Factory Floor Parenting
I just paid my taxes. This did not go the way I would have hoped. So, in the spirit of making sure I suck all the sunshine out of this day, I decided to reflect on other things that may not be going exactly as one might have imagined.
It took me a long time – like 19 years, and a quarrantine – to realize that I’ve been taking a misinformed approach to raising kids. See, 19 is the age of my son and let’s just say, it’s a daily performance review. I’m learning though as the truth is, I need the job.
You may have heard about different parenting styles. They are more commonly referred to as four broad styles – authoritarian, authoritative, permissive and uninvolved. (Where is “exhausted” you ask? Great question. I think it’s time to update the old psychology manual.)
I tend to try and work toward the authoritative style. At least, I was told that led to the best outcome in terms of developing confident, secure, humble adults. It’s like the “Goldilocks” of parenting (my term, not the experts) in that they these parents maintain their role and balance between control and permission and leverage healthy communication (or at least that’s the goal).
What I am learning, however, is that not all children are created the same and neither are all parents. How does one know if parenting is working? How does a parent understand what the right balance is if they are defining the guardrails?
I know there are a lot of enlightened families that have family meetings, and check-ins and you name the healthy construct. This is great. At the same time, there are many families (like, oh I don’t know – let’ say mine, as an example), where the eye rolling that accompanies even the suggestion of a “family discussion” or “downtime to connect” starts to make one wonder if anything is really getting through in the first place.
So, I have employed that difficult but so true adage that one should “be selective in your battles, sometimes peace is better than being right.” And now, my home has moved from parent culture to safety culture.
For anyone who has ever worked in a factory or warehouse, you may recognize the concept of “zero-incidents”. The idea is to team up to avoid accidents or safety incidents and it is often celebrated with a big ‘ole sign that is visible to everyone on how many days have actually gone by without an unfortunate slip (no pun intended).
I am proud to say we are on lucky number 7 as of today. It’s been 7 days with zero incidents. Maybe it’s time to trash all the parenting advice and head to the factory – where things actually get done and if done right, resolved.
Don’t ask me for any updates, though. My “exhausted” parenting style is creeping in and I want to manage expectations.
Until next time,