Tip #18: Reclaim your identity in your child’s education.
What role do you want to play in your child’s learning journey? Are you claiming your role as genuine authority and loving shepherd? How would you describe the role you dream of playing?
I’ve learned this is one of the primary joys for Acton parents – claiming the central, healthy, active role in our children’s education rather than relinquishing it to a bureaucratic machine. By making this choice, we get to re-educate ourselves along the way.
Before we founded Acton, I lived out the “drop-your-child-off-and-have-the-school-do-it” modus operandi. I let someone else be the expert on my child and let the school do the work.
I also found myself crying in the parking lot after drop-off; or peeling my crying son off of my leg to get him into the classroom.
As a parent, I have learned that relinquishing my role to a school doesn’t work well for growing into my full potential, let alone my children’s.
We all struggle with being over-controlling in our parenting. It’s no wonder. We want life to be rich and fulfilling for our children; and, we want to fix what was wrong in our childhoods.
But life is hard. And growing pains are real. It doesn’t work to take them away all the time. Suffering is an essential contributor to finding one’s passion and growing deeply as a human. If we ask someone else to take away our children’s discomfort, challenges, struggles, boredom, loneliness, then we are chipping away at their birthright toward finding a calling. (I’m talking to myself here as I fall into the trap of being my children’s primo entertainer. I can hear the circus music right now, just hand me a hat and cane.)
As parents of Acton Eagles, we can help each other understand what kind of hurt is actually okay and beneficial. We can begin better distinguishing between unhealthy hurting that needs intervention and suffering due to challenging work, or being called up to honesty or engaging with a friend in a difficult conversation.
Our communication systems at Acton will support you in playing this central, healthy role in your children’s lives. Jeff and I have found that it’s unhealthy for us to play the role of negotiator between parents and children; therefore, we created the guides’ role to include stepping out of that arena and instead into supporting you in your parenting sans intervention.
This tip was going to be: Read the Family Handbook. But it is more valuable to share the story behind the systems so we can get beyond “to do” tasks and remember our real work as parents. To read more about the ways we will be communicating with you to support your journey, read page 9-13 of our Handbook.