A Recipe for Success

  • What constitutes successful parenting?
  • How do we raise a child in line with our greatest values, hopes and aspirations?
  • What can we do to make both our lives and our children’s as stress-free, rewarding and successful as possible?

Three Key Ingredients in Raising and Successfully Caring for a Child

Patience

To begin with, the ability to slow down to their level (aka be patient) is paramount to successful parenting. Children move at a different pace than adults, and the ability to change our tempo and adapt to theirs is often necessary and important. Frequently it can involve waiting for them to finish a task, sentence or some other activity they may be doing. Learning the art of patience goes a long way when either working with or raising children.

Self-Sacrifice

This trait should be deeply imprinted on the mind of any devoted parent. The process of self-sacrifice starts immediately when parents return home with their newborn. They learn that the new schedule is the baby’s schedule: feedings every few hours, attending to the infant’s other needs, staying at home and arranging for additional support. All of these activities engender a form of sacrificing one’s personal preferences, comforts and agendas—translating to the characteristic of self-sacrifice.

Love

The next element is the “glue” which holds it altogether. Love is the preeminent factor in child raising and child caring.

Love means giving of yourself to another human being without expecting anything in return. One thing we can be sure about when caring for a child, is that there will be constant giving. Giving of our time, our money, our attention, our __________. It’s built into the process, and fortunately with love the process becomes enjoyable.

With love, we see that this giving and this sacrifice produce something greater than ourselves. The fruit of this labor is a healthy, happy human being. Even if this child is not our own, certainly love is required to care for and raise it successfully.

And, of course, children on the receiving end perceive and know what quality of care, devotion and attention they are receiving from adults. They internalize these feelings and later reproduce them in their own lives and in their own behaviors and ways.

We receive back from the love we give to our children. We receive their reciprocal love and attention, and also we witness their growth and that brings us joy.

Love certainly is mysterious in that even though it is given away, it comes back with equal or greater force.