From the Vice Principal’s Desk – 01 June, 2017
Have you ever, as a parent, just wished your child came with some instructions? Just a manual to help you troubleshoot? A service website where you could have your FAQs answered. A button you could press to return the child to factory settings? Or when the glitches become too frequent an update you could install with bug fixes? If there were such a manual, the world would certainly be a very different place. A very grey world.
Many authors have written about their magic formulas from getting babies to sleep to getting teenagers to obey. Many neuroscientists and child psychologists have tried to provide us with the perfect ingredients to create those perfect children. As parents we clutch at every branch passing us by in the raging river of life. Hoping that we adequately provide for our children’s every need.
But what are our children’s true needs? In a world of more is more, where we are bombarded with a different fad every day from fidget spinners to iPhone 7s. Where do we draw the line? When have we provided enough, when will we know we have equipped them sufficiently? When have we met their needs?
Our children’s basic needs are simple:
- Nutritious meals to build their body
- A constant supply of love to strengthen their hearts and encourage them
- Firm and unwavering age-appropriate boundaries with realistic consequences for actions
- An understanding of the difference between right and wrong
- Age-appropriate chores to teach them responsibility
- Time with their family, the people who are their true support structure.
And we as the adults will need nerves of steel for when our children:
- Refuse to eat our nutritious meals
- Push our love away
- Rebel against our boundaries at every turn
- Choose to do wrong, even when they know better
- Let their chores slide
- Want to spend more time with their friends than their family.
Each child has a unique potential locked inside of them. From the minute they burst into this world they can never be reset to factory settings. We will never be able to troubleshoot all of their quirks. We will need to update ourselves to be able to manage the bugs fixes. Each child is the author of their own instruction manual. We merely provide them the tools with which to develop themselves and when they step out into the world as independent adults we can finally sit back and reflect on their childhood years with…
I wish I had the manual.