Great Parenting Moments
I’ve decided to chronicle great parenting moments because some of you make extraordinarily hard decisions on behalf of your kids. Let me introduce you to one smart parent.
Peggy is mother to Sophie, who is 19 and madly in love. Sophie is a bright, bubbly college sophomore. Her boyfriend is a good guy and attends a different college. Both kids work hard, are respectful and good to their parents. They should be, because their parents are paying a lot of money for their educations.
Sophie announced to Peggy that she wants to get married to her boyfriend soon. She would like to finish college but her love for her boyfriend of four years is intensifying. Peggy knows Sophie well. She believes that if Sophie marries now she won’t finish college. Peggy told her this, but Sophie said that she didn’t really care. Love is more important than school, she reasoned.
Peggy sat Sophie down and in a loving, calm manner told her daughter that she would only support her marriage and pay for a wedding once she had a college diploma in her hand. If she chose to get married now, all financial support would stop. Sophie and her boyfriend would be left on their own to not only support themselves, but to pay back her college loans.
Here’s where Peggy got parenting right.
She took the hard road. She put aside her daughter’s immediate wishes and happiness and taught Sophie about reality. This is tough to do, particularly when we want our kids to be happy. After all, isn’t each of us driven by the mantra, “all I want is for my child to be happy?”
How many times do we jump to accommodate our kids’ (even adult children’s) wishes because we want to give them happiness? Child happiness has become the beacon by which many smart parents live. Peggy knew better.
I challenge each of us parents to set aside our kids’ happiness and do what is good and right for them instead. This is always the tougher road to take.
What do you think, parents? Do you agree that Peggy did the right thing? Have you ever had to make a hard decision that seemed to go against your child’s happiness?