By Melissa Ford
I recently listened in on a webinar with guest speaker Shelly Lefkoe, parent expert and co-author of Chicken Soup for the Soul - A Guide to Effective Parenting. She touched on important subjects such as parents as teachers/role-models, instilling the love of learning in our children by embracing mistakes as opportunities to grow, and encouraging our kids to see their value, not by focusing on what others think of them, but by strengthening their own internal dialogue.
Lefkos’ webinar was chock full of useful ideas, resources, and anecdotes. But, my ears perked up, when Lefkoe related a story about “one of the most profound moments in my life as a parent.”
She went on to explain, “My husband one afternoon sat down with our two girls and he said to them, ‘You are not here to live up to our expectations. You are here to do your life. We are here to guide you and keep you safe until you can do that on your own. This is your life not ours.’”
What a beautiful, loving pronouncement! What if we kept this perspective foremost in our minds while we raised our kids? How different would our parenting look? How would our relationship with our child be enriched? How might we help our kids unearth and explore their interests, hobbies, and strengths versus trying to get them to fulfill our expectations of what they should or should not be?
And, imagine as a child being given the freedom and the safety to discover who you are. What a gift we would give ourselves and our children - keeping our precious ones safe while encouraging our sons and daughters to grow and flourish in their lives!