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Saturday, September 26, 2015

My Take on Parenting

Are you kidding me?

Writing about such a vast, complex and controversial subject on a blog read by 14 people by a guy who doesn't know shit from shinola.

Yep - Stranger things have happened.

So let's take this little Titan of a subject on and please, be brief, informative and actionable.

Let's start with a Vision statement.... that's so 90s right?

My goal as a parent is to teach my kids to do without me.

Huh?  Aren't kids supposed to be dependent on their parents? 
That's why they're called dependents right?

Hear me out.

IMHO, our goal as parents is to continually expose, feed and provide our kids with age and ability appropriate information, instruction, skills and life examples that will prepare them for being happy, healthy, useful, productive, responsible and INDEPENDENT members of society.

Now what constitutes information, instructions, skills and examples that will prepare them for all the above will be different for every parent because we are skewed, influenced and guided by our own history, experiences, biases, interests and path in and through life.

Whatever your priorities are for your children - what you want their core qualities, abilities, priorities and life expectations to be - decide what they are and then seek in every day and every way to provide those to them and nurture their development.

Let me give you examples from my own parenting experience:

  • I wanted my children to be college educated because based on my experience, that is the surest way to secure employment that will satisfy the lifestyle they had become accustomed to growing up.  Higher education also provides something more important than money, financial security and a comfortable lifestyle.  It provides and develops Self Confidence and Self Esteem and those are absolutely essential to any Happy and Healthy Individual.
  • I wanted my children to have an appreciation, understanding and working knowledge of an environment that is slowly fading away in the priorities of Modern Day Life.  That Environment is the Great Outdoors.  And not only the Great Outdoors but the Mosaic and Variety of Mother Nature - Ocean, Streams, Swamps, Mountains, Plateaus, Cliffs, Canyons, Pine Forests and Deserts.
  • Which led into another priority in my parenting - I wanted my children to know there was a World beyond what they knew on an everyday basis.  Yes.... Good Ole LJT is not the beginning and end of civilization.  Everytime I took my children to a completely different place, climate or terrain, it was like their minds and bodies did a leapfrog to a new and higher dimension of awareness and existence.  Travel for a kid is not only fun - it is mind, imagination and life expanding.
  • I wanted my kids to be as independent as possible or at least be exposed to as many functional and financial challenges and lessons in life as soon as possible.  That's why I made my kids work.  Let me say that again - I made my kids work.  Cleaning up after themselves, keeping their rooms cleaned, making their beds, setting the table, teaching them how to cook, picking up sticks in the yard, mowing the yard, changing a tire, using simple tools, catching and cleaning fish, shooting a gun, hunting - killing - cleaning game birds and animals, making a garden, having an appreciation for food, exercise, good health, the value of money and how to obtain and manage it..... and the list goes on and on.
Was I a nurturer?  What do you think?  Did I teach my kids to be the perfect social interactive networkers?  Uh - No.  Mainly because those aren't skills I have and it's hard to teach what you don't know. 

But luckily their mother was good at things like that so the gaps got filled.

Are my kids perfect?  No.

But as I am fond of saying.....

I would like them even if they weren't my kids.

They are intelligent, hard working, productive people with a good sense of life direction and self worth.

Am I the perfect parent?  No.

But I did my best.

The rest is up to them.

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