In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, November 30, 2007

Working Towards Unemployment

My job as a parent is to work myself out of a job.

That's an excellent piece of parenting advice. I credit it to a writing friend, Brenda Nixon . Brenda offers Daily Discipline Tips, a weekly e-mail newsletter. Several months ago, she sent out one titled "My General Parenting Philosophy." Here's one thing she said:

In your daily discipline, ask yourself if your teaching also includes
lessons on self-reliance so your kids will one day be able to get on in life without you. They can be butterflies, but the cocoon has got to go.

As I read what Brenda had written, I nodded in agreement.

Sure, once a mom, always a mom. I'll always turn and look when a little child yells, "Mom!" in the grocery store.

But I don't want my children to always be little kids. I want them to grow up and be adults. I want them to have their own lives--and to pursue their own dreams.

Yes, I want to work myself out of a job. I hope my kids hear me cheering them on, telling them to live their lives out loud. I also hope they know they are always welcome back home. No advance notice required. But at some point I realize they'll all be visiting.


Truth be told, with the blessing of my late-in-life child, I'll be employed for a few more years!


At 11:37 AM, Blogger MarysMom said...

I want this job to go nice and slow. My daughter is now 5 and it only seems like yesterday when I was rocking her to sleep. I'm sure she'll be a teenager in the blink of an eye. Sigh!

At 6:45 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

Slow is good.
Although, as Anita Renfroe said at her comedy concert the other night: there are times when you are wishing the days would go fast. Like when it's all about crayon on the walls and kool-aid on the floors and teething . . .

At 10:44 PM, Blogger Rachelle said...

Funny, my kids are 8 and 10 and they are well aware that I'm trying to work myself out of a job! We always talk about learning to do things on their own because I won't always be around to do it for them; our mantra around the house is "solve your problem." Whining doesn't help, arguing doesn't help, standing around looking helpless doesn't help. My kids are learning they have to take action to solve their problems.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I told my first three kiddos, "Whining gets you nothing." Christa hears the same.
I like the "Solve your own problem" reponse too.

At 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for tagging onto my Daily Discipline Tip. I enjoyed reading your thoughts, Beth. When my daughters were young, it seemed my parenting days (you know, the daily maintenance) would last forever, but in a blink they were out of the house. Today, my older daughter is a RN and living on her own, and the younger one is in college.
~ Brenda Nixon


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