I was the perfect parent – until I became one.
Yes, I was one of those people. I had been working with other people’s kids in some capacity since I was eighteen, and the entire focus of my degree was child development. So of course, I had it all figured out. Raising my own kids would actually be quite simple. I would make only healthy food for my children, and they would eat it with great joy. Obviously. I would not allow them to watch much (if any) television, let alone look at an iPad, and I knew my children would never have meltdowns in Target or cause a scene in Olive Garden.
Call it delusional or wishful thinking if you want. My intentions were good, of course, but the reality of daily parenting has proven to be much more challenging than I expected.
My boys are now 13 and 15 years old. On the days when I feel like I have this parenting thing figured out, I will tell you that my boys are smart, sensitive, confident, creative deep thinkers. On days when I feel completely inadequate, I might instead point out that they are opinionated, moody, mischievous, and strong-willed. I’m going to be completely honest with you: Now that I have parented long enough to not be delusional, I find myself facing my boys’ teenage years with a little angst. And if I shared with you the teenage resumes of my husband and myself, you’d understand!
Yet as an elementary school principal, I find myself in a position to encourage other parents daily. So as I share this piece of wisdom with elementary parents each and every day, please know it is a mantra I am playing in my own head…on repeat: The traits that make a child difficult to parent now, once channeled, are the very same traits that will make them successful later.
So the question for all of us in this parenting challenge is this: How do I channel those traits?
My advice is to pray for wisdom, talk to parents who’ve been there, read every book, and go to every parenting class! Then decide upon a course, and do it consistently.
On that note, Linfield’s leadership does not want you to miss out on one of the most reputable voices in parenting advice. Love and Logic provides simple and practical techniques to help parents raise self-confident, motivated children who are ready for the real world, and they are holding a conference in Fullerton on December 5. We encourage you to attend! Click here to find out more information.
Please know that Linfield counts it an honor to partner with you, and we pray for you daily!
Elementary School Principal
Linfield Christian School