Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, once asked his fans to describe their job in a single sentence. Here are some of the responses he got:
“Look out the window all day” – Pilot.
“Get paid for answers companies already know to questions they never asked” – Consultant.
And my personal favorite: “Read things that don’t matter then write papers saying they do in order to get a job doing something totally unrelated” – Student.
Those humorous and somewhat cynical responses aside, job descriptions do serve a useful purpose. They help us focus on what is and isn’t our responsibility.
That’s as true for parenting as it is for our 8-to-5 jobs. But a lot of moms and dads say the wayward culture has blurred the boundaries that define their role. They could do better, they believe, if they had what amounts to an accurate job description to work with.
Well, today I’d like to give you one. Mom and Dad each have one primary responsibility.
Dad, your number one task is to validate your children. That means encouraging them, building their confidence, and saying “We love you, and you belong here.”
Mom, your number one responsibility is to nurture your children. Pour life into your kids. No one can be eye-to-eye, smile-to-smile, and tear-to-tear with a child quite like a mom.
You both have different roles, but the goal for each is the same. Dad’s validation and mom’s nurturing get the child headed on a healthy trajectory. Their inner message will be positive. “I belong. The people in my world are looking out for me. I’m okay.”
Without your loving influence imprinted on their soul, their view of life will more likely be negative and feel like, “it’s me against the world.”
And that’s where the guilt begins for many parents. They feel pressure – sometimes self-inflicted – to do everything right. That’s a ball and chain no parent needs to feel. One of the lessons of Genesis 3 is that even when parents do exactly the right thing, children can still choose foolishly.
On our broadcast today, we’ll be discussing a parent’s job description as well as the responsibilities that are often written in that shouldn’t be there. Joining us will be Tim Sanford, a member of our counseling team here at Focus, and Eva Daniel, also a Focus family member. She’s one of our broadcast producers.
Along the way, we’ll also offer a lot of practical help for moms and dads and talk about how to give your child choices while maintaining control in the home.