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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Parenting 101: See What Your Kids Cannot

If you've been following this little Parenting Series,
than Welcome Back!

If you've just found this post,
you might want to catch up with
this post
and than this post.

When I was asked to share my thoughts and advice
on Successful Parenting, my initial reaction
was sheer and utter PANIC-
Every error in judgement, loss of temper
and irrational consequence I ever issued
came flooding back into my memory as if
I was in the middle of a Bad Parent Documentary!

After the initial shock and awe of the assignment,
I decided that I would go directly to the source
of those most affected by my parenting style and decisions-
I know, a little scary right-
I was braced for some pretty haunting tales...

My 20 year old son said, 
Fresh off his 2 year Mission- Happy and Eager to see everyone
“I'm really appreciative that you had a high standard for us- 
you always expected success; there was never any question or second thought about 
what we could accomplish, you knew we had potential 
and you wanted us to know that too - and we do! 
But you also taught us that whatever we accomplished was OK as long as we tried our best. 
So there was a good balance there.” 

My 17 year old daughter said, 

Graduated Top 10 in her class and off to college she goes...
“You put a lot of trust in us, treating us like you really 
believed in our goodness and obedience. This makes it really 
hard to break the rules or disappoint you.” 

My oldest daughter said, 

Parting shot as she heads off to serve an 18 month mission in the Alps!
“Failure and giving up just weren't an option.
It isn't that you drove us to the brink of perfection, but you saw so much
in us that it was hard not to see a little of that too. When things got hard, 
you were right there supporting us and guiding us until we could stand on
our own again. I know that I did more and stretched further because
you saw in me more than I saw in myself."

So in honor of them, my second parenting tip 
is to see the Potential in your children that they can’t see in themselves 
and emulate for them a work ethic that will lead them to this potential. 

With your pattern of living and your expectations, 
they will rise higher than they think they can. When the Savior 
came upon several men in fishing boats, He saw more than fishers.   
He knew of their goodness and their potential and He had a vision for 
them that far exceeded what they thought they could be. 
Though what He asked of them was hard, they followed Him 
and they became great men. 
In Jesus, they had a great example of how they should live their lives. 
Our children do not come equipped with a vision of who they are and 
what they can become. 
It is up to us, to see in them what they can’t see in themselves, 
and to gently guide them in the direction of their success. 
And like Jesus did to Peter who faltered when trying to walk on the water, 
it is up to us to catch them if they start to sink.

I do believe that for the most part, our children will live up 
to the expectations given to them. I know this is true when 
we are actively praying for guidance as we rear our children. 
We have a loving Heavenly Father who has promised us that 
He will never give us more than we can bear. If we choose to emulate 
this wonderful promise for our children, they can be sure that 
we will never ask them to reach further than we know they can go.

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