What if I told you much of what you hear about parenting is not true? What if I said, “the color of one’s skin, race, creed or national origin has no predictive value on their potential to be a good parent?”
What if I told you that neither gender, class, nor socio-economic status guarantee that one is more or less likely to be a successful parent? Would you believe me or would you keep focusing on the clutter?
Eliminating The Clutter
The clutter is the media and social pundits who imply that successful parents have the same external characteristics – predominantly middle class, college educated, and suburban. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Successful parents come in all sizes and colors. Successful parents are both low-income and members of America’s aristocracy. Successful parents are both white collar and blue collar, college educated and graduates of the school of hard knocks.
The Truth Shall Set You Free
Although I maintain that all successful parents do not look alike, I do freely admit that successful parents share many of the same traits. However, these commonalities are internal characteristics that are entirely undetectable by merely looking at someone or their material possessions.
If you observe intently, listen to what parents say and note their behaviors, you’ll find that most successful parents do many of the same things:
- Preparation – Successful parents arrange their lives in advance. Successful parents organize everything within their power so that they may give their children the best chance to fulfill their potential. Successful parents parent intentionally.
- Goal Setting – Successful parents set S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound) goals for their children. Successful parents leave as little to chance as possible. Successful parents don’t merely set high expectations for their children; they establish a process for turning their children’s dreams into realities.
- No Shortcuts – Successful parents don’t focus on finding shortcuts. Successful parents raise children who understand the importance of following detailed directions and taking the most efficient route. Life is a process and children who understand this have a head start in life.
- No Excuses – Successful parents don’t make excuses. Successful parents keep their word. Short of an unavoidable emergency, a child learns from their parent that one’s word is their bond. Successful parents embrace the motto “whatever my child is going to be, the public will either compliment or criticize me.”
- Devotion – Successful parents devote themselves unconditionally to providing for the life they created. Successful parents also dedicate themselves to living in the moment. Successful parents live and love their children purposely; fully embracing the reality that today matters most because tomorrow isn’t promised.
The truth is, anyone can be a successful parent. All it requires is that you commit yourself to live, breathe, and do these five things every day. I promise, no matter what your background, if you do these things, you will be a successful parent! Are you up to the task?
Originally Published on The RS Project