sideline parenting (2 of 12) — passing the buck
July 11, 2008 3 Comments
Parenting Advice from the World’s Greatest Coaches (with a Charlie’s House twist).
“If anything goes bad, I did it. If anything goes good, we did it. If anything goes really good, then you did it. That’s all it takes to get people to win.” — Paul ‘Bear’ Bryant (former University of Alabama football coach)
When your child was born, what the Doctor really wanted to say instead of “IT’S A BOY/GIRL” was…
Surprise, new Dad guy! You have just become the least important person in your life, and the most important person in everyone else’s in your house. You are about to be forced to try to put away your bad habits and immature actions so that you can set a good example for this goop covered, alien looking thing that just shot out of your wife. You have just been selected to pick up where the umbilical chord has left off by providing this bundle of joy with the required and desired elements of life. You have just been made responsible for his/her actions and you should be aware that if they grow up to become a menace to society, you will be the blame, and 1000 camels will run through your tee pee to punish you for your negligence and dis concern. The catch is, that there is no manual to raising this child.
The good news is that you get to experience life together. You get to plan and experiment. You get to act and react. You get to fall down and pick each other back up. You get to comfort each other in times of loss. You get to celebrate your wins with your good friend.
You see, parenting can’t happen without the cooperation of both the parent and the child. It takes effort from both sides. It requires persistence, understanding, patience, knowledge, desire, willingness, love, care, compassion, and faith (to name a few) from both of you. The most important piece of this 7,653 piece MC Esher jigsaw puzzle is “respect”
As the leader/coach of your household, it is imperative that you distribute the debris from life’s challenges to the appropriate member of the team. Your age, experience, and understanding of life and what it throws your way makes you a much better candidate to claim responsibility for things that have gone wrong. You can show your child how to handle adverse situations, how to be optimistic, and how to roll with the punches. You can show them how to filter their emotions and what to do with their egos when the going gets tough. You can teach them to be anxious for nothing and look to God for comfort, direction , and to find hope in His promises.
When stuff goes right, you have a perfect opportunity to share in the glory of the victory together. You can discuss how your combined efforts made a difference in the outcome and cultivate reliance on each other when there is a job that needs to be done. The best of friends always have a few things in common. This is a great place to start making memories that will provide the aggregate to strengthen your relationship foundation.
As far as taking the glory for things that go remarkably well… Well that’s the perfect time to show your son/daughter how proud you are of them. How impressed you are with their efforts. How amazed you are with their success. How important they are to the team. How much meaning they bring to the family.
You can only earn respect by giving it.
The effort that you put forth during these times will keep your relationship strong enough to withstand the times that you have to step in and correct, discipline, or insist. If you spend most of your time praising, you will find that corrective conversations and actions will be a much easier swallowed pill.
I want my child to do as he/she is told, if he/she is told to do something. Not because he/she is scared, confused, or worried that he/she will get in trouble; but because it would break his/her heart to disappoint a father that treats them with love, kindness, and R.E.S.P.E.C.T…
…try it and “find out what it means to you”.