You look around at other parents and you are concerned. They are living like maniacs on the crazy train. Mothers worry about the right preschool if they should hold children back in kindergarten, put them in gymnastics or dance, feed them organic or teach them to read before they go to school. And when their kids start school, they become more frantic. How many sports per semester can she fit in, should he have a private tutor, and can she make the travel soccer team? What about music, arts, friends, bullies, and coaches who aren’t good enough? And then there’s the dating issue. When do they start, or should they even date at all? Oh- then there’s teen sex, pregnancy, drinking, drugs, grades, and the right friends.
The bottom line is this: parenting has become overwhelming for most parents and our friends are no help because they’ve jumped aboard the crazy train.
Allow me to give you some encouragement: you don’t need to live this way. You can stop worrying so much and- even start enjoying parenting. How? By shifting your perspective.
Here’s what I mean. If you step back and begin to focus on a few larger principles of parenting that you can apply from the time he’s 2 until he’s 22, you will keep your focus off of the micromanaging that all parents get caught up in. I have learned that when parents stick to fewer but bigger issues, parenting can be almost foolproof. For instance, rather than making sure your child is the best soccer player on his team, if you focus on helping him understand how valuable he is to you, he will be a happy person (regardless of how well he plays.) Or, if you work on teaching him self- control rather than sweating over which high school classes he should or shouldn’t take, he’s more likely to be successful in life. This is what I mean by shifting your perspective slightly. When you do, parenting becomes a foolproof adventure, not a ride on the crazy train.
I hope that you take a look at the 12 Principle of Raising Great Kids because they work. Nothing guarantees that your son or daughter will turn out perfectly but following these guidelines will let you get as close as possible. One thing I can guarantee is this- you will have a much closer relationship with him or her. And how much better can life get than that?