I will admit - I like to be in control. As a parent, this means I have to hold myself back on a daily basis from doing something for or saying something to my kids that undermines not only their ability to do things for themselves but also how they feel about themselves. It is a regular battle. Author and parent educator Vicki Hoefle suggests duct tape - for the parents’ mouth! Beyond ripping all the hairs off my upper lip, holding my tongue has become a daily practice that I am constantly working to master. Holding my tongue allows me to step back and think about what is really important as the end result of any given interaction I have with my kids. Again, in no way am I proficient with this -- it is a daily practice.
What is really important? That I teach my kids skills, that I have faith in their abilities, that I encourage them, and that I strengthen rather than fracture our relationship. How I react to and interact with my kids can build character strengths in my kids or tear them down.
Read this week's column in Jackson Hole News and Guide to consider the idea that while we are living with toddlers through teens, we are actually raising an adult. This is the last in my four-part series on ideas that stem from the college admissions scandal. See below to find past articles in the series exploring our deep love for our kids, anxieties we may have about their future and how we can help our kids to grow into thriving adults.