(Neither is teaching!)
Come to think of it, neither is life.
Just out of college, eager to please, eager to succeed, I still remember what my master teacher taught me. In case you wonder, that was a lot of years ago...and I still try to live by his words. He said, "Sharon, you want the students to like you, and that's normal. But it doesn't matter how much they like you until they respect you. You have to earn their respect first."
That is also powerful advice for parenting. Sometimes you have to be the "bad guy." In today's world, that means being alert, aware, and involved in every aspect of their lives. It means actively partnering in their education. It means knowing their friends and their friends' families. It means sometimes saying "No," when everyone else says "Yes." It means teaching them life skills.
It means partnering with them.
I don't remember the topic, but my son and I were having a discussion. I disagreed with a decision he made. When I realized it was escalating to an unhealthy level, I called a truce. I said,
"I don't know why we are fighting. I want you to win!"
He responded, "It sure doesn't feel like it!"
I said, "I am your mother. I want more for you than you want for yourself. I want success for you beyond your greatest dreams. I'm always on your side. Right now, I don't think you are making a wise decision. It isn't a dangerous decision so you have the right to make it. I just want you to hear what I have to say first."
Everything about our relationship changed that day. We were on the same team. I had always known that. Now he did. We could listen to and respect one another. We were partners in his life, based on mutual respect. We were no longer at war.
Check out our powerful YouTube Video for a tool to help you talk with your children or students.
Pet The Dream!
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