Parenting Manifesto

When parents chose to become parents, they make an inviolate covenant with God to be the best parents they can be, through thick and thin until the job is done. Upon making that decision to become parents, either by birthing their child or adopting one, they become what I call God’s designated hitter. At that moment they are tapped on their shoulders by God and from that moment on, that child is their responsibility. There is no giving that responsibility away or abandoning it. There might be times when the needs of the child exceed the abilities of the parents. Even at those times when the services of outside experts are needed, the parents still have overall responsibility. There are times when it seems that they have done all that they can possibly do for their child. It is absolutely part of their agreement with God to ask for other designated hitters to be assigned to provide what the parents are unable to provide. Even when God assigns those tasks to others and the teen is not under the direct care of the parents,  such as if the teen was put in a detention facility or went off to college (hopefully the latter), the parents’ covenant with God to be the teens parents for the duration, is not terminated. Parents still need to be prepared to assume their role when they are once again called on to do so.

As the child grows into being a teenager and then onto adulthood, the parental role and how much they are called upon to be parents, changes. It is the dance of dances. Unlike most dances the pattern and the requisite skills constantly are changing. Just when the skills are learned, the dance changes in beat, complexity and intensity so new skills need to be learned or innovated, on-the-fly. If parents do not understand that this is an ever-changing dynamic process and expect that the rules and skills of the game, once learned, will apply for ever, they are destined to get burned out, frustrated and overwhelmed. When they understand that parenting of teens is an ever-changing dance, then it can become an exciting game of staying at least one step ahead and innovating when necessary to be the best parents they can be. The expectation that the dance is ever changing converts the frustration and overwhelm into an exhilarating challenge.

In the martial art of Tai Chi there are two parts of the practice. The first part is a long set of positions that the person slowly, but fluidly moves through. There is a set beginning and forty minutes later there is an end. It is rote, predictable and infinitely meditative. The second part is a two person exercise called "pushing hands". In Pushing Hands, two people face each other and with both hands placed palm to palm with each others hands, they start to attract and defend and counter-attack without ever breaking contact. The purpose of this game is to effortlessly and unconsciously respond to each change in the situation. To be able to do this well, they first have to master the first solo part, the basic form. Once that is deeply ingrained within, then they can allow this inner self, the unconscious mind, to act immediately and appropriately. In parenting, once the principles of parenting are learned, accepted and practiced until they are automatic, as the dance continually changes, the parents will easily and effortlessly act appropriately for each new situation. The basic framework of parenting does not change. What changes is the way those principles are applies to ever-changing and sometimes rapidly changing circumstances

©2007, J.Jason Wittman

About the Author:

Coach Jason Wittman, MPS has a private practice as a Life Coach
specializing in working with parents of teenagers and young
adults ( http://TheParentsCoach.com ) He can be reached
at jason@theparentscoach.com

Coach Jason publishes "My Coach Jason’s Tips for Winning at Life,"
in ezine that he issues periodically when he feels that he has
written something of value to his clients. If you’re ready to
jump-start your life, you can sign up for the ezine, find more FREE
tips, and how you can benefit from his coaching at:
http://MyCoachJason.com

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