I want to break down my books underpinning principle - that parenting is a strategic, multi-decade and multi-generational endeavor bound by a sobering reality, that our children’s success or failure as adults is either ‘because of’ or ‘in spite of’ us as parents.
This really sets the premise that parents should not be "winging it," which is the default standard for too many parents. And that the absence of a strategy, in practical terms, is a strategy. Akin to not making a decision is the same as making a decision in certain situations.
So, what does a parenting strategy mean or look like? To begin, let me define strategy. Though often associated with the military, in general terms it is simply "a plan of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim." Essentially a master plan or "grand design" to accomplish something significant.
Under that definition, every parent should invest in determining what the overall aim is for their children. This can vary, which is why it is important to establish that common aim early, at least by the age of 6.
Here are few choices regarding the overall aim, which is a precursor to crafting a "master plan":
- Raise them to be functional adults * define functional - Raise them to be independent adults * define independent - Raise them to be good citizens * define citizenship - Raise them to seek life-balance - Raise them to be spiritually led - Raise them to desire/seek education - Raise them to respect the value of money, time and work - Raise them to demand self-respect
That is a limited list that exemplifies the breadth of options. Arguably all of them could be "the" aim. My point is that whichever one(s) you believe, verbalize it to your spouse, and mutually define what it means to you.
That is the necessary initial step, from which you can begin to develop a master plan to achieve it.
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