Boys' Rites of Passage

Our Sons' Futures

Posts Tagged ‘children’

Do You Have Your Child on a Pedestal?

Posted by Thomas on November 1, 2011

Before you continue: 

This post has 254 words. 

On average, it will take you less than 3 minutes to read. 

I recently had separate conversations with two colleagues. We were talking about our children. Both said (a father and a mother) “Oh no, she’s much smarter than I was at that age.” They made me think about my son. I remember him telling me once “Pop, you think more highly of me than you ought to. Stop putting me on a pedestal.” 

As we continued talking his point was simple: “Hey, I’m not perfect.” The caution that came out of that conversation was, for me as a parent, don’t be disappointed if (or when) your child doesn’t live up to your expectations. 

I think it’s hard to not place our children on pedestals. They are our hope and legacies in so many ways. But, as parents, we must find balance. 

We cannot project so much of what we want for them to the point of stifling their interests, personality, and creativity. At some magical mile-marker on the road of parenthood we must shift into the guiding mode and not the telling mode; stepping slightly aside, enough to allow them to blossom into their excellent self. 

Even with that understanding I believe our children will always be on pedestals in our hearts and minds. I think it comes with the territory of parenthood. As long as we temper our thoughts with the reality that they, as young adults, are their own person all is well. 

Today my son leaves for the U.S. Coast Guard. Today I have him on the tallest pedestal of all. 



Posted in Rants | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

How to Guide Your Child to their Excellent Self

Posted by Thomas on October 24, 2011

Before you continue: 

This post has 239 words. 

On average, it will take you less than 3 minutes to read.

Parenting is tough. We (parents) want the best for our children. Often times what is best for our children (from our perspective as parents) doesn’t mesh with what our children see as best for themselves. 

These misaligned views can cause friction or out-right blow-outs between parents and young adults.

The magic I’ve used with my own son to ward off such potential confrontations is to remember what I was like as a young adult (teen in the context of this discussion).

If we (parents) can humble ourselves and be honest with our children we can see things from their side of the equation (because we used to be them). Parenting can be tough because we (parents) want to impose or project onto our child our vision of them.

A better space from which to handle our children, I believe, is to expose them to as much as possible (through education, life experiences, interaction with other caring adults, volunteer opportunities, academic opportunities etc.) The point of the constant exposure to many things is to open up the world to them. Through this openness the child discovers something they are passionate about.

Once that passion has been identified it is then up to us (parents) to nurture our child to be their excellent self in that space of passion.

In other words, it’s okay if your son (or daughter for the moms reading) doesn’t turn out to be a mini-me.


Posted in Family, Rants | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »