I have worked with students for twenty years now. In those twenty years, I’ve had many parents ask me for parenting advice. Until recently, I used to cringe. I never knew what to say.
When I was younger, the easiest response was to shrug and say… ”I don’t know… I’m not a parent.” But then that changed, and I became a dad. Once I had kids of my own, I assumed I would eventually have a good answer. But even after 10 years of being a dad… I still didn’t know what to tell those parents.
Sure, I could have given a general “checklist” of things to do in order to be a great parent. But, I knew, unless the heart was behind it, none of that would really matter in the long run. (Maybe that’s harsh… who knows?)
Well, here I am. I’m 40 years old and the father of 3 and I finally have one good piece of advice!
Are you ready? You young guys and gals need to get a pencil.
Here it is.
When I’m asked what advice I have for parenting this is how I answer.
Be the adult you want your child to become.
Now…. if you don’t have kids, this piece of advice might not seem like a big deal.
If you do have kids, though, that should hit you like a truck.
It does for me.
Let’s take my oldest son as an example. When I think of Mac as an adult, I have dreams for him. But when I compare my dreams for Mac with my own life… let’s just say… there are gaps.
Those gaps are my “sanctification to-do list!” They are important. And, because my son is growing up so fast… they are also urgent!
Things that are both Important and Urgent tend to get done.
Now… when parents ask me for parenting advice, this isn’t that answer that most of them are looking for. They’re looking for a book with a simple to-do list. If you give this advice to parents, don’t be surprised when many of them shrug it off. But, for some parents, this will be a huge question and a defining moment for them.
And, because I want to be a man of integrity, if I’m going to give that advice, I need to heed it myself.
So should you.
You can do this.