Came across this from a newsletter last year…. thought it worth posting again.
The Toughest Job
I wanted to take a moment during this month’s newsletter to share some thoughts on being a parent and some reflections I’ve had over the past few months with my own children.
Sometimes the toughest part of being a parent is “not” fixing a problem for your child. For example, the other week my daughter was in tears and dead set that she needed to be picked up from school. Even with that, she said “nothing” was wrong. Granted it didn’t take too much to figure out something else was going on. Short version of the story is that she was having a problem on the bus ride home. Now the easiest thing I could have done was just pick her up and problem solved, for the short term. However, I’m her parent and not her friend. Now hear me out here…. part of being a parent is having to tell your children “no”, or as in this case, help them learn how to solve their own problems even when you’re not there. Although for her she was having a “problem” she was safe and just needed help in trying to solve the problem.
I think that’s what makes being a parent, the toughest “job” I have. I could see the pain in her face and hear it in her voice. What I had to do though was sit back and think about what I wanted my daughter to learn from this. Because after all, that’s a big part of life, living and learning. What I really want for her is to grow up and know that her mother and I are here to help her, and at the same time, that she also knows she’s a strong young lady who can ask her parents for advice and we’ll always be there for her.
I think sometimes in our rush to protect our children we sometimes forget that part of being a child is living and learning. Sometimes life lessons aren’t easy, and sometimes they aren’t fair. Being a kid is tough, and as adults many of us remember that.
As a father of three, soon to be four, and an Elementary School Principal this much I know: we aren’t doing our kids any favors by bailing them out and trying to fix every issue they may face. They do need us, they need us more than they will ever know. However, what they really need us for, is to be there when they need help. Be there when they need ideas. Be there when they need to be told “no” or “you made a mistake, I still love you, and I will help you fix it”.
As your child’s Principal, please don’t ever hesitate to contact me. Even if you just want to keep me in the loop on something you and your child are working on. Sometimes you may need my help to fix something and sometimes you may just need some suggestions.