Weekly Thought – July 3, 2018
Fred attempted to parent in the early years by seeing children as miniature adults. It took him awhile to understand the uniqueness of childhood. However, he wasloving, watchful and thoughtful as the children grew. When the grandchildren arrived he finally grasped the process and delighted in their youthfulness.
Five Points of Parenting
Admittedly, I have been a much better parent of adults than I was of small children. I am thankful for our own children and now grandchildren who are teaching me what parenting is all about. These points are definitely not a primer on the subject, but rather some observations made by others and one principle that has worked for me. I hope you find them helpful.
1) A young father with a strong-willed five year old son told me, “My challenge is to transfer the control by me to my son’s control of himself.” This is so much better and so much more than merely controlling the child’s behavior. He is parenting in the highest sense.
2) When a parent with a gifted child who seemed to purposefully fail consulted an experienced psychiatrist he received this counsel: “It is important to know whether the child gets attention (and is connected to you) through achievement or non-achievement. Does the child want your sympathy for failure or approval for achievement? If the bond is the negative model then praise for productivity will fail. Conversely, if the bond is through achievement constant criticism will be destructive.
3) One of my favorite psychiatrists told me anyone who looks to me as a father figure must know two things: 1) what makes papa smile and 2) what makes papa frown. This works in parenting, mentoring, and management. The responsibility of the father figure is to remain consistent to avoid confusion through mixed signals and messages.
4) A well-known comedian was interviewed about his views on parenting. He quickly threw out this line: “Choose when you want your kids to hate you.” He expanded by saying, “Give them everything they want as a child and they will hate you as adults; give them everything they need to become great adults and they will hate you as children – your choice.”
5) One of the best thoughts that I had on parenting came as I considered the transition between child an adult. When the child is young the parent is responsible for control and exercises power (as the father of the five year old pointed out to me). As the child moves into adulthood the relationship changes. Therefore, the good parent changes from power figure to wisdom figure. The movement is child seeking wisdom from parent rather than the parent wielding power and control over the child. One of the great joys of parenting adult children is seeing the mutual mentoring occur. We now share a common desire to help each other grow.
Think carefully about: 1) Which of these points really hits home for me this week? 2) How can I become a more effective parent or grandparent by focusing on these principles? 3) Who can I encourage in their parenting this week?
Words of Wisdom: “One of the great joys of parenting adult children is seeing the mutual mentoring occur. We now share a common desire to help each other grow.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Children’s children are a crown to the aged and parents are the pride of their parents.” (Proverbs 17:6 NET Bible)