Every parent has a picture in mind for each child. When that picture is in sync with what God has in mind, parenting becomes a pleasant adventure of painting this picture with the child and that sparks a fire in the child to want to live out that picture. This sums up the job descriptionof the title “Parenting”. This journey, therefore, creates the excitement, as well as the highs and lows in parenting. To know if you’re getting parenting right, the question to ask is:“Am I inspiring my child to live the right picture?”
This picture of the child’s future is the solution(s) the child will bring to the challenges of humanity, the values to add to life, the societal problems to solve, making the world a better place and contributing positively to the globe. When this is rightly dimensioned, the child’s formal and informal education is channeled in that direction.
Quite many people are not practicing today what they studied in school, not so much because they do not want to, but largely because there was no process of working with them early on to discover the picture. While some got into it out of rebellion to the control they have been under from their parents. How much better and impactful life would be if everyone had parents who are this deliberate?
Getting the Right Picture
This is about training up your child in the right direction. The starting point I believe is to connect with God to know what to work for, towards the child’s future. A child’s future should not be about what the parents want. The things to look out for are encoded in the child’s dispositions, talents, likes, dislikes, anger and excitements, etc.
You get the picture of your child’s future by talking. Talking? Like seriously? Yes, talking! You start by talking with God to show you the picture, you and your spouse talking with each other about the picture you are seeing, then talking with the child about the picture he or she is seeing. One of the powerful tools of parenting is talking; which is far more potent than shouting.
Parenting is a ‘collabo’, and that is why it is good to have both parents present as much as possible to do the talking together. Talking amongst couples is a big deal.
Whether parenting turns out to be about influence or control is dependent on how the ‘talking’ is between the husband and wife. When the talking is cordial, warm, non-abusive, not insulting (even through jokes), and not shouting, then the two can speak as one to the child. When this is absent, the impact on the child may result in control rather than influence. However, if talking flows with warmth between the two, the overall effect is powerful in moving the child in the direction of the picture for his or her future.
Author & Sound Character Coach