The Presidential election isn’t until November 8, but many people have already had enough of all the political shouting and shenanigans. Yet, as the race for the White House continues, the contentious political climate does offer an important reality check for parents: namely, if you were running for office in your house, not the White House, would your children vote for you? And, by the way, the parental election isn’t about being a popular parent; it’s about parent leadership. A parent who clearly understands what it means to run a home and raise a child.
As the incumbent, you are running on your record. So, have you kept your promises? Or do some of those fine-sounding pledges you uttered ring hollow in your child’s mind? When you first held your newborn in your arms, you probably whispered your undying commitment to always be there for them. How has that gone? And as they have grown, what about the times you promised to go bicycling with them, but something else came up? Have you put your family first in practice, or only in principle? Keeping Promises Builds Trust.
Turning campaign pledges into daily reality can be difficult. It may mean making hard decisions as a parent. How are you budgeting your time? We each only have 168 hours each week. How are you spending yours? Is all that extra time at work really best for your family, or would they prefer more of your presence than the presents you can buy with the extra money you earn? Here are 4 Things Every Parent Must Know about time.
Remember, too, that you are being challenged by others who want to win your children’s favor. We live in a culture that undermines strong family life at almost every turn, from distorted media messages about sexuality to peer pressure. How are you responding to these counter punches from your opponents? Are you aware of the different directions in which your children are being tugged, and are you offering reasoned responses to these contenders’ claims, pointing out the false promises they are making? Here are four ideas for Leading Your Kids in a Changing World.
Voters don’t only consider candidates’ words, but, hopefully, they consider their character. Much of the recent political activity in the United States has been characterized by a heightened level of nastiness. Debates have descended into name-calling shouting matches. Instead of reasoned conversation and considered disagreement, there has been rudeness and unkindness.
If the curtain was pulled back on your home life, what would people see? Would they see and hear graciousness and respect, even when people don’t agree? Do you exercise your parental authority firmly but fairly, or are you unyielding and unapproachable? And consider, Is Your Marriage Setting a Good Example for Your Kids?
Campaign managers are constantly measuring public opinion, wanting to know what voters think and where they stand on the issues so they know what to emphasize. I’m not suggesting you tailor your family administration’s decisions to what your children want to hear, of course, but do you listen to what they, your voters, have to say? How would your children answer if they were asked whether they are better off today under your leadership than they were four years ago? Would they tell you that they feel they are provided for emotionally and spiritually? Would they say you really listen to them? By learning The Right Way to Listen to Your Kids, you’ll provide an environment in which they will feel their ideas are valued and that they are respected.
Remember, Mom and Dad, you hold the highest office in the land. A president has responsibility for up to eight years, but a parent is given it for a lifetime. You have the power to shape the future by touching the young lives that have been entrusted to you. [Tweet This] So I encourage you to recommit to serving your “constituents”–your children.
They don’t need extravagant promises or exaggerated arguments—they need your unconditional love, your gentle guidance, and the treasure of your time.
If the parental election were to be held today, would your children place their mark by your name on the ballot, and give you “four more years”? Share your thoughts below.