There was a time when I believed that I had no "real" influence. When I went to church I found my heart burdened by the ideals of mentoring. (also by the terms discipling and accountability but that is another post entirely) Church preached a world where you looked up to someone and learned from them and where you had your group of padowans in training. This was only good and right.
I felt like I wasn't holding up "kingdom values" because I did not have someone lower than me on the evolutionary religious journey. I was a big failure.
I cringe when I even use the word mentor. Actually, I don't use the word mentor. I prefer rabbi.
Honestly tho, mentoring is not my schtick.
I am a mom. I am a teacher. I am a friend. I am a guide. I am a companion.
I have kids. They are my 24/7 mentorees. Nah, minions is more like it.
I am the big evil scientist. Dr. Devious. Mama Maleficent.
They do my bidding.
I have trained them well.
cue evil laughter.
Seriously, I have taught my children to do everything from wiping the dishes to wiping their own behind parts. My job has never been so much about taking care of them as it has been about training them to care for themselves.
If I know how to do something, I teach them how to do it.
If they need something done and are capable of it, I make sure they know how to go about it.
I teach them to fish. (not literally)
As they have progressed in this growing up journey my job has changed a little bit. Sure, I still have to instruct them on the basics of chores and communal living but now we are more into the realm of interpersonal dynamics.
Also known as how to deal with the real world and not make people want to knock your block off while also keeping yourself from decapitating them.
I am trying to teach them to be nice and respectful and conscientious and courteous and assertive and humble and loving.
You might think I should have already thought them these things. You would be right. They know how to do all these inside the bounds of our house and our rules.
Life outside our walls is not the same.
Those people do not always remember to speak with love and respect. Those people forget to apologize. Those people do not have our pristine habits of living as perfectly defined by me.
Those people are the real life everyday people in the neighborhood.
My current job is to teach my children how to walk amongst the human race and not be asshats.
I sincerely hope that you know that I do not consider my ways to be perfect. I have not taught my children all the pretty things and am now hoping that they enter the world and not be sullied.
I have taught my children the things that I thought were right. Certainly the things that were for their best. Ok, maybe sometimes the things that were most convenient and did not alert cps.
Anyway, what I want now is for my kids to go out into the big world with love and acceptance in their hearts knowing that our ways are not universal....and that is ok.
I want no superiority complexes originating from our kitchen.
I want my children to be successful at living with others, not just at living with us.
I do not actively "mentor" my children. But only in the way that I do not actually use that term.
I hope my offspring have learned and are learning from me.
(I also hope that their counseling bills are not too expensive.)
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Don at donhillson.wordpress.com
Niki at nikinowell.wordpress.com
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