I remember late in my college career I got this wild idea to run a marathon. The most I had ever run was about 10 miles and the marathon was about 6 weeks away. I was young and stupid. I’m so stubborn it took me a couple weeks of trying to jump into the training schedule as wells as some knee issues to realize it was too late. It was just too late. I didn’t continue running after that realization. I felt like if I could not do things on my terms I could not do them at all. Again, young and stupid.
I hear this same logic in parents often times. The dreams they had for their own parenting journey had been confronted with the realities of life and the opportunity had passed them by. Because things had not worked out exactly as they had hoped, they have, in a sense, thrown their hands in the air signaling their surrender.
My encouragement to you today is that it is NEVER too late. You may be early in your parenting journey with a young toddler or preschooler, and things have not gone as you had hoped. Reality interrupts everyone’s expectations. However, that does not mean your chances are over. Others of you may have elementary school, junior high, or high school age children. It is NEVER too late. I understand that things have not gone as you had hoped, but you still have the greatest of opportunities ahead of you. You have the opportunity to have a deep and transformative relationship with your child.
In suburbia we have the tendency to idolize the perception of success. Sadly the pursuit of that perception is often at the expense of our family. We are creating huge regrets. When our kids are in college, married, having their own children, how successful we appeared will be quite meaningless to us.
Honestly, it is very simple. You have to set your pride and expectations aside and merely spend some time with him/her. You might begin with throwing the ball, hitting the volleyball, grabbing coffee, or just bringing him/her along with you while you run some errands. The key to a relationship is time. Without time there will not be a good relationship. Simple, right?
It may greatly help some other readers if you were willing to share your successes or failures in this area. How do you spend time with your children? Have you passed through those moments when your expectations collided violently with reality?
How are you developing a relationship with your children?