Let them lead
I’m always on the lookout for discrepancies in my parenting. Recently I’ve discovered an interesting one. I would tell you I value leadership and teamwork yet often don’t allow my kids opportunities to practice those skills.
Here’s an example. We love exploring out in nature and our city is full of incredible wild places to explore. We often refer to these outings as adventure walks.
A few weeks ago on an adventure walk my kids wanted to go down a steep bank to the rivers edge. I told them “no”citing potential injury, difficulty, and that they might get dirty.
Well as you know I’m endeavoring to be a conscious parent so I checked in with myself only to realize that all these excuses were because I just didn’t want to. It dawned on me that I had an opportunity to help them develop the skills that I claim to value.
With that we “adventured” down the bank to the river. We enjoyed a fantastic view off the beaten path. We overcame a few obstacles and had a wonderful time skipping stones and throwing sticks.
This has now become a regular occurrence on our adventure walks. We take turns leading. In fact yesterday we braved mud and Ice (yup still some ice in May where I live) in our bare feet just to climb a sweet boulder to get to a fishing spot.
Did we get hurt? No. Did we get dirty? Yup.
Did we have an unreal time and forge some epic memories? Absolutely.
So my challenge to you is this:
Let them lead. It can be as simple as letting them choose where you walk the dog. Or following them during play. You can ask questions like where to next or what happens now.
It’s hard to relinquish our “control” as parents but for us it’s been so worth it. If you value leadership in your children then you may have to follow.
I hope this is helpful.
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