The Gift of Parenting Success

The Gift of Parenting Success

To be in your children’s memories tomorrow, You have to be in their lives today.” ― Barbara Johnson

Story: Doctor Joyce Brothers came from a family in which dinner time conversation involved preparing she and her siblings for the realities of everyday life. Her father used to play a game called “what if.” What if a classmate cheated on a test? Would you tell the teacher? What if your friend gets involved with drugs? Would you tell her parents? What if you are approached for drugs? How would you handle this? How would you use the gift of parenting success? Which questions can you pose to your children that will be life changing and life forming for them?

He would also ask them far reaching questions. What do you want to study in high school? What kind of job do you want? How can you discipline yourself to save your allowance? What qualities would you look for in a friend or in a spouse? His questions prepared them for life, for solid relationships, and for ethical grounding.

Moral of the Story: Her father’s questions prepared the family for both daily and future concerns. He didn’t wait for dates to appear at the door to bring up questions about marriage. Graduation didn’t happen without adequate academic preparation for high school or college. And career choices were probably considered at the dinner table years before jobs applications went out. He fertilized the ground before the seeds were planted, before his children entered into each life phase, and before they reached adulthood.

Action Plan: Set aside time with your children for intimate conversations. Let them know when daily events will occur and give them choices. For example, instead of laying down the law about bedtime, give them a choice of times to go to bed. Prepare them for important decisions long before they become a reality. Apply parenting success to your relationship with your children. Become a parent to your children. Give them food for thought. Guide them with love, safety, and concern.


Practical Application to Your Life:  The same principles can apply to your life. Prepare yourself for each major life event. Create strong bonds with your children and you will know that you have done a good job bringing them up.

Weekly Take Away Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.” –Carl Jung

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