Monday, March 2, 2015

Motivational Monday - Parenting is like a "Driving" Lesson

I believe that one never stops parenting - teaching their children lessons.  My parents continued to be a source of inspiration and strength to me - even in death.  

Al and I have spent the past several months as empty nesters, a new stage of our life.  We have had several conversations about how fast it all went, what we feel we did right and what we feel we could have done better on.  Parenting is not easy; it is a challenging job.  The "work" we put into our girls has been so rewarding and we are proud of the women they have become.  

To be successful at anything in life - you must put your time and energy into it.  I also feel that - balance - is the key to life. 

Tires that are off balance will bounce around and jiggle your car all over the road.  Same is true in parenting.  If you don't help your children find their balance - they will bounce around and maybe end up in the ditch. 

Don't get me wrong, you are still behind the wheel driving that car....for those mamas who need are just helping your children figure out how to drive.   After all, you really are only a passenger in this car for a few years....that is your want your children to be able to drive on their own...that is your job.

Pointing out the statistics of other's "driving records" is helpful.  I would say to my girls..."if you don't want to end up like so and so...don't do that or if you want to end up like so and so - look at what she did to get there...."  Life is full of lessons some good, some bad - rather - some are easy and others are hard.  

Requirements to driving are class time/lessons and behind the wheel training.  Both are important to learning how to drive.   Parenting is the have to start young; training your children and showing them by example how to be an adult.  The lessons or class time that is needed to help your children know what to do is their training.  Your showing them how to do - and their helping - is the behind the wheel.  This is the key to their success.

Notice, I said ....their helping.....yes, making your children do things that they don't necessarily want to the hard part of parenting.  If you always do things for your children and don't teach them how to do things they won't learn. 

I've had family members and friends say to me..."you're kinda mean Dicky make them do that?"  Yes, I did and guess girls know how to do things....that is success.  Being "mean" is not teaching them how....  You don't think that as their mama, I didn't and don't want them to "need" me....being "needed,"  I do.  However, I want them to be successful more than my need to have them "need me."  

Balance is not only for them, but for you as well.  When your lessons are over, you've taught them how to drive and they pull out of your want to feel happy and satisfied in a job well done....not sad and lonely.  Neither Al nor I feel that way...we are happy for our girls and their spouses.  We are proud of all of them.

Enjoy the lessons, the behind the wheel - even the speeding tickets and fender benders.  Life is a journey.  I look forward to future "road trips" with my girls.  

Blessings from Ringle, Wisconsin.

Update on our "drivers": 

Justine will graduate in May from the university of Oshkosh with her master's degree in social work.  She is currently a full time student and working on her internship with Wisconsin Children's Hospital.  She has a heart for helping children.  

Anna is in her junior year of college.  This is her first year at the university of Milwaukee.  Her major is community engagement and education.  She carries a full schedule and works part time.  She has a service requirement for one of her classes this semester where she is working with Girl Scouts in a 6 week program for inner city girls.  She too has a heart for helping youth.  

I can't help but think, that their heart for helping others, was lessons they learned with I learned with my mom.  I say with - as we did community service as a family.   That is a part of the "balance" - helping others.   

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