What’s your plan for raising your children?
How will you help build responsibility and resilience?
What will you do when they’re 4…when they’re 10…when they’re 16?
I didn’t really have an intentional plan…nor could find one…so I thought…let’s create one!
The Parenting Plan
I have spent my years of teaching and parenting exploring what the goal of schools and raising children is…and ultimately I have come to believe that the intention is to create a successful adult.
To set our young people up that they have the greatest chance a living a life in which they can live responsibly and respectfully and contribute to the betterment of their community/society.
The issue for me in my parenting is that there is very little practical education or direction as to the best way to do this…to be parenting with the long term goal in mind.
Most of us are parenting moment by moment, responding to the issues as they arrive without a game plan of what we hope to create.
So I, initially, had no real goal as to what I was aiming for and certainly no plan.
However, over my years as a father and a teacher I have learned that there is actually another way we can do this.
I now spend time reflecting on the type of adult Iâ€™d like my children to be, the qualities Iâ€™d like them to develop, the virtues Iâ€™d like them to carry, the level of responsibility Iâ€™d hope they live withâ€¦and I have created a templateâ€¦a processâ€¦that will help me work towards that goal and enable them to develop into the best version of themselves.
I find it strange that I have been encouraged to have goals and plans for a number of different aspects of my life, but in my most important role, being a father…a parent, I have typically coasted along with no direction.
So over recent years I have created an intentional process, a template which aims to help me develop my children into responsible young adults…and Iâ€™d like to share it with others.
Iâ€™ve grown to realise, when a child enters my life, I have roughly 18 years of influence before they are legally, in my country, inducted into adulthood. They are given every legal freedom on the day they turn 18, and, as their parent, I have an obligation to have prepared them for that.
So what can we do in those 18 years?
Well I have created a proactive plan, which I have found really easy to execute.
Effectively it is a template for your child in which we are going to use birthdays as little moments of graduation into the next stage of life.
Along with this we will be intentional about the gifts that we buy them on their birthday, with each one representing the next step of building of responsibility in their lives, the next shift of creating them to be a capable and resourceful human.
Along the way we will also honour significant moments with our child, for example we will create a special celebration to honour a daughterâ€™s menarche, her first period.
At 14 we will have ceremony and celebration around our childâ€™s transition into young adulthood via a Rite of Passage process and then at 18 we will craft a release ceremony which allows them to cross the threshold into that next stage of life.
I am really excited to be working on this resource as I havenâ€™t come across anything else like this in my research on parenting over the years. I have started the writing process and am keen to offer parent workshops in the coming months as I fine tune the process.
Please be in touch via Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org if youâ€™d like to be kept in the loop, let me know your email address and Iâ€™ll stay in touch over the journey.
Hereâ€™s to raising a generation of responsible, respectful, resilient, resourceful young men and women.