In this second part of the A Reflection: Next Gen Parenting series, we would like to share with you what we have learned in our parenting journey over the past 28 years of nurturing our three boys into young adulthood. Last week, we shared about Finding Life-purpose and Self-learning Lifestyle, which you can read here: A Reflection: Next Gen Parenting Part 1.
Identify and Maximize Talent
Our end-goal is not for our children to become what we want but what they can be with their unique God-given Talents. As parents, we are hosting our children for a short period of time in our home. During the first 18 years, the formative years, especially from age 6-18, when what happens will be remembered by children for life, we were their guardian, coach, mentor and facilitator.
We were not dictators or controllers of our children. We shifted our parenting mindset from projecting a transactional role to that of providing transformational leadership , going beyond offering mere rewards and punishment as a method of bringing up children. Helping our children to become all they can be is the end goal of parenting. We are to see them as ‘arrows’ that can go further than us or go where we can’t go, charting new frontiers.
“Children are to be trained in the way they should go, not in the way we want them to go!”
Enjoy Every Stage of Parenting
Generally, there are six stages of parenting :Conception, infanthood, childhood (preschool, young schooler), teenage/adultescence, young adulthood, and departure or leaving the nest. While there are universal principles to govern every stage of parenting, methods will vary for different stage. For example:
- During our children’s childhood, we were more directive and authoritative.
- As they entered into the teenage years, we offered them freedom with boundaries.
- During their young adulthood, we became more facilitative.
Now that our children are working adults, we relate as friends, mentors or advisors. Our end-goal should be to prepare them to ‘fish for themselves’ – ready to set up their own family units when it is time to release them fully, for them to ‘cleave’ to their own spouse and not to us, their parents. Right from the start, we were mindful that each stage of child development could never be repeated. Each stage opens up new challenges, and we must learn to enjoy our journey for there is a time for everything under the sun. If you are a young parent, you must intentionally invest in your children in the different stages of their growth. Remember that no season of growth will ever be repeated.
“Make the most of each season with your children”
Catch the next part in this series: A Reflection: Next Gen Parenting Part 3
About the Authors: Dr Peter Ting is the President/CEO of Family First Malaysia. He and his wife, Dr Abby Ting, are committed to TRANSFORMING Next Gen Fathers, supported by Mothers, to build Better Families, resulting in a Better Workplace, a Better Society and a Better Nation. They are also co-authors of a book titled “3F Next Gen Leadership”.
Since 2014, Dr Peter uses his time to mentor Gen-Y CEO Couples and Gen-Z leaders, who are tomorrow’s entrepreneurs. Dr Abby continues to be the best helper to Dr Peter in their shared vision to reach every generation and build better families everywhere.
For more about them, find their profiles on our trainers’ page.