Parenting to Bring Out Your Children’s Best

“I don't have any homework,” says my freshman-in-high-school son.

Perhaps you've heard that too.

And then his next test comes back with a “B”, maybe even “C”, when an “A” was within the realm of possibility had he studied.

Apart from an “F” in geometry one quarter of my freshman year when I was trying to shuck off my good girl persona, I pretty much did what my parents expected of me.  So much so, to badly paraphrase Tolstoy, I wasn't always sure where their dreams left off and mine began.

Via Flickr

I'm working very hard not to co-opt my children's dreams, but after yet another “B” or “C”, pick your letter, our relationship may be intact, but what of his dream to go to a good college?

Enter the parental predicament.

What we say and do can summon the best in our children, and they need us to provide sunshine and sweetness in their lives.  But, there's a hard truth — emerging rain is also required.  (Which, let it be noted, I take for granted, because try as I might to quit piano my parents wouldn't let me, for example).  Without the rain, our children may plant plenty of dreams, but lack the ability to harvest.

Yes, we are the gatekeepers of our children's dreams.  But it's not enough to allow them to open the gate; they need to know how to walk through.

Where are you on this continuum with your children? 

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