We prune a tree from which someone else is going to eat the fruit.
Explore this thought by watching this video by Hettie Brittz, or read the article below.
While our children are still young, flexible seedlings, they are too cute. We frequently need to off-load the cell phone photos onto the cloud because our own memory and the space on our mobile phones are overflowing. We love our kids. Time flies. Very soon, the following paparazzi moments are at our doorstep to take wedding photos and soon after pictures of our grandchildren. Then we realize how short our children’s childhood was and that it was just the pre-program for the big concert of life.
We as parents are raising someone else’s husband or wife, employee or employer, father or mother, and friend or girlfriend. They are only eighteen years or a little longer in our homes – the other roles will probably be played for decades. The nature of our parenting will determine whether the fruit of our work is sweet or sour for those who are sharing a life with our children.
I recently watched my thirteen-year-old bake pancakes. I could only open canned food and squeeze bread into the toaster when I got married. That was due to my own stubbornness, not my mother’s reluctance to teach me, I have to add. I wasn’t just ignorant about cooking. I was married young and understood little of what a marriage would entail. My prayer for my daughters is that in many ways they will be better prepared for a marriage than I was. My parenting and discipline in their life should be measured against that ideal.
That doesn’t necessarily mean I have intensive cooking lessons at the top of my list. I want my children to make the right decisions when they are in love, I want them to learn how to compromise when they have to live with someone who doesn’t think like them, and I want to see to it that they practice repairing a relationship through the most important words “I’m sorry.” It is precisely these things that have been difficult for me. I want to give them my expensively bought life lessons much earlier and easier.
We need to look at the world our children need to be ready for. Times are changing and we may need to give our children much more resilience and information than our parents gave us. We should definitely talk about sex even though some of our parents did not; and about drugs, about abortion, about sects, and the occult. Our children are citizens of a world in which we don’t have to clear our paths anymore. We fail our duty if we send them into this world without the necessary equipment. In the past, we, as parents, were in the “real world” and our children in the fantasy world where there were no pressures and worries. I think today there are more dangers in schools than in the back streets and bigger monsters in children’s movies than in the grown-ups’ wildest nightmares!
You and I have to ask ourselves regularly: How am I going to guide my child to maturity? I know wonderful people with cluttered homes, bad table manners, or nothing more than a matric certificate behind their name. But these same people have respect for others, are hardworking and honest. So, by regularly evaluating my decisions and actions to this question, I can stop wasting time with what is not truly important in the bigger picture. If I am so focused on short-term quick-fix techniques for all kinds of less important misbehaviour, I might not notice the horrors developing in my children’s character.
“Evergreen parenting requires me to measure short-term goals to long-term results so that I don’t spend my energy and time on what is not truly important.”