I want to talk about parenting today and something that I’m always working on in the area of parenting.  That is developing future leaders.  We can get trapped in just training employees. Either we’re doing things for our kids that they can do on their own or we’re telling them exactly how to do it every step of the way, instead of showing them and letting them work through it and letting them problem-solve.

This came up yesterday, because my son told me he had football pictures.  As it turned out, the pictures were at the same time as he had an orthodontist appointment.  I can make a phone call and solve the problem for him, or he can go find the phone number and call and solve the problem himself.  Yeah, he’s going to complain.  He wants me to do it, of course.  Kids want to be pampered, I promise you.  But these are future husbands, fathers, roommates, and hopefully leaders, so he needs to do those things on his own.

My kids have to learn to do stuff on their own.  It’s kind of a pain sometimes, and things don’t always get done exactly the way we’d do them.  But in the long run, it’s easier when they are trained to problem-solve and take initiative.  Then, we get to step back.

My friend has this awesome game, I love this, called “What would mom do?”  She goes around and takes pictures throughout the house of things that she would just naturally do.  Then when she is at work, she sees later if they are able to do those things on their own.  To see them as problems.

This is what I call the pillow problem.  I would love to think that if there is a pillow on the ground in the living room, that someday my children (instead of walking over it twenty times) would actually pick it up and toss it back onto the couch.  It doesn’t have to be perfectly arranged but just get it up off the floor.  That’s the kind of person I want to leave my house and go into their future living situations and their future work situations.  You see the problem and you solve it on your own.

But I’m always working on it, and I’m not perfect.  I’m not even as good as my mom was at it, but I’m always striving towards it.  Just wanted to throw that mindset out to you in terms of parenting.  Who are we training?  Are we training future leaders or are we training future employees?