A wise mentor of mine told me, “We are here to make our kids smarter than our selves.”
It rang true. And I wanted to pass that on to you.
Frankly, it needs no further explanation, so feel free to stop reading now. There is nothing about it that needs to be expanded upon or explained. Don’t you love it when something is simple enough to understand and easy enough to remember?
But for those of you wanting a more arduous, albeit humorous read with a real-life application story, read on.
Of course, it is basic to a parent’s instinct to want your children to be far smarter and more able to deal with… well, everything in life!
As parents, we don’t want our children walking down the same paths that led us to some offense against our own basic nature. We want them walking down paths that lead them closer to a perceived happiness.
I emphasize the word “perceived” because an idea that my 8-year-old son might have of what leads to happiness can be a far cry from my own idea.
For example, that bag of Halloween candy may look like bliss to him. But it sends shivers down my body and stresses my mind and immune system just thinking about it!
Anyone who knows my 8-year-old son knows he is already far smarter than me – in many, if not most ways. And since his school offered a fun Halloween party and festival over the weekend I figured (wrongly) that this would be enough candy-action to sensibly satisfy his cravings.
NOW he’s planning his attack for the actual night of Halloween on Wednesday, Oct 31st.
He intends to wreak havoc on each of our neighborhood’s “free candy stores” with time out for a costume change to allow for maximum maneuverability, as part of a detailed plan that would make even a 5-star general proud!
I am left with the dilemma of applauding his initiative while knowing that the outcome of this battle is a loose-loose.
How can I make him far smarter than me in this situation?
- Allow him to plan and plan well.
- Allow him to conquer and bask in the glory of his conquest.
- Allow him to trade with others to maximize his treasure.
- Bribe him with hard, cold cash – under whatever clever ruse for a reason I can conjure up – so he will not eat all of it…under any circumstance!
NEW RULE: He gets to eat as many pieces as his age. Eight is more than enough.
Written by, Dana Houston Jackson - Middle School Teacher - YouthMUSE Founder