Parenting is a Privilege, Not a Chore

Why you need to grab your chance now!

I look back at those moments when I am tired. Tired from work, life and worldly pressures. I thought of how I engage with our children during those moments when I feel weak and vulnerable.

Parenting is a Privilege, Not a Chore

That time when I have a momentary fleeting thought, “Don’t these kids have the decency to see that I am tired?” At that time, they become a chore, a burden, a bother…

It is times as these that could define their future. My relationship with them could be in some significant jeopardy. I believe these are some of the most critical moments that our children send an invitation card my way. An invitation into their space and time… and they wait for my RSVP.

The Invitation

Even as I was writing this post, our son came to me and asked, “Daddy, when you are done, could you come and play football with me?”

The answer on my lips was, “Son, I am preparing for this parenting retreat. Could we play another day?”

Within a millisecond, I knew in my heart of hearts that I had let him down. My RSVP wasn’t warranted. Immediately, I turned to him and accepted his invitation to play.

And play we did for about 20 minutes. Then I took some little extra time and taught him a new ball dribbling skill. He was ecstatic! And guess what? I enjoyed the workout too! It did my heart good to burn a few excess calories.

At that moment, one thing became etched permanently in my soul. If there was any lingering doubt, it was expunged forever!

Parenting is a privilege, not a chore… and you don’t have to wait for permission to change midstream.

The Parable of The Talents

As I pondered about my RSVP to our son, I couldn’t shake off the ‘Parable of the Talents’. It bothered me and weighed down on my heart big time!

This parable is about three men who were entrusted with a good amount of cash by their boss who was going out on a long trip. The first got about $10,000, invested it and made 100% profit. The second received $4,000 and made a return of a similar margin. The third man was handed $1,000 but was a sluggard. He didn’t invest it thinking that if he lost, his boss would penalize him severely.

You can guess who the don rewarded on his return. The first two of course. The last he committed to a life of solitary confinement and suffering. The $1,000 that he had received was taken from him and awarded to the first steward.

“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Gretzky

Indeed, I will miss everything in the name of temporary comfort. If I don’t invest in the relationships that are present in my children, I will eventually find myself a miserable and lonely old man one day.

Your child is the most precious gift that you are entrusted with. When you completely appreciate the power of that talent [child],  you will never be the same again. It is transformational…

Building a culture

You have the God-given power right there in your hands to nurture those talents. However, how do you allow them to contribute to building your of culture? Are they part of the pillars that build the culture that is uniquely your family’s?

“Culture is the display of collective behavior. It is influenced by a set of shared norms and values. Every [family] exhibits a culture… Anytime people work together for an extended period of time, a culture forms. It’s the force that guides and directs how people will interact with each other and deal with those beyond their group.

“Since culture has such a large impact on individual actions and how people accomplish work, there is an overwhelming temptation to fiddle with cultural attributes—values, norms, beliefs, symbols, philosophy, and environment. However, culture is created and shaped by a cascade of influences. The attributes displayed are a product of other actions. These are things that can’t be easily manipulated. As a team or individual considering how to make upgrades permanent, don’t try to reshape cultural attributes. Focus instead on those mechanisms that drive their formation and will influence changes in their expression.” John Schultz

This is so true in our families. As we have emphasized before, it is the values that you hold as a family that determine the standards that govern the functioning of your family.

These values can only be built on a vision, a very vivid picture of what the family is to become. This vision guides and lights the  path that your family uses to navigate through life.

The child that God has brought under your care is a special gift.

“Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington

Q: How are you nurturing leadership in children? Have your say by clicking here.

photo credit: Rod Long

Certified Professional Coach, Communication Specialist & Author

I help motivated but overwhelmed individuals and organizations regain their purpose to lead so they can focus on what matters most to build a transformational legacy.