Parenting – One Approach

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Parenting can be one of the most challenging endeavors that a person can undertake. There are so many pressures and statistics working against the lessons that are taught at home. I am a relatively new parent, and by no means have a monopoly on all of the good ideas when it comes to parenting. I do however, have a few key values that I try to instill in my son, Peyton. These are values that I feel will lead to Peyton growing into a respectful young man and someone that is always respectful of others. These values start with a strong faith in God. I hope that Peyton will grow up to love the Lord and strive to live a life pleasing to him. Another value that I feel to be of vital importance is a love for family. I believe that it is important for children to grow up with a close relationship with their parents and to not be afraid to communicate their feelings to their parents. Too many times I see families where there are certain topics that are not discussed between parents and children. This leads to the child being forced to make important decisions on their own without the necessary guidance from a parental figure. I want Peyton to respect authority and realize the importance of being polite and compassionate about things he believes strongly in. It is important to have an identity that is unique. I hope to encourage Peyton to develop his own identity under the guidance of the examples that Wendy and I have set for him at home. These are just a few of the values that I deem to be important. Having said that, it is necessary to have a structured method of instilling these values.

I like to use the analogy of a builder about to build a house. I view parents as being the ones to purchase the tools to place in the toolbox. The toolbox being the childs inner being. The house that is to be built is reflective of the decisions the child makes in his life. The final product, or home, to be presented to the new owners, or grandchildren, are the values that the child decides to live upon and instill in his children. It is up to the builder, or child, what kind of house he decides to build with the tools given. Too often I feel that parents believe they have somehow failed their children if their children don’t turn out the way they have hoped. To some extent that is true. If you neglect to purchase the necessary tools, or neglect to put them in the toolbox you cannot expect to have a finished product that is pleasing to you. However I feel that if the right tools are purchased and are placed in the toolbox it is up to the child to use those tools wisely to make a finished product that he or she will be proud of. Being the purchaser of the tools does not mean the builder will build a beautiful home. You can lead the child down the road to success, but at the end of the day it is up to the child to get there.

Parenting is a very challenging but rewarding experience. Watching your child grow and develop is one of the most enjoyable experiences that a person can have in life. The challenges are out there. However by realizing what type of house you wish for your builder to build is an excellent starting point. It allows you to make careful and thoughtful decisions when picking out the necessary tools and placing them in the toolbox. That way at the end of the day, you can say that you have done everything possible to ensure a beautiful finished product that the builder and future tenants will be proud of.

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