‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it,’ from Proverbs 22:6. It’s one of the most quoted verses on child rearing.
Unfortunately, the pressure of day-to-day activity causes many parents to focus on ‘nearsighted’ accomplishments rather than farsighted character.
Homework time was one of the more stressful times in our family, especially when Nathan decided Spanish and Advanced Placement (AP) courses were not ‘strategic’ for his long career aspirations. In a community where the pressure and competition to get into college is high, Monica and I found it hard not to be nearsighted and force a more aggressive academic curriculum.
It wasn”t easy to let Nathan opt out of AP classes. We kept reminding ourselves that he was learning quite a bit buying and selling computer systems on eBay, tackling new computer animation projects, learning from mentors and doing small free-lance jobs. These were important character builders no matter what his vocation.
Nathan proved out our ‘farsighted’ view. He graduated from college in June and accepted a job as ‘Creative Technologist’ at Leo Burnett Ad Agency in Chicago. His resume was his project portfolio. His education based on what he had done and not just what he knew.
Question: What are the ‘near-sighted’ goals that are keeping you from focusing on farsighted goals for your children? How are you keeping the ‘farsighted’ view? Please share your comments here.