Most parents would agree with that: we’d donate an organ if our child needed it; we’d run in front of a speeding car to push our child out of harm’s way; we’d go without food if it meant our kids would be able to eat—we’d take a bullet if it came to that.
But these actions are all in a future that might or might not ever become reality. Let’s ask ourselves, “What am I willing to do for my kids right now?” Despite our stress load and tiredness at the end of the day, despite our other and often heavy responsibilities, are we doing everything we can to be the best parent possible?
Let’s examine some key areas of our interactions with our children.
- Am I doing everything I possibly can to make time each day to have a conversation with my children—a conversation to learn what’s important to them, to hear the things they’re excited about and the things they worry about, and then to remember what each of them said?
- Am I doing everything I can to learn how to listen effectively and avoid interjecting advice, judgement, and criticism (as well as the other conversation/responsibility blockers)?
- Am I taking the time to listen so deeply that I’m able to know when and how to respond in a way that says I’m hearing and understanding?
- Am I devoting time to teaching and expecting my kids to do age appropriate household jobs and then encouraging, supporting and guiding them when they grow tired of the jobs, slack off or even “forget” them?
- Am I holding my kids accountable for age appropriate expectations like picking up after themselves, getting up and off to school with all their materials, remembering their lunch money, putting their dirty clothes in the laundry, doing their household jobs, etc.?
- Am I allowing my children to experience age-appropriate consequences of their behavior while I guide and support them? Am I taking time to understand the differences between consequences and punishment? And have I done the work of learning which is more effective and why?
- Am I teaching my kids how to solve their own problems with friends, teachers, coaches, as I guide and support them through the process?
- Am I modeling how to talk to others—even when I’m angry—grocery cashier, repair-people, teachers, doctors, friends, relatives…my children?
- When my kids do the “big stuff’ like drinking, lying, sneaking out at night, not coming home by curfew, etc, do I tell them how that behavior affects me and discuss the issue without resorting to name calling, criticism, warning, sarcasm, and the other communication/responsibility blockers?
- Do I hold my temper in check and confront with effective language—using I Messages instead of you messages? “what questions” instead of “why questions”? and avoiding all the conversation/responsibility blockers? In other words, am I modelinghow to solve a problem rather than how to fight?
If we can answer yes to each of the above, then we can turn, “I would do anything I possibly could for my kids, “ into “I am doing everything I possibly can for my kids.”
Parenting is the hardest job we’ll ever do.
Parenting is the only job we’ve had little or no training to do.
Parenting is the most important job we’ll ever do.
Copyright Judy Harmon Holmes 2020
One thought on “I Would Do Anything I Possibly Could For My Kids.”
Good stuff Judy. I wish that these suggestions were available to me when my kids were growing up. Keep up the good work.
On Thu, Oct 15, 2020 at 11:34 AM Creating Responsible Kids wrote:
> Creating Responsible Children & Adolescents – A Website for Parents & > Teachers posted: ” Most parents would agree with that: we’d donate an organ > if our child needed it; we’d run in front of a speeding car to push our > child out of harm’s way; we’d go without food if it meant our kids would be > able to eat—we’d take a bullet if it came to that” >