Becke Anderson, Parent and Family Services Specialist, Special Edu
Guide for parents.
Following my own advise as a parent (eating crow?) has been a great learning experience for both me and for my children.
Parenting is a lifestyle in which we start out with very specific ideas of what our children will become. We finally learn that we can (1)only point them in the right direction, (2)they have to make their own choices in life, and (3)they must deal with the outcomes of those choices.
My job as a parent is not to set goals for my child. It is to help him understand how to set his own goals and how he can work to reach those goals. I can help, but I cannot "do it for him". If he decides he wants to become the world's best banjo player, I can help him buy the banjo and drive him to music classes. But he will only learn the instrument if he practices it.
The same is true whether the goal is making friends, tying his shoes, learning to read, or getting a job. I am only here to guide, to walk beside and encourage, to cheer successes and bandage wounds. I must not push from behind, or he will stumble forward. I must not "blaze the trail" before him, removing every rock of difficulty from the path, or he will not learn to remove them for himself.
Parents are the first and most important advocates a child will ever have in life. We spend more hours with our children than do teachers, doctors, counselors, or anyone else. We must seek and use the knowledge of others who work with our children, but as parents we must use that knowledge with care. Each person working with my child has wisdom in a specific area of life ... educational needs, physical needs, emotional needs, etc. I must select with care from what they have to provide to meet the needs of my child.
Make the best decisions you can, based on the information you have, and enjoy your children. Remember that being a parent is not just what we teach our children, but it is also about what our children teach us about ourselves. May they always teach you joy.