Raising a child is one of the most challenging tasks we will ever face in our lives. Yet, for many of us, we muddle through without clear vision or strategy. If we were to take on another challenging task such as managing a major organization we would have a very different approach. We would approach it with a lot of thought, planning, strategy, and collaboration with others.

Why should raising a child be any different?

In the Business World

If we were running a major organization or even a major project we would probably approach it in the following way. We would:

  • Set a mission/long term vision
  • Set objectives along with specific strategies to achieve those objectives
  • Assess our personnel and how to bring out the best in them
  • Identify our own strengths and how to capitalize on them
  • Identify our own weaknesses and how to minimize their impact

Then, as the project unfolds we would re-assess how well we’re meeting our end-goals, identify anything that isn’t working, and adjust our strategy accordingly.

In the Parenting World

In so many ways, we just wing it. Some will read a variety of parenting books, research strategies online, or maybe even take a class or two. However, the vast majority rely on advice from peers and relatives. We do what we think is expected.

Not too long ago, I wrote about setting parenting goals. The goals/mission/vision set the direction. They guide us through decision making by setting a strong foundation and clear path. In that post, I encourage you to set these goals along with your spouse. It’s important that you’re both on the same page and trying to achieve the same end-result.

Now, take it one step further. Look within yourself. Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Do this with your spouse. Make sure it’s done in a manner that is open and positive. This is about identifying what you want and don’t want for your children. This is not an opportunity to criticize each other.

After you’ve identified both strengths and weaknesses, take the discussion a bit further by delving into how you can capitalize on the strengths of each parent and minimize the impact of weaknesses.

Why Should You Raise Your Child Like You’re Running a Major Organization?

Discussing the above points and strategies will yield 3 results.

  1. It will help each of you become more self-aware. This is essential when it comes to minimizing the impact of your weaknesses. One of you may be better equipped to handle certain situations over others.
  2. It will open the dialogue between both parents regarding your hopes and aspirations for your children and how you want to parent.
  3. It will allow you to be more intentional about your parenting.

The third bullet is really the key here. Raising a child is such a major undertaking it only makes sense to give it the same importance as other major projects, ventures, and priorities in our lives. Don’t wander aimlessly hoping it will work out.

Set a plan. Be intentional. Adapt as needed.