Parenting Principles

by Jennifer Dryden

We have a policy at FPDS that we don’t allow students to call their parents to bring things that they have left at home, such as school work or other projects. When upset children come to us asking to call home because they have forgotten something, it is difficult to say no. However, we hold true to this policy because we are working to grow children into future adults. Part of the Day School’s mission statement, and one of our goals, is to grow children for future service in their homes, communities, and professions.

It is so easy to fall into the trap that we want to shield our children from punishments, disappointments, and even feelings of sadness. However, if we make their paths trouble-free and micromanage their lives so that they never experience hardships, then we aren’t preparing them for the future. Dr. Tim Elmore, author, lecturer, and blogger was recently in Jackson as a guest lecturer. Here are some tips that Dr. Elmore gives to help grow future leaders in our schools and communities.

Four Simple Principles Parents Must Buy Into

1. Pay Now, Play Later.

If parents are willing to bite the bullet now and not give in to every whim their child has, they actually build a healthy son or daughter who is ready for a happy life as an adult. Think “invest,” not “spend.”

2. The Further Out I Can See, the Better the Decision I Make Today.

If parents will consider the long-term impact of their decision to rescue their child from hardship or prevent any difficulty from happening, they will be better leaders. Think long-term readiness, not short-term happiness.

3. It’s Better to Prepare a Child Than Repair an Adult.

Parents are not raising children—they are raising future adults. Always think: I am a trainer. Everything we do each day either prepares them for their future or fails to do so. It builds their self-esteem or depletes it.

4. Don’t Parent to Make You Happy—Parent to Make Them Healthy.

Let’s face it. Some of what we do for our children, we do because it makes us feel better as a provider, as a caretaker, and as a person who vicariously lives out some of our kids’ joys. Be sure what you do isn’t for you, but for them.

Remember: We must prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.