My son Yaniv said I was paranoid! There is some truth in it.
What prompted this? He was leaving for spring break at 6 pm and driving 18 hours to get to San Diago…with 5 other college kids! That’s what prompted it. Can anyone here relate?
Can anyone blame me for being “a bit worried?”
Trying to be a good responsible parent to a college-age kid is not simple.
Even though I raised 2 other kids that are now adults and married, I had to take a moment and reflect on what it means to be a good parent. There is no ending to learning.
Here is what is truly fantastic about it. After writing this I realized that it is 100% true when dealing with your teammates. Tell me what you think when you read it and instead of the word parent or child you place “leader” or “teammate”!
Here is what I came up with:
✓ Parenting requires a lot of effort, patience, and dedication.
✓ Parenting is constantly showing unconditional love: Making sure your child feels loved and supported, no matter what they do or say (even when they position you as a paranoid parent!) Show them affection, give them hugs, and tell them that you love them every day.
✓ Be present. Our time is so limited. Spend time with your child and actively engage with them. My son came with me for the Niky HQ talk and I knew he wanted to go to breakfast afterward. Guess what? even though I wanted to stay at the conference…I did not. I took him out to breakfast. No cell phone (just to take a pic of our moment together!)
✓ Set boundaries and be consistent. Creating confusion hurts our children and us!
✓ Listen: Take the time to listen to your child (even if they are adults) and validate their feelings. I always say “tell me more.” it is my favorite line!
✓ Be a positive role model: Children learn by example, so make sure you are setting a good example for them to follow. Show them how to be kind, honest, and respectful. AND be authentic. Be real. Even if you made a mistake. Everyone does.
✓ Foster independence: Encourage your child to be independent by giving them age-appropriate responsibilities and letting them make decisions. (back to the paranoia statement…I did it but gosh, was it hard!)
✓ Parents matter! Parenthood is important so take care of yourself: Get enough sleep, exercise, and practice self-care to maintain your own mental and physical health.
Remember that being a good parent is a journey, and it takes time and effort. Be patient, keep learning, and most importantly, value and love your child unconditionally.
Be Positive, Be Yourself, Be the champion you want to see!