From the Desk of Kim Thompson

Silverdale Baptist Academy

September 23, 2015

Preparing Your Child For The Road

“Are you preparing your child for the road, or preparing the road for your child?” This is a probing question for parents and educators today. In his book, “12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid”, Dr. Tim Elmore reminds us that our goal in parenting is a long-range one. Our goal must be to release a well-adjusted young adult into the world. Dr. Elmore is the president of Growing Leaders, a nonprofit that provides public and private institutions with resources that foster the growth of young leaders. As you may know, the statistics are bleak on the preparedness of our present generation of young people being released into the world and job market today. One article reported that 50% of the jobs available to recent grads went unfilled because the young people available didn’t possess the basic communication and leadership skills necessary for the positions. Where is the breakdown since our students have more information, data, social connection, and opportunities than ever before in our history?

Mistake #1: Parents and teachers are more engaged than ever before but perhaps there are some unintended consequences to our over engaged, overprotecting, and overconnecting style. Dr. Elmore suggests that while every parent and teacher wants to see their kids succeed in school, sports, and life, making it impossible to fail isn’t the answer. Refusing to let them fail brings about two negative outcomes. According to Dr. Elmore, it fosters the fear of failure later in life as adults and it dilutes the will or motivation to excel. Creating a safe place for our kids to fail actually can bring out their best. It can create resilience, force us to evaluate, motivate us to better performance and develop maturity, creativity, and discovery. We have to help our children build emotional muscles that are capable of enduring a failure and to realize that there is still life after failure.

Mistake #2: Dr. Elmore describes for us the parenting mistake of “projecting our life on the life of our child”. Over-identifying with our children is a phenomena that is relatively new. Our grandparents had little problem with separating their identity as parents from the identity of their children. They weren’t as tempted as parents today to do their child’s homework, to intervene in every situation the child faces, or to defend them in their wrongness. Dr. Elmore suggests that if we want our children to have strong and healthy identities, then we have to model a healthy identity. We must realize that everything our child does is not a reflection of us as individuals or as parents. We have to assure our children that our love is not tied to their performance in school or on the athletic field.

I would love for you to join Roslyn McCoy and I on Tuesday mornings at 9:15 in the Chapel, as we discuss how to avoid some major pitfalls in our parenting and how to lead our kids to succeed in life. High school, middle school, and elementary parents are welcome. We will be discussing chapter 3 and 4 on September 29.