Parenting can often be overwhelming. Each child is a unique mystery that we unwrap one surprise after another. With each stage of our child’s development we are presented with a new parenting challenge to navigate. In the day-to-day busyness of feeding, cleaning, dressing, getting out the door (with everything needed) and the many other tasks that happen every week, the big picture of what we are doing as parents is often far from our minds. Parenting with the end in view, is having a clear picture of what we hope for our child when they emerge as adults.
This week we are preparing for our son’s wedding. As I remember some of the challenges we navigated as parents with him as a preschooler, young active kid and adventurous teenager, I am amazed, that he survived (there were many scrapes, one broken bone and multiple stresses). I am also amazed and very proud of the beautiful young man he is today. We can’t take all the credit, he has done the hard work of growing up and choosing his own path.
But as parents we do all play a significant role in shaping our child’s experiences and character.
Susanna (from Little Miracles) encourages us to “have a vision for…two things:
- The parent you want to be
- The children you want to raise”
Take a moment and imagine your toddler, preschooler or primary schooler as a young adult. What qualities do you hope they will possess? What can you already see emerging in them that you can support and encourage? How can you encourage and support these and give them other opportunities to learn?
Parenting with the end in view can make it easier to see, in the midst of the daily busyness, what is really important. This long term, big picture view can help you let go of some stuff and direct your precious parenting energy where it will have long term gains for your child in their development into adulthood.
Praying that your parenting journey is rewarding as well as challenging.
Chaplain – Helensvale and Highland Reserve Young Discoverers.