I received some pained comments on my post Parenting is VERY Hard, People! asking if parenting is just so awful it should be avoided. Can’t I say ANYTHING positive about it, my commenter wanted to know – although he was nicer about it than that.
I want to spend some time exploring the real topic of this blog – that parenting is actually FOR the parents. By that I mean, good for you, in the best interest of, etc. Most of the time that idea doesn’t feature in conversations about parenting. I still reserve my right to complain about how hard it is but actually I believe it is one of the richest positive learning experiences available to us in life. Hence this blog.
So I’m going to approach this idea from three directions – for now. I know you’ll give me feedback in your comments. This week is for the business-minded, next week I’ll talk to the spiritual-minded and the week after will be for the practical-minded. Here goes:
Some people are not designed for insight. It irks them. They find it an unnecessary exercise. There’s a good chance they’re not reading this blog but you can pass this onto them.
There are people who see life as a biological coincidence. You’re born by chance, you live, you die, the end. So for you who are like this, let me present the personal benefits of parenting as a business enterprise.
Your business in your life is you, right? Your approach to your life (and luck – you probably believe in luck) determines whether your business enterprise encapsulates the components of success or not. Now a relatively simple principle is that if you put your energy and thought into your business it will most likely grow and thrive and if you don’t it won’t. Yes?
Ok so here is the tie in to parenting and the ‘business of you’. Your life circumstances (family, socio-economic standing, schooling, etc.) will determine how much ‘capital’ (that is street smarts, emotional intelligence and knowledge) you have when starting off. We all know it’s easier to start a business when you have more capital.
What minimises personal capital? Parents that were damaging, traumas, poverty, survival fears on any level, etc. Basically anything you need to deal with that requires your energy and so detracts from the energy you have to put into moving ahead with the business of your life.
Now on the one hand you could view parenting children as a MASSIVE expenditure of energy that detracts from the energy funds you have available to put into your own life and where you want to go. But consider this.
If your business has a high financial burn rate it’s going to impact on your profit margins regardless of what else you do. Your best bet is to address that outpouring of energy because it will always get in your way of real success. How do you do that? You bring in consultants who know about this stuff to give you guidance. Those consultants would be your children.
Have I gone mad? What am I talking about?
Stay with me people and let me explain.
Ok so let’s say you were born into a family where your mom was anxious and controlling and your dad avoided her by working too much and getting drunk on weekends. So thanks to your dad you grew up feeling unsupported and you pretty much had to figure things out for yourself as a man in the world. Thanks to your mom you grew up feeling like life was scary and you need to keep constant vigilance in case you got things wrong. Thanks to both of them you learned that men and women don’t really communicate and marriage is … well I don’t even really know what to say there.
Are you with me so far? This is simple shaping. It’s behavioural – we learn what we are taught and what we see around us.
Now obviously these beliefs about life, yourself and other people impact on how you engage with your business. You expend your energy on not trusting male authority figures, fighting off being controlled, being anxious in the world etc. It’s hard to focus on growing your business when you have to watch for danger and unreliability all the time.
In come the consultants – your children. They examine every inch of you and then they make you aware of your anxiety and controlling-ness. They make you aware of your fear of being unreliable for them OR your inability to be around them. When you see this stuff you CAN ignore it or go drink or watch tv. It’s your choice – but that’s like paying for consultants and then putting their feedback report in a drawer without reading it. And we all know consultants are expensive.
Your miniature consultants are telling you right now about your energy burn rate. They show you where your energy is being wasted instead of invested in the business that is you.
And THAT’S how parenting can be used for your OWN benefit.