how we perform as parents?
It's the million dollar question, isn't it? We always wonder how we perform as parents, and what we have to do to be better ones.
I'll start with a short story.
I was sitting at an ice cream parlor, eating ice cream.
A family walked in, two parents and two children of the standard variety, a mother, a father, two kids.
The mom was angry at the dad, "look at the kid, from the minute we got here he won't listen to a word we say, won't budge from his phone", and she was clearly annoyed, hostile.
And me, I can never just sit there and mind my own business.
I walked over to the mom and asked if I can offer some advice. She said, sure.
I asked her why they chose to come here. She replied they wanted the kids to have fun, and the boy said that this place had all the best Pokémon.
I explained to her that by now, the kid's in a world of his own. So yeah, you want to buy him ice cream, but he couldn't care less about ice cream right now – his mind is in some wonderful place and what he cares about is the Pokémon on his phone.
The ice cream would only bother him because he can't play while eating it, which was the reason you came here in the first place. He'll have to get you to hold it while he plays so he can enjoy the first gift.
You'll get more and more annoyed, and all of your good intentions will turn sour, for you and maybe for him.
Maybe it would be better if you bought a water bottle, so even if you had to hang on to it for him, you'd be fine with it because it's not as messy.
She asked the kid, who immediately said "Yeah, good idea."
So yes, our children are incredibly clever, and they have minds of their own. If we look deep enough, we can see they don't want much. The story shows it clearly – the kid already got everything he wanted, and all the parents really had to do was sit there and watch him enjoy the gift he'd already received.
But they missed out on that, and tried to give him – from their point of view – even more. The result was chaos.
If we can get into our kids' heads, we can see that, when all's said and done, they enjoy the little things for longer than they do the big ones.
And of course, love, warmth, and understanding are key.