid these conversations altogether because we don't want to be the one to take away "innocence." That's nice in theory, but naive in reality.
All of us have to face these issues and we're not in control of when that happens. it's everywhere, all around us (and them). If we don't provide our kids with a healthy, realistic context and adequate preparation, they're blind sided with life and thrown into reactive mode.
I want to be bold enough to teach my kids about uncomfortable topics. Where else will they get the truth? The media? Ugh. It’s up to us to clear the static, take the lead and help them learn the right place to find the answers when they need them.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
this is really a post to help me easily find these nuggets of wisdom on parenting from Kem Meyer...but if you are reading this, i hope you find it useful, too! i read this post about a month ago, and have been coming back to it for the entire last month. just some really good stuff, thanks Kem...