Is It Possible To Overparent?December 8, 2009
Great stuff, as usual, on Pete’s blog. If you don’t visit there often, you should. I’ve added him to my blogroll, so you can always find him, easily, here. Looking forward to reading his first book, Plan B, which we at Nelson will publish in the spring.
I think I jump into and out of this, as a parent. Not in a sense of overscheduling or denying my kids time with me – we spend alot of time together, talking and hanging out – but, more the opposite. I’ll catch myself hovering, managing, directing every little thing, and oftentimes, expecting way too much of my oldest boy, Jack (6).
Granted, he’s an exceptional kid … and, there’s nothing wrong with expecting alot. I think we should (letting them know you expect very little of them would be a horrible and devastating message to send, wouldn’t it?). I’ve just had to, as I catch myself daily, make sure he knows it comes from a place of love … and that I’ll love him more than anything in the world, regardless of what he achieves or doesn’t achieve.
That my love, like God’s, doesn’t hinge on achievements, milestones or markers. That it’s unconditional and that his dad will be there for him, ALWAYS. But, that doesn’t mean I don’t know, oftentimes, what’s right for him, that I don’t expect alot of him (because he’s capable of so much) and that I’m not gonna nudge him (lovingly, of course) along until he’s old enough to start making his own, bigger, decisions.
That said, he’s beginning to learn, as we let him make smaller ones, that (ALL) decisions have consequences. Heck, I’m STILL learning that lesson … and, a one decision I have to make every day is to let my exceptional six year-old be a six year-old.
The consequence, I hope, will be a boy who’s secure in his relationship with his dad and his God … who knows he’s loved … who won’t be afraid to go after things and fail from time to time.