Thursday, October 28, 2010

Filling Their Heads With Worthwhile Stuff

I’m disappointed. My mom told me it was fun. It’s not, nor is it easy. The reality is, there is no all-contingencies-listed-child-rearing operator’s manual out there. St. Nicholas Hospital didn’t issue us a 500 page encyclopedia with an extensive thumb index and an emergency 800 number when we took the kidlet home. Sure we read books, studied the Bible, observed others, and drew from our own growing up experiences. But much of parenting is winging it, trying to make the best decision, given the information we have at that moment.

Our goal is to lay in enough lessons to enable the child to live successfully on their own, without getting too beat up in the process. Be Christ centered. Develop good study and hygiene habits. Know how to choose ripe bananas, do an oil change, replace a light switch, balance a check book, sort laundry, cook a meal, sew on a button.

As the big guy left for college this morning, we talked about something basic, (like “you should know this by now”), and he absolutely bristled. I know we covered it before, so why is he SO clueless? Maybe because he doesn’t see current value in it. He has to catch a bus. That’s all that matters this instant.

So instead of repeatedly whacking my head against the wall in exasperation, I should see the lessons as a tool box. Something to draw from when needed. He may hammer a nail with a shoe from time to time. Eventually he’ll remember he has a tool box in the garage with all kinds of useful stuff in it. Including an 18 ounce hammer.

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