Here’s a little story homeschooling speaker Norm Wakefield passed along a few months back.
Tim Russert, moderator and managing editor of Meet the Press, included a powerful story contributed by Merabeth Lurie in his book, Wisdom of our Fathers. Her seven-year old little brother, Jim, liked to watch and “help” his father as he made such things as chandeliers from old wagon wheels and unusual light fixtures from copper bulbs that float in toilet tanks. While his dad was at work, Jim would use his tools to make his own creations, but wouldn’t put them back in their rightful place many times.
After telling Jim the importance of putting things back, his dad decided to build a small tool chest where he could keep his best tools so Jim couldn’t get to them. As Jim’s dad worked on the chest, Jim watched and helped excitedly. When the lock was being installed, Jim asked, “What’s that?” To which his dad replied, “It is a lock, so that in order to get tools from the chest you have to open it with a key.”
Jim got a strange look on his face, looked up at his father, and asked, “Who will have the key, Dad?”
His dad paused for a moment, considered the look on his son’s face, and wisely and lovingly said, “There will be just two keys, Jim. One for you and one for me.”
A lot of parenting involves being near your child when they make their mistakes–near enough to be inconvenienced, near enough to help them when they make mistakes, near enough to quietly help them clean up the mess If you think it’s about apple pie order and perfection and having a trophy child, you’ll miss the relationship.