When people find this podcast from the outside world, they're shivering and worn after spending what seems like a lifetime buffeted by the storms of parenting. They feel like their lives are out of control, and that other people, big and small, are the ones deciding their fate.
But If I could sum up perfect parenting in one word, it would be “Control”.
And that's an odd word because I never thought I'd use it here. But while controlling kids is bad. I'm not talking about controlling kids. I'm talking about controlling ourselves. Controlling our minds.
And like any good journalist, I won’t focus on the good things that we do … though there are many that I’m sure you do. Most parents make decent decisions most of the time. But people hate focusing on the good. We all love the bad.
So the bad for me is controlling my attitude. Being better would be being in control of my on/off switch when my son wipes his mouth on his sleeve for the one millionth time. I know I’ve given advice on how to stop these things – and I can’t do it myself – I’m a horrible person. I think it shows how strongly we’ve reinforced the ‘default position’ that we choose for ourselves.
The bad part for others is controlling their time. We spend a few minutes here, a few minutes there …. Then an hour on the couch ‘relaxing’ after a hard day’s work. But we know that the more time we can engage with our kids (even if it’s not constant engagement – maybe just getting them started on coloring for example), the more time we can do that, the better. But it’s controlling our desire for “us time” which is hard.
And the bad part for others is controlling their self-restraint. For some people it’s a beast inside of them and who am I to judge since I don’t see through that lens. But know your maker. That’s about all I can say. We’re big on self-awareness, and later, if you put the right steps in place, self-discipline can follow.