In The Patch for Hartford Connecticut, I ran across an article called Parenting for Success! by Daniel Blanchard. It made me reflect on my own parenting and what I valued at one time had absolutely nothing to do with successful parenting at all. Here’s the opening of Blanchard’s article:
What does parenting success really mean? What about the whole child? Find your answers here!
So, what does parenting for success look like and what does it mean? Does it look like a little league MVP trophy sitting on their shelf above their perfectly made bed? Does it mean that our children get straight A’s in school? Does it mean they play the piano in a way that melts all of our hearts and reminds us of how precious music and children really are, and how we can’t live without either one of them? Nope! Nope! And NOPE!
Successful parenting is parenting the WHOLE child, not just the parts that we want to. It’s not our place as parents to paint our kids into a corner by making them do things that we like to do, or at least used to like to do when we were younger. It’s not fair to expect our children to be an imitation of us, or even a new and improved version of ourselves. We need to push our egos aside and do what’s right for our children, instead of what’s easy, comfortable and familiar. In the end, we need to help our children become better rounded, authentic, versions of themselves by helping them develop whatever part of them comes out on that particular day.
Yikes. This hit home. I was very concerned with straight As, valedictorian status, fast swims — and yes, piano. I was thrilled listening to my son’s piano and sat nervously at his recitals. But, those things didn’t mean my kids were successful, nor did it make me successful at parenting. What matters more is my kids are kind, considerate, not selfish, aware of those around them and compassionate. I can’t say I had a hand in all that. I don’t know if it was nature or nurture — or a combination of both.
I’m proud of the people they are today. I’m no longer focused on their immediate successes or accomplishments — whether it was getting to the next level swim meet or now, getting promotions at their jobs. I want most of all for them to be happy and secure enough to have caring and loving relationships.
Here’s a bio of Blanchard, the author of the Successful Parenting article: Daniel Blanchard is a New Britain Schoolteacher who is also a bestselling and award-winning author, speaker, educator, and TV Host. Learn more about Dan at: www.GranddaddysSecrets.com.
What does “Parenting for Success” mean to you?