On many of my tag lines around and about I put “MBA Mom” and it isn’t (just) because I don’t want to forget that I have a high quality brain functioning behind the scenes but I honestly earned that degree and I use what I learned all the time. I bet you can make a case for any higher degree applying well to parenthood but I think the MBA really and truly fits the parent model.
My job right now is to make good people happen. Not unlike what a manager is supposed to do at a company. Contrary to 75% of my personal experience, a manager is supposed to be helping their employees grow and succeed because successful people are happy, and, successful happy people do good work for the company. Micromanaging, unchangeable protocol, keeping people ‘in your pocket’ and obviously demanding absolute unquestioning obedience is not conducive to a productive positive environment. Those are also entirely, 100%, true for raising kids.
When I see kids with absolute obedience I wonder, do they ever get the chance to explore?
When I see a parent jump in at the first sign of struggle is that micromanaging or loving devotion? What will happen to that shoelace at school?
When I see someone flip out or even just glare about an infraction of ‘the rules’ I wonder if those kids are ever allowed to make mistakes? Good stuff can happen from doing it wrong when not much is on the line.
I saw this poster today on facebook, created by Wittyfeed.com and @kaushik
and can not help wanting to frame it in my house. I’ve explained this a dozen different ways – someone being happy does NOT mean you are not happy, and, someone failing should not make you feel good. You might be unhappy for unrelated reasons but because they are doing well should not trigger feelings in you of unhappiness and what about failure would really make you happy? This is something we officially learned in MBA coursework, but, it is also something lurking around the lessons of life from preschool on. I walk a fine line, I’m not an ‘everyone wins’ person, but, I am an ‘everyone can be happy’ person. There are winners and losers, not winning means you try harder next time.
I can’t say I’m not guilty of all three poor management items above in regard to parenting but days that I follow the right path are always better. The poster though; that I have down. I love to see people do well, I think it makes all of us better and I’m usually sad for others if they fail. I love collaborative games. I think it is great when one of my kids does something excellent and I encourage the other two to not envy but congratulate their sister. There have been times when 2 kids buckle up and #3 is bouncing around the car and they looked pretty smug about the coming tictac distribution and I declare NOBODY gets tic tacs because we win as a team and a few times of that and I’ve got all of them getting in the car like its their job. (it is btw) ((and I’ve just as often rewarded the good buckler and denied the other(s) when they were trying to get their sister to buckle, or, at best neutral/ignoring))
This post just sprung to mind after seeing the poster, i can go on and on about MBA stuff that I’ve foisted on my kids but that’s how life goes. My mom gave me plenty of second hand psychology and I know more then average about vet stuff – I even have a decent knowledge of cultural anthropology in regard to women’s studies and the basics of special ed teaching. Good stuff happens when parents and grandparents talk and kids listen. I’m sure Monday I’ll be back to normal mommy blogging but as a glimpse into my life I have kids that talk about scarcity and market demand and how they earned something (said with pride)…