“Having children makes you no more a parent than having a piano makes you a pianist” – Michael Levine
Applying for a parenting career requires no interviews and no application forms, though it is one of the most demanding and rewarding careers. Without the benefit of selection criteria, we discover that to be good parents, we need many skills and abilities that we do not learn at school. Some people hope that these skills will show up in the delivery room together with their first born. Others say you either have them or you don’t. I believe that the magic of pregnancy and childbirth is not enough to make us parents and we can and should develop these skills over time.
If we had to advertise for a parenting position, the job description would include all of the following:
- Financial Controller
- Taxi driver
If you review your life, you will discover that school, where you spent many valuable years, did not prepare you for your most valuable career in life – being a parent. However, your parents either by being a positive role model or a negative role model contributed the most to your parenting abilities (or disabilities). It would not be fair to say that school contributed nothing to my becoming the parent I am today. My food studies teacher was very strict about cleaning after ourselves and I had way too many teachers that taught me in great details how a teacher should never be, but I am not sure I needed 12 years for that.
Rules of being a good parent are not engraved in stone but have evolved over time with different cultural, social and emotional needs. Unfortunately, the place where we spend most of our learning years is not preparing us well. Due to this, many parents and their kids face difficulties with their health, relationships and finance.
If you ever think of your teen as one day becoming a parent, remember that you are the most valuable contributor to their future success as a parent.
Be the parent you want your kids to be!