No one denies that the pace of life is on a rapid uptick. We are more fragmented than at any previous point in history. We are trading deep relationships with a few treasured friends for shallow social media relationships with many. The constantly increasing pressure to succeed has resulted in farming out much of our parenting to tutors, coaches, teachers, mentors, pastors, and others we deem more “qualified” than ourselves.
Today I’d like to invite you to consider a different model that I call Parenting in Parallel – seeking out activities where parent and child work together to accomplish a goal.
It started when my kids were little: learning to cook, gardening, cleaning house, learning to read, crafting to make gifts, taking long walks for exercise. Not only did it drastically reduce the amount of time it took to accomplish basic chores, it added an element of fun in the mix. As skills were developed and they grew older it changed to creating organizations together, teaching classes together, organizing huge leadership projects, and starting businesses.
We learned from each other and developed an unshakable trust in the unique contributions each person made to our venture. I was saved many lectures because I was able to show them how to live life rather than telling them. We enjoyed each other immensely and never really dealt with the sibling rivalry that countless families experience. We talked constantly. We still do.
If you feel you are losing touch with your children, I encourage you to think about ways you could parent in parallel looking for activities where you can share the load and share the fun.
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