Thursday, May 29, 2008

Things I learned in a committee meeting...about parenting

Today I had a marathon (9-3) committee meeting. We were working on letters of recommendation for students planning to attend medical school/dental school/vet school. The way it works is students ask 4-6 professors for recommendations, which go to the committee. The committee then drafts a "super reference" that identifies themes and uses quotes from the individual references, to give the school a more comprehensive view in a single letter.

What was interesting (and somewhat sad) was how many times we talked about parents. So here's what I learned (mostly what NOT to do)....
1) If you're going to get divorced, don't wait for the kids to go to college. It'll still be traumatic, and it might actually be harder on the kids. It definitely is on their school performance.

2) Make sure you still spend time with your spouse, even when you're busy with kids. The kids will move out, and you still want to know that person sleeping beside you when they go. (This is to avoid #1).

3) Love the child you have, not the child you want. If your child loves art and music, don't force them to try to be a doctor.

Corollary to #3: Encourage your child to do what God has gifted them in and called them to do, not what will support a family (or a fancy car).

4) Don't be a helicopter parent. The pre-health advisor shouldn't know you better than your child.

Corollary a: Let your child make their own decisions, within reason.
Corollary b: Let your child deal with the consequences of their action.
Corollary c: Do this over the 18 years you have them so the learning curve isn't too steep when they finally start having opportunities to be responsible.

God, help us make wise decisions about raising our children. Help us give them strong, deep roots in You, yet wings to soar where you want them to go and be who you want them to be.


Heather@Mommymonk said...

I always say teaching makes us better parents. More aware of the pitfalls to avoid!

Prairie Chick said...

Amen, amen, amen to your prayer at the end! Nice to *meet* you!

Jen said...

#4 is so important! Even though my parents weren't (and aren't) believers, I'm thankful they didn't rescue me from every bad decision I made, but rather let me deal with the consequences of poor choices and emotional decision-making. I see, now, God's loving hand in those lessons, though they were hard to endure at the time.

Good thoughts on parenting, I'm sure inspired by the Holy Spirit! It's great when He intervenes in the most unlikely conversations!

Cheryl said...

I love your post. Your prayer is great! Thanks for some very good parenting advice. Have a great weekend! God Bless~

Carrie said...

Wonderful post!