Most of us start our journey as parents based on our own childhood. If we were active, we want our children to be active. If we were good in math, they need to be good too. If we weren’t allowed too much ice cream, we make sure they can have as much as they want. If our parents divorced, we focus on staying together with our spouse, just so that the child doesn’t have to go through the same plight. The list goes on. The pattern is the same. We base our child-raising behavior on our own childhood.
There is nothing inherently wrong with that. Only … the child we raise is not us. She only looks like us. She talks and walks like us. She even likes some of the same things we do. But she is a child in a different world. She has different parents, different friends. And while in so many ways she is like us, in so many she is different as well. She is her own person. She is not the child we carry within. She is the child outside. If we are to become better at raising our kids, this is where we need to start.
A few readers suggested I wrote on the topic of teaching The Excellence Habit to children as my next book project. After some initial research I believe, before teaching children anything, we need to do an inventory of ourselves as parents. If we want the best for our children, it only makes sense to be prepared to give the best as parents and as people. Why? Because our children have the uncanny ability to see everything. Just as we could see our parents too. It took us some time to understand our parents, but we could see them. So our children will see us, copy us, and become us. No matter what we teach them.
A case in point: Big Vlad was my friend, name-mate, and the bass-player of our high-school rock band The Silhouettes. Once, as a curious side-note to a conversation about the Beatles, he quipped:
“I can’t wait to have a son, so I can mess him up just in my own peculiar way!”
“Yeah, right!” said I. “Your son will care to listen to you just as much as we listen to our fathers!”
“No, no!” insisted Big Vlad, “I’m not going to talk to him. I’ll just make him a playlist and one day put it on for him to hear.”
It was an unusual fantasy. At that moment, I too realized that while just a teen, I had been thinking about how my kids’ life would be different, and better than my own. Big Vlad had a daughter and as far as I know, she never played in a band. Neither did my son.
The point of the book will be to answer two critical questions that we all have: Why do we so often fail as parents, despite our best efforts and intentions? What habits can we build in order to raise healthy, successful, and well-adjusted children?
So, dear reader, would you want a book like that? What else would you need to make it worth your while? Are there any awesome books on raising a child I should read before anything else? Please, send me a line, let me know what you think! Thank you.