Raising children can be a difficult task. Some days seem much harder than others. However, making it through the tough days can be extremely rewarding. It’s all about pushing through the troublesome days and keep your eyes focused on raising your children into healthy adults.
Let me tell you a story to help put this into perspective. Using only hand tools, Dashrath Manjhi carved an entire road through a mountain in New Delhi, India. It only took 22 years. In 1960, Manjhi’s wife was injured while hiking up the side and had to travel 34 miles around the mountains to reach the nearest hospital. 22 years after Manjhi carved the 360 ft. long, 25 ft. deep, and 30 ft. wide road, it reduced the distance to the hospital from 34 miles to only 9.
If you are like most people, you probably read the story about Manghi with amazement. How in the world could a person spend so many years devoted to a singular focus. It’s crazy. Think about it. Every day for 22 years he woke up and decided he was going to take his hammer, chisel, and move some stones. Can you imagine how defeating some days may’ve been? Or years? But, can you also imagine the joy and ecstasy he experienced when he was finished? The only way Manghi was able to complete his objective was because he stayed focused on the end result. He knew if he continued to wake up everyday and consistently chisel the rocks he would achieve his desired outcome.
This is a great approach to parenting. We don’t try so hard to be good parents so that we simply have good kids. Kids will be kids. They’re going to whine and complain. They’re going to fight with one another and be unkind at times. At times, they might push us to the brink of insanity. And more often than we would like to admit, we’re going to feel defeated because they are not acting “right”.
Stay focused on the end goal
Our goal, our focus, should be bigger than simply getting them to be good kids. Great behavior is not our end goal. That is part of it of course, but the real achievement comes when they leave our homes, when you know they’ve been given a great start to becoming emotionally healthy adults who know how to positively contribute to society.
Carve your children into healthy adults
How do we do that? This means 18 years (sometimes more and that is ok too) of unconditional love and affection, healthy boundaries, consequences for proper growth, support and encouragement (especially when they fail), and a good dose of independence. Those things are our hammer and chisel. Teaching our children to grow up understanding that good things happen with a little bit of discipline and a healthy focus on the future can be as satisfying as I’m sure breaking through to the other side of the mountain was for our friend I mentioned earlier. Seeing them function in the real world and possibly watching them instill the same values in their children should be where our focus is.
Sometimes a glass of wine helps with the hard parenting moments, but I have also found keeping my mind focused on the end goal – the type of adult I desire my child to become – helps me stay consistent. If you need some extra guidance in parenting your children, call or email us to set up an appointment.