How many times have you dreamt of a personalized parenting manual? Let’s see, oh yes, page 54, “What do I do when Johnny refuses to go to school”. Page 332, “How do I get Mary to listen”. Page 12,658, “Should I just give my children to the neighbor who seems far more competent”?
Here’s the deal. You don’t need a manual. You need a backbone because parenting is about letting go without losing control; a process that starts at conception never ends and is one of the most important challenges we face as parents. Seeing our parenting responsibility as letting go while staying in charge instead of holding on to reduce suffering requires a philosophical shift from what can I do for my child to what are they capable of doing for themselves.
Your job as a parent is to create an incubator for your children to get to know themselves and learn that they:
- are worthy of love no matter what.
- can fail without feeling worthless.
- can persevere on their own terms.
- can solve their own problems and make their own decisions.
- can handle whatever comes their way.
It is these truths that will set them up for independence, success, and happiness. Truths you cannot give them but instead that you must ensure they earn for themselves. That is where your backbone comes in!
If you are interested in more information listen to my recent podcast with Mark Tucker of Powerhouse, Inc. and review my parenting tips.