If I hear one more person say to me, “You are so lucky”…I won’t be responsible. I am not lucky! I, well we, worked really damn hard for this life. We chose the type of life we wanted to live and worked to create it, including our parenting life.
Luck is defined as: the things that happen to a person because of chance; the accidental way things happen without being planned. Well, I hate to tell you, but my parenting and your parenting styles and in turn what happens in your family is not luck. Now, some people may choose to blame bad luck on things that happen, but in the end, it’s all solely based on what we do, how we react, and how we raise our children.
Just to bring everyone to an even playing field – I will admit that I have children with health issues and I have many friends whose children have even greater health and well-being issues and honestly, there is no blame to be placed there on luck or bad luck either. It’s just life and how we deal with it.
Here are 3 reasons parenting isn’t luck and why…
When people say…”You two are so lucky. Your kids are so nice”.
It is not by chance that my kids are so nice. Honestly, they are some of the nicest people in the world and some of my favorite people to hang out with. But, it is far far from luck. We made sure we always treated them with respect and in return, they learned how to treat others with respect. We worked hard to surround them with amazing and diverse people.
We had high expectations for behavior that we never had to tell them about; they learned by example. The hardest thing we did was leave them alone. Yes, we were always there, but we let them also guide us on parenting. We always gave them space, yet were always available. Finally, we taught them the importance of family and friends and how to always be kind, yet guarded.
When people say…”Your kids are so lucky they have had such awesome travel experiences”.
This too is not luck. We made hard decisions on how to always make sure our kids had travel in their lives. Travel was to family, to visit friends, to summer camp, family vacations, and exploring the world. We did without many things to assure travel was always part of their lives.
As a parent, it is a priority to identify what really matters to you and make it happen, no matter what. We also made sure we raised good travelers and respectful travelers. From the travels we do together, to summer camp and travel programs, to independent travel, we made sure we set them up for success. Their summer travel programs were always with programs that shared our values and respect for the world.
When people say…”You are so lucky that you two and the kids are so close”.
Yet for years and years, people criticized us for moving so much and for “isolating” our twins. This was purposeful. We moved for work, but carefully picked each move to assure our children would experience new people and new areas. We knew that it created a bond with the kids, because unlike families that have never moved, the twins had each other. Each time we moved, their go to person was the other twin. They made friends independently, but to this day, they know their rock is their sibling.
And, we did isolate our twins, often traveling to places the four of us could be together. Yes, they are twins and developmentally, this makes them being close easier, but it’s never a guarantee. But to this day at 20 years old, this all still holds true. Do I nudge, heck yes! Do I ask them, “Have you talked to your sister this week” and “When are you going to see your brother”? But honestly, I’m getting close to 50 years old and my mother still does the same to me.
What we learned from them over the years is that it all is a work in progress. Parenting never ends nor should it. Any relationship takes work and nurturing and if you leave it in the hands of luck, it is not something you really care about.
It ain’t luck people. It’s a whole lot of hard work!