Character, finance, relationships, career choices are just a few of the life skills they will need to be successful. You can’t wait until they are in their teens to start your countdown to freedom. It helps to feed, clothe, and shelter them, but you should probably do more, a LOT more.
I came across an excellent Parenting Checklist from a book entitled, What I Wish I Knew at 18: Life Lessons from the Road Ahead by Dennis Trittin.
When you go through this extensive checklist, you will see just how awesome a responsibility being a parent can be. Certainly there are many factors beyond your ability as a parent which will determine how you will answer these questions about your children. Their nature and social environment outside the home will be significant factors. But two parents, totally involved, will trump many of the outside influences. Moms and dads have different strengths and complement each other. Don’t deny the unique and absolute influence each parent can have.
So for those that are not yet a parent, there are some things you must know.
1) It’s not easy, it helps immensely to have an involved partner
2) It’s an awesome responsibility
3) You cannot be selfish (with exceptions, of course)
4) It can, and should be, very rewarding
As you look at each question on the list, ask yourself whether you have invested any time in that area. Don’t be frightened by the length of the list. You have (had) 18 years to try and get it right. And consider yourself a parental hero if you read and contemplate the entire list.
Click below for the checklist:
Dennis Trittin’s new book is Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens to Succeed in the Real World. Learn more at www.parentingforthelaunch.com