Just in case you haven’t engaged in purposeful parenting prior to July (rolls eyes). Just the same, why not take a month to focus on what you can do to better prepare your children to navigate the incredible challenges of life! Or… let them teach you a few things.
Let me tell you a brief story: My mother was 20 when she gave birth to me. I was 20 when I gave birth to my son, and 21 when I gave birth to my daughter.
Guess who is going to be a grandmother? This one, right here. Navigate that challenge, life!
My sweet daughter, carrying on the family tradition, is currently crafting a human, from scratch, and as a single woman! In a few short weeks, there will be a bouncing baby boy in our house, causing us extreme bouts of happiness and joy (and sleep deprivation)!
Now, this is going to seem like I am going off in a completely random direction, however, I’m not (mostly) crazy. Bear with me.
Break out the popcorn and Milk Duds.
Do you remember the movie City Slickers? If you haven’t seen it due to living under a considerably sized rock, I demand you pretty much drop everything and go watch it immediately. Here’s one of the greatest scenes ever between Mitch and Curly.
In this scene, Mitch and Curly are riding horses out on the range. Here’s the conversation.
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is? [holds up one finger] This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean s***.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly:: That’s what you have to find out.
The secret of life, according to Sylvia
So, in a previous post, I talked about Happiness and changing careers and everything falling apart financially, and then everything getting better – or at least becoming not as catastrophic.
That one thing that Curly was referring to was indeed happiness, and that happiness comes from surrounding yourself with family (whatever that means to you).
Not to get all Debbie1 downer on you…
But the economy is not going to bounce back anytime soon, and some people with fancy pedigrees, who like to play with numbers and calculators say that we are in for yet another recession. Our kids are in college debt up to their eyeballs and are under-employed. There’s a retirement crisis and we’re making less money than we ever have and with larger expenses. Combining resources is becoming less taboo by the second. Having several generations under one roof is not only smart; it’s necessary in a lot of cases.
Having both my daughter and my grandson here with my husband and me, not only increases my happiness score to somewhere north of one TRILLION, but it also means that no one has to struggle to make ends meet. We are doing it together.
Purposeful parenting isn’t a month, it’s forever.2
That means, living and leading by example. It means, totally screwing up royally – like I did financially – and owning up to that with your kids so they don’t make the same mistakes you do. My daughter may be starting out young like her grandmother and me, but guess what? She also has a fat savings account. She’s fiscally responsible, she’s driven, and while she probably won’t live with her mommy forever (LAME), she’s learning how to purposefully parent right here, and on the forever model.
1 Poor Debbie. Is she really that negative about everything? Or is she just misunderstood?
2 They say diamonds are forever, but really, they are just fancy polished rocks.