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The Informed Parent

Time To Parent

by John H. Samson, M.D., F.A.A.P.
Published on Feb. 17, 2014

Parenting means many things to many people. Some see it as a chauffeur who carts their children to practices, games, recitals and events. This is very time consuming if you don’t keep a careful check on the number of endeavors your offspring is involved with. Teams and lessons after school and evenings can easily get of hand, robbing your child of time needed for homework, family togetherness or simply relaxation.

Some parents will argue that coaching their child’s team is together time. But in reality the son or daughter is sharing you with the rest of the team. Others feel that attending their child’s game, activity or event as a fan satisfies their obligation as a parent.

Without question these things are important aspects of parenting. But alone they do not fulfill one’s obligation. More importantly parenting is composed of teaching your child how to handle frustration, disappointment, success and social interaction. It is being a memory maker, giving them remembrances that they will treasure for life. It is giving them practical lessons in ultimately managing their own life after childhood. Like it or not, you are their teacher that establishes how they see parenting.

Don’t get me wrong; a good parent will find he must be a chauffeur, fan and team coach. Just remember, these activities do not supplant the more important ones mentioned in the prior paragraph. Keep all aspects of parenting in balance by keeping your child’s involvement in sports, music, drama and service under control.

School these days is more demanding in content than when we were exposed to it. Be sure they have time to study and relax. Studying on the go or in a gymnasium is not always the best.

Let’s not forget, the parent is the captain of your offspring’s voyage--not just the cook, entertainment director or logistic officer of the ship your child is traveling on to adulthood. Be there FOR them, not just WITH them. The parents are the faculty of the school of life that their children will attend for 18 years. Society can not afford drop outs from this “school”.

Lastly, to use an old cliché--”Nobody said it would be easy”. Let’s not forget, it is the most rewarding thing you can do.

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